Thinking outside the box

Nick Myall
17 Dec 2015

Mark Foster Gage has published plans for a 102-storey residential building with sweeping views of New York that is more than just another modernist box

Architect Mark Foster Gage was commissioned to design a 21st century, supertall luxury building, which, he said, would aesthetically add to New York City, USA rather than merely occupy a place in it.

The 102-storey tower, proposed in the heart of Manhattan will feature a carved stone facade and eye-catching glimmers of bronze. Residents will also be treated to sweeping views of Central Park and the city skyline, and a number of balconies will frame particular features of the surrounding landscape.

Each unit has its own unique figurally carved façade and balconies that frame particular features of the surrounding urban and natural landscapes. The building is draped in a façade of limestone-tinted Taktl© concrete panels with hydroformed sheet-bronze details and brass-tinted alloy structural extrusion enclosures. The 64th floor features a sky-lobby with exclusive retail stores, a 2-story high ballroom for events, and a 4-star restaurant all of which have access to four massive cantilevered balconies that offer an awe-inspiring event and dining experience unique to the city of New York.

The mammoth residential tower has been described as what might happen if “Michelangelo was brought back to life and commissioned to design a skyscraper.”

Gage said: "I think that many of the supertall buildings being built in New York City are virtually free of architectural design - they are just tall boxes covered in a selected glass curtain wall products. That is not design.”

"Design is thinking of a great many things like how a building appears from different distances, or in this case, how to make each floor unique to the owner.” 

"In our office discussions we thought that such a significant luxury building deserved more than just being yet another glass or steel modernist box.”

"Those are 20th century ideas, and while they have served architecture well, our cities citizens, and the residents of such buildings, yearn for and deserve more. You can see evidence of this in the astounding success of buildings like Robert A.M. Sterns 15 Central Park West building in New York. Our design is taking this type of financial success and updating it for the 21st century.”

Gage’s team were interested in having high and low resolution areas on the facade, revealing different qualities depending on viewing distance, and each floor in the building would also be unique.

Despite the stark difference between Gage’s designs and those of the Manhattan's skyline, the tower - which would be built on 41 West 57th Street - could be created today.

What would have previously taken stonemasons decades, the intricate stone designs on the luxury building could be created much quicker using computer numerically controlled (CNC) technology.

Mark said: "Our primary interest wasn't symbolism as might have been the case with such sculptural forms a century ago.

"It used to be that to have sculptural stone you needed to hire stonemasons for years--so a project like Chartres Cathedral took decades.”

Nick Myall

News Editor

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