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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

56 Leonard Street, New York, United States

The Swiss architects take their expertise to new heights with their first residential tower
Standing precariously like a giant glass and steel Jenga tower, Herzog & de Meuron’s ambitious first skyscraper design will offer unique living spaces strictly for the super-rich. Having designed buildings in many forms from schools and houses to the Beijing National Stadium, the Swiss architects have embraced the new challenge of creating a luxury residential tower in the heart of Manhattan’s busy Tribeca District – 56 Leonard Street.

Construction commenced this week and within two years, residents paying anywhere from $3.5 - $33 million are expected to occupy each of the 145 residences. With custom-sculpted white enamel fireplaces, private outdoor spaces for every apartment and integrated technology, the design aims to account for the hefty price-tag. Each apartment has an individual floorplan, the building’s shape lending itself to this almost bespoke choice of living quarters.

The cantilevered form will offer a jagged silhouette which, at 57 floors, will be visible for miles around even amidst the many high-rises in Manhattan’s Tribeca District. At street level passers-by will be struck by the cornerstone of the development, a monumental stainless-steel sculpture by Anish Kapoor which is fully integrated into the base of the design – the first of London-based Kapoor’s sculptures to become a permanent fixture in New York.

Included in the design are 1,850 sq ft of retail, a 9,700 ft fitness centre, a screening room and Tribeca Tot room designed by Architots among other features. With a footprint of 12,500 sq ft and a gross floor area of 425,000 sq ft, the design is set to make a lasting and unavoidable impression in the Manhattan district.

Niki May Young
News Editor
architecture NOW

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