Drawing of the original Penn Station, re-created. Credit: Jeff Stikeman for Rebuild Penn Station
In August 6sqft reported that major work was underway in the $1.6 billion transformation of Penn Station’s James A. Farley Building into a state-of-the-art, 225,000-square-foot “world-class 21st century transportation hub” called Moynihan Train Hall. That hasn’t stopped the flow of suggestions for how to best make use of New Yorkers’ un-favorite transport hub, which have included Practice for Architecture and Urbanism founder Vishaan Chakrabarti’s proposal to repurpose, then move the old building to create a neighborhood gathering spot and a plan by Columbia University’s DeathLab to turn the the station into a landscaped cemetery. Among those voices-with-a-vision is Rebuild Penn Station, a group of architects and preservationists whose intent is to recreate the original McKim, Mead and White-designed Penn Station, and a new ad campaign aims to get commuters on board (h/t Curbed).
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5 Manhattan West. Photo: Laurian Ghinitoiu via REX Architecture
Brookfield Office Properties offered a look at the second building in the nearly-six-million-square-foot, six-building Manhattan West project to be completed. The 16-story office building known as 5 Manhattan West, where Amazon signed a lease for a 360,000-square-foot space, is approaching completion on Tenth Avenue between West 31st and 33rd Streets across from Hudson Yards. Archpaper shares images of the building’s sparkling new look and interiors, the result of some fancy architectural footwork by REX. The 1969 Brutalist office building was nearly everyone’s example of ugly since a 1980s renovation left it clad in brown metal and beige paint. The rechristened building’s new facade wraps it in sleek, form-fitting pleated glass that does more than just look pretty.
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Penthouse rendering courtesy of Aman Resorts
Floor plans of the Crown Building’s crown jewel, its five-story penthouse, have revealed what $100 million will buy you at one of the city’s most desirable locations for the super-rich. As the Real Deal learned, the penthouse features two swimming pools, a piano lounge and a full-floor master suite. The 14,000-square-foot pad sits in the actual crown of the building, spanning floors 22-26. The rest of the Billionaires’ Row building at 730 Fifth Avenue isn’t too shabby either; the building includes an 83-key luxury Aman Resorts hotel with a three-story spa, a jazz and cigar club, a few restaurants and 20 luxury condos.
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Image © Wade Zimmerman courtesy of Agence Christian de Portzamparc (ACDP)
A full-floor, 6,240-square-foot penthouse at Midtown billionaires’ bunker One57 recently sold to an unidentified high bidder–one of five contenders–at a foreclosure auction for $36 million. That number is 29 percent lower than the original $50.9 million price shelled out by Nigerian businessman Kolawole Akanni Aluko for the newly-minted condo in 2014. The fire sale was the fourth resale in the 1,004-foot-tall Billionaire’s Row flagship trophy tower to trade at a loss, according to data from appraiser Miller Samuel Inc., reports Bloomberg. The latest example is the largest discount to date on one of the pricey properties, all of which sends a message to buyers with plans to cash in on the ultra-luxury units in short order. And there are currently 16 apartments at the building listed for sale, most of them by the developer.
MSG reimagined as a cemetery (L); Memorial walls in the subway stations (R). Via DeathLab
The rant that traveling via Penn Station is enough to kill you just took on a whole new meaning. Untapped Cities shared this vision from Columbia University’s DeathLab (yes, this is a group dedicated to dealing with death in the city) that reimagines Penn Station and Madison Square Garden as a giant cemetery and public space. The general idea is to be more eco-friendly and accessible. Not only will the human remains be used to fertilize the gardens, but family members and the general public will be able to record digital memories to be stored on a central server.
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Construction progress as of mid-October, via CityRealty
In May 2012, TF Cornerstone (TFC) entered a 99-year ground lease for the building’s site that spans nearly a full city block and measures 63,000 square feet. Now topped out and fully skinned, the massive rental at 606 West 57th Street has a less flashy appearance than renderings previously hinted, but still features an impressively imposing, boxy design, as CityRealty reported. Designed by Arquitectonica, the 42-story, 1.2 million-square-foot building will contain a whopping 1,028 apartments. It joins other West Side gems like the Helena and the pyramid-shaped, Bjarke Ingels-designed Via57 West.
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Earlier this month, New York City officially pitched four neighborhoods to house Amazon’s HQ2: Long Island City, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, Lower Manhattan and Midtown West. During its third-quarter earnings call Tuesday, Vornado Realty Trust said the Moynihan Train Hall remains at the forefront of the city’s Midtown West bid, citing the project’s proposed 730,000 square feet of office space and 120,000 square feet of retail as meeting the retailer’s key requirements (h/t Commercial Observer). Vornado, along with Related Companies, Skanska USA, and architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, is converting the former James A. Farley Post Office into the Moynihan Train Hall, an effort led by Governor Andrew Cuomo to create a world-class transit center.
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Penthouse rendering (Aman Resorts)
Taking its name from an elaborate pyramid-shaped crown, the Crown Building at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street has been described as one of the city’s most desirable retail locations. Michael Shvo and Russian developer Vladislav Doronin bought the non-retail upper floors of 730 Fifth Avenue in 2015 and filed plans to redevelop the Billionaires’ Row property, and new details have been revealed, CityRealty reports. An 83-key luxury hotel with a three-story spa, a members-only lounge, a jazz club and cigar bar and two restaurants will start on the fourth floor. Above the hotel, 20 luxury condominiums known as Aman New York Residences will start on the 11th floor. The building’s crown jewel will be a 14,000 square-foot five-story penthouse on floors 22-26 asking $100 million.
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Renderings courtesy Adjaye Associates
One of the reasons for Ghanaian British architect David Adjaye’s rise to international fame is his work on renowned museums, from Washington D.C.’s National Museum of African American History and Culture to Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art to the recently released plans for the Studio Museum in Harlem. And he’ll now add to that list, again in NYC, but this time the project is a bit on the lighter side. The Architect’s Newspaper reveals Adjaye Associates‘ renderings for SPYSCAPE, a spy museum and interactive experience that will open at 250 West 55th Street in December. Spread over two floors in the office building, the exhibitions will be divided among individually designed pavilions, each one exploring one of the seven themes of spying. This format, according to the firm’s Associate Director Lucy Tilley, allowed them to “challenge the traditional museum typology with a design that straddles the physical and digital worlds.”
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In the building known for the city’s most expensive residential sale ever (a dizzying duplex on the 89th and 90th floors of the iconic skyscraper at 157 West 57th Street whose $100 million sale closed in 2014), big-ticket buys hardly turn heads. But that same year, the headline-grabbing supertall saw its third most expensive unit change hands when Canadian investor and Ferrari collector Lawrence Stroll dropped $55.6 million on a 6,240-square-foot 85th-floor home in the building’s tower. Now he’s put the full-floor pad back on the market for an even more noteworthy $70 million. According to the listing, the apartment had a complete renovation even in its short lifetime–and clearly, Stroll, worth an estimated $2.4 billion spared no expense, including woven suede walls, a sculptural wall by artist Peter Lane, and a double-sided marble fireplace.
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