AN had the unique opportunity to walk around the top floor of the supertall 432 Park Avenue tower, where the full-floor penthouse with a $95 million view of Central Park is nearing completion. A Saudi billionaire, Fawaz Al Hokair, was recently announced as the buyer. Ironically, The Real Deal has reported this week that it was also announced by one of the architects—at a Cornell Center for Real Estate and Finance lecture in December—that the Rafael Viñoly design was inspired by, wait for it, a trashcan. It's no ordinary trash can, however. The alleged inspiration is a design by Viennese Secession/ Wiener Werkstätte mastermind Josef Hoffmann. His gridded designs represented a new rational, rigorous way of composing objects in the beginnings of modern industrial design. Today, apparently, they are being copied at a larger scale for entire building. The geometric purity of the tower originally looked to us like it came from Aldo Rossi, but Hoffmann makes more sense, especially given the urban context/political ambiguity of the building. In the lecture, Harry Macklowe, who co-developed the building with the CIM Group, revealed that Renzo Piano was also considered for the tower but didn’t work out. The idea for a tall building with a pure form came from Piano, and Macklowe carried that idea forward through the project. “Renzo Piano had said to me—if you have a pure architectural form like a square and you uphold the integrity of that architectural form you will build a beautiful building,” Macklowe to the Real Deal. “That stayed in my mind, and I had considered Renzo Piano for the architect, but it didn’t work out for several reasons.” While the world's super-elite who will soon call the tower home likely would snub the idea of living like an albeit more sophisticated Oscar the Grouch, they might do well to pick up their own Hoffmann trashcan, available for a cool $225 from the Neue Galerie.
Posts tagged with "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous":
Sky High & the Logic of Luxury The Skyscraper Museum 39 Battery Place New York, NY Through April 19, 2014 For Manhattan architecture, the sky has always been the limit. The current trend in super-slender, luxury high-rise residential buildings has excited a niche clientele and captured the attention of skyscraper architects. This October, The Skyscraper Museum explores these ultra slim constructions, from their contextual rise to the modern engineering technologies that have rendered them possible. Featuring projects from the “57th Street phenomenon” and downtown’s pencil-thin counterparts, Sky High & the Logic of Luxury surveys the multitudinous elements involved in the design, construction, and marketing of super-tall, super-luxurious residences. Penthouses in these spindly buildings sell for double-digit millions, but the exhibition claims there is a “simple math” in the logic of luxury behind them. Beginning with Manhattan’s history of slenderness, Sky High & the Logic of Luxury traces their growth. The exhibition reveals how New York City has the specific conditions, localities, and branding psychology that encourages these very tall, very thin, luxury skyscrapers and the subsequent market-demand that has shot their costs sky high.
Miami's development scene has been heating up in the past year with starchitects lining up for a chance to build in the Magic City. Zaha Hadid has been equally as hot with several irons in the fire since the last series of renderings for her first U.S. skyscraper, the residential One Thousand Museum tower on the city's waterfront, were unveiled in April. Along with designing a stadium for the 2022 World Cup and the New National Stadium in Japan, she managed to find time to make plans for the already dramatic tower even more extraordinary. New details have recently surfaced on the project's website about the fanciful sculptural structure, detailing the building's sky lounge, aquatic center, and curvy-furniture-stocked lobby, not to mention Miami’s first private helipad placed on a residential complex. Based on earlier renderings, we already knew about many of the building's ultra-luxe amenities, but these newly refined views offer a more refined glimpse of the impressive Aquatic Center and Sky Lounge situated more than 600 feet above the sidewalk on the tower's 60th and 61st floors. Envisaged as a luxurious retreat hovering above the urban environment, the double height space presents stunning panoramic views over Biscayne Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Miami skyline. Sculptural domed walls evocative of water drops and a double-height glass facade encloses the infinity-edge indoor pool. By day the space is bathed with natural light and by night is immersed in the city’s glow refracting off its sculptural form. The new renderings reveal folded glass components at each corner on the top levels that appear as delicately cut jewels. At the tower’s ground level within the podium-like pedestal, the porte-cochère offers privacy from the city streets and a distinguished arrival in line with the cachet of One Thousand Museum. A multi-level wellness and spa center sits atop the porte-cochère and looks over recreational pools and a terrace space pierced by the tower’s curved exoskeleton beams. Construction is set to begin in 2014. All renderings courtesy One Thousand Museum.
It felt a bit like the Decoration & Design Building at the Architecture and Design Film Festival last night for the U.S. premiere of Lioness Among Lions: The Architect Zaha Hadid, thanks in part to a smattering of East Side stylings in the crowd at the Tribeca Cinemas and the clever addition of Potterton Books to the festival. Waiting for the theater doors to open, we swigged wine provided by event sponsor Resource Furniture and perused shelves filled with a fantastic collection of both old and new books; Loos and Gio Ponti pressed up against Studio Gang. As we raved about Van Alen's new bookstore, Potterton's book buyer Beth Daugherty admitted she still mourns the loss of Urban Center Books. Once inside the theater, a sexy little short by photographer Dave Burk cast Studio Gang's new Columbia College Media Production Center in Chicago in soft light and perfectly realized cross-fades. And so it was a bit of disappointment to see the feature film's production values were slightly less than the opener. But the problem with Lioness, which was released in Germany last year, isn't entirely the production. The buildings are handsomely handled by director Horst Brandenburg, though they're not choreographed in a manner that makes one truly feel the flow. No, the main problem is in the fawning tenor of a voiceover that sounds like it's intended for the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." The oversimplified narration will make architecture fans understand what historians must feel watching the History Channel. The saving grace, not surprisingly, is when Hadid weighs in. Only then does the film delve slightly into the technology and offer any deep analysis. But here the editing keeps the focus on the fabulous: Here's Zaha fanning herself in Spain with a Spanish fan; here she is in Hong Kong at a Chanel opening wearing Prada, there she is in ripped jeans... you get the picture. Of course, it's understood that the film is for a general audience, but general audiences dig details, too. Throw in a foundry, a glass manufacturer, and a computer program for good measure. Explain how the buildings work in layman's terms. Only then will the audience understand why she's fabulous.