The largest and tallest building in NYC from Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier is rising at 685 First Avenue, just south of the United Nations at 39th Street and First Avenue along the East River. Though developer Sheldon Solow bought the 30,000-square-foot site as part of his Turtle Bay South master plan 16 years ago, construction only kicked off in March. A couple months later, renderings were revealed of the 42-story slab tower’s dark glass facade–a departure from Meier’s typical beige designs and his first ever black building–and now the Times has shared the first interior renderings, along with new details about the residential breakdown (there will be 408 rentals and 148 condominiums) architectural specifics, and amenities.
Turtle Bay South Master Plan
Photo: Rendering of 685 First Avenue designed by architect Richard Meier for developer Sheldon Solow VIZE/RICHARD MEIER & PARTNERS ARCHITECTS
Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier has long been known for his modestly-scaled building designs with exteriors on the whiter side of pale. But for developer Sheldon Solow‘s new 42-story 556-unit residential building, currently under construction at East 39th Street and First Avenue on Manhattan’s East Side, the New York Five starchitect will be designing a tower of black glass.
The developer will be unveiling a residential tower, Meier’s tallest and largest in New York City, according to the Wall Street Journal, that will consist of a rectangular slab with a recessed niche above the midsection, “a polished specimen of neo-Modernist simplicty” in typical Meier fashion–except it will be clad in glassy black. The mix seems to perfectly represent a collaboration between old friends and East Hampton near-neighbors Meier and Solow, who has pointed out that “All my buildings are black.”
Architecture, Construction Update, Midtown East, New Developments, Rentals, Starchitecture, Turtle Bay
Construction has finally begun on the westernmost lot of Sheldon Solow’s Turtle Bay South master plan, 16 years after the developer purchased the site. Excavators are picking away at the 30,000-square-foot site at 685 First Avenue that has long held a surface parking lot and is just a small portion of a larger, long-planned development straddling First Avenue between East 35th and 41st Streets.
Last August, plans were filed for 685 First, which will be a girthy 42-story residential tower with 555 rental units and 800,000 square feet of gross floor area. The tower is being designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier, a surprising choice given the American architect is best known for his modest-scaled projects and white exteriors, while Solow is best known for their monolithic towers sheathed in black glass curtain walls. Nevertheless, when complete, the tower will be Meier’s largest ever project in New York and will be just one of four residential towers and a pavilion he is scheduled to design for the billionaire developer.
You’ve probably realized that New York is in the midst of a skyscraper boom, but if the ubiquitous scaffolding and sidewalk detours haven’t given it away, we bring you further proof — with part two of our series detailing the tallest residential towers set to rise high above the city, forever changing New York’s skyline.
Compared to the previous 26 projects — the tallest of the tall that included ultra-luxury and super-tall towers such as 432 Park Avenue and 125 Greenwich Street — this second batch is composed of smaller buildings ranging from 500 to 700 feet tall and features greater geographical diversity and lots more rentals. With developers scouring the city for less expensive areas to assemble properties, these often-controversial projects are slated to rise in some of our more human-scaled ‘hoods such as East Harlem, South Street Seaport, and Williamsburg.