Construction is underway on the first residential tower by Foster + Partners in the United States. Developed by Zeckendorf Development with Global Holdings, the 44-storey luxury apartment tower occupies a prestigious location within the green setting of United Nations Plaza, with views of the celebrated modernist UN Headquarters building, the East River and the Manhattan skyline.
The tower’s massing respects the height and scale of its neighbours. Its three slender volumes appear faceted in elevation, visually reducing the building’s scale, while emphasising its vertical form.
Each volume extends into a series of deep bay windows, which maximise views and broaden the elegant living spaces within. The bay windows are unified by a delicate horizontal grid of stainless steel bands, referencing the refined New York Art Deco style of nearby buildings. The tower’s jewel-like quality is further enhanced by highly reflective panels, which run vertically between each of the bays.
Entrance is via a bracelet of lush planting that surrounds the tower. Inside, the colour palette for the lobby is warm, complemented by granite, marble, wood and an open fire to the rear of a full-height water feature that divides the space. Every apartment is focused on the floor to ceiling bay windows and the interiors are luxurious, with generous space for entertaining. A spa in the basement incorporates a large exercise pool for residents, and the penthouse features an infinity pool, dramatically cut out from the top level of the building.
The tower incorporates a combination of active and passive environmental strategies - more than half of the facade is solid, with the rest made up of highly insulated glazing and construction will incorporate recycled materials. The project is scheduled for completion at the end of 2014.
Lord Foster: “The slender proportion of 50 United Nations Plaza is attenuated by the vertical stacks of bay windows, which give it a distinctive identity. From the apartments within, these bays offer spectacular views of the East River and Manhattan’s skyline. The polished stainless steel detailing of the facade is in the spirit of earlier historic towers in the city and it reflects the sharp quality of light which is special to New York. The building has a strong environmental agenda combining measures to reduce energy consumption with the use of recycled materials.”