Moscow–based firm Meganom has just gained approval for the tallest project by a Russian firm in the U.S., a 1,001–foot residential supertall at 262 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) gave the go-ahead for the tower on Tuesday, just over a year after the application was filed. The developer behind the project is Boris Kuzinez of New York–based firm Five Points Development. Kuzinez has spent $102 million already on site preparations, but is still seeking a construction loan for the tower itself. The architect of record is SLCE Architects. Consulting for the exterior wall has been conducted with Front Inc., with facade maintenance by Entek Engineering. Renderings for the skyscraper show a lean silhouette of a building punctuated by two observation decks. According to the designer, the apartment units, each measuring approximately 47 by 52 feet, will be anchored to an aluminum-clad column on the western side like shelves. All of the building's lift and mechanical systems will also be housed within this volume, allowing the residential space to be open and column-free. 41 apartments will be available in total, with floor-to-ceiling windows on the northern and southern facades. The design also accommodates customization: potential residents will be able to choose from a "library" of different layouts, with the option of purchasing full and multiple floors as well as portions of levels according to their needs. The building's top floor features a tall open space that offers 180-degree views to the north and south of Manhattan. According to the firm's website, the top observation deck can be reserved for private events by the building's residents. Triple-glazed windows facing north and south will stabilize the building's heating and cooling systems. Smaller, porthole-shaped windows will dot the building's eastern side. According to The Real Deal, a triplex apartment within the building could be worth as much as $75 million. Two structures on the site have already been demolished to make way for construction. A third structure at 260 Fifth Avenue will be preserved as part of the tower's base. There is no set timeline for construction. This is Meganom's first project in the U.S.
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Parallel facade systems in contrasting materials mark the edge of development on a reimagined campus.The new Rutgers Business School in Piscataway, New Jersey, is more than a collection of classrooms and offices. The building, designed by TEN Arquitectos, is a linchpin of the university’s Livingston campus, reconceived as an urban center for graduate studies and continuing education. “It established a frame,” said project manager James Carse, whose firm created a vision plan for the campus starting in the late 2000s. “We were interested in really marking the edge of campus to motivate future development to respect the campus boundary, rather than allowing or suggesting that this was a pervasive sprawl. We wanted to make sure this would set a pattern where infill would happen.” The Rutgers Business School’s tripartite envelope reinforces the distinction between outside and inside. While the sides of the building facing the boundary line are enclosed in folded anodized aluminum panels, the glass curtain walls opposite create a visual dialogue with the rest of campus. In TEN Arquitectos’ early designs, the difference between the building’s outer and inner surfaces was not so stark. “We initially thought of [the entire envelope] as being more open,” said Carse. But budget constraints combined with university requirements regarding glazing in classrooms to suggest that the architects move away from an all-glass enclosure. “There was an ability to deploy the curtain wall over only a certain amount of the building in a responsible way,” said Carse. “We let the inside push back against the outside and suggest that this be more solid.” At the same time, explained Carse, “we didn’t want it to feel unchanging and heavy.” Working with Front Inc., TEN Arquitectos designed an anodized aluminum rain screen system, manufactured by Mohawk Metal Manufacturing & Sales, that incorporates an apparently random fold pattern to provide texture. (Thorton Tomasetti provided additional consulting and inspection services during construction.) After making aesthetic modifications in Rhino and 3ds Max, the architects ran their digital model through eQUEST energy analysis software to determine an angle of inclination that would prevent snow from accumulating on the folds. They came up with four standard dimensions that could be combined for a varied effect. “It’s a pretty amazing condition that’s been created with the variegated folded panels that face Avenue E and preserve and pick up the western sunlight as the sun sets,” said Carse. “The building changes throughout the day and picks up texture from its surroundings. The anodized aluminum plays off that nature of change and creates a softer facade than you’d expect from the use of metal itself.” The campus-facing sides of the building feature frit glass curtain walls fabricated by Beijing Jangho Curtain Wall Co. (Jangho) with glass from Xinyi Glass Holdings Limited. “We used the fritted glass to meet the solar performance that we were going for without completely exposing them,” said Carse, who noted that the walls appear nearly transparent at dusk and later, when the interior lights are on. “That’s part of the nature of the building,” he said. “The business school itself has classes going from around 8:30 a.m. until about 10 p.m., so the daily life is not just during the day. The building is really alive during those times and we wanted to make that evident.” During the day, the frit glass facade’s extra-wide mullions maximize the amount of daylight that filters into the offices and classrooms. The third component of the Rutgers Business School envelope is a transparent glass curtain wall introduced between the two primary facade systems. Besides serving as an intermediary between the anodized aluminum and frit glass surfaces, the transparent glass elements mark possible points of connection to future buildings as the campus continues to densify. “It allowed us infill,” said Carse. “This project served as a gateway building literally and figuratively,” said Carse. Cars entering campus from Route 18 pass directly through the Rutgers Business School building, its upper stories perched on canted columns. Though designed to indicate the campus’s outside edge—the end of development—the structure’s vital facade simultaneously signals a beginning, a freshly urban approach to campus design within a former suburban stronghold.