Thursday, February 26, 2009

American Dream of a Customized Home

Inspired by the permeability and spatial qualities of Modernist houses and the great American dream of a customized home, Herzog & de Meuron has replaced the usual extrusion of standardized skyscraper floor plates with a staggered progression of structural slabs turning slightly off axis by degrees as they ascend, creating constant variety among the apartment floor plans.

This structural arrangement of floor plates create an irregular flurry of cantilevered terraces up and down the building, making plays of light and shadow that give the tower a shimmering, animated appearance on the skyline.

The building contains five key zones ascending from street to sky: lobby, townhouse residences, amenities, tower residences, and penthouses. Appearing to rest upon Anish Kapoor’s sculpture, a massive, reflective stainless steel piece, the building base will have the appearance of a stack of cantilevering volumes with varying degrees of transparency and opacity.

The lobby zone contains a dramatic double - height lobby with an entrance on Leonard Street adjacent to a verdant exterior vertical garden to the west. Above the 18-foot-high lobby are several floors of townhouse residences, that relate very directly to the immediate scale and panorama of the neighborhood, and two full floors of amenities spaces custom-designed to the last detail by Herzog& de Meuron.

Photo © Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, 2008

Photo © Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, 2008
Screening Room
These spaces include a 75-foot infinity edge pool, one of Manhattan’s largest, surrounded by a black terrazzo deck inlaid with spherical glass aggregate. An adjoining outdoor sundeck cantilevers 20 feet over the block to provide extraordinary Tribeca views and a sense of connection to the district.

The building’s residences are located above with balconies and terraces arranged in varied schemes that provide uninterrupted views of the city. The dramatic nine-story crown containing its apex penthouses, will appear on the Manhattan skyline as a chimerical geometric sculpture of stacked, glimmering glass volumes. Soaring window walls open onto panoramas of the city and sky.

“We approached the design process from the inside out, from the homes themselves. But we also considered the outside in terms of the Tribeca neighborhood. Here you have the small townhouses, the old manufacturing buildings, and the high-rise buildings, but also a lot of little corners and surprising things between. The different scales characterize the neighborhood and we wanted to establish a dialogue among them. For us, creating a building is a research process. We call it a journey.”
Herzog & de Meuron

The 57-story residential building is located at the intersection of Church Street and Leonard Street in the Tribeca Historic District of downtown Manhattan.


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