In Construction> Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard

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56 Leonard. (Courtesy Field Condition)

56 Leonard. (Courtesy Field Condition)

It’s impossible to look at renderings of Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard and not immediately think of Jenga, the game guaranteed to shame one unlucky partygoer for pulling the wrong piece and ruining everyone’s fun. Good times! Anyway, back to 56 Leonard in New York City—the 60-story, glassy version of that nerve-wracking game.

56 Leonard. (Courtesy Field Condition)

56 Leonard. (Courtesy Field Condition)

56 Leonard. (Courtesy Field Condition)

56 Leonard. (Courtesy Field Condition)

The project was first unveiled back in September 2008, at almost the exact moment the global economy started to nosedive. So, needless to say, 56 Leonard got off to a slow start. But now the tower is rising quickly and slated to open next year.

Construction watcher Field Condition recently photographed the building which has passed its 40th floor and is starting to get its glassy exterior. On the building’s first few floors, erratic, cantilevering balconies create that aforementioned Jenga-like effect. But on higher floors, the Jenga-ness of the building quickly fades as the balconies fall into a more conventional pattern, appearing less like bricks from the game and more like, well, balconies. This should change, though, as the building continues to rise as its most dramatic cantilevering theatrics are reserved for its tapering top.

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