Daniel Libeskind Goes Green and Somewhat Restrained

libeskind tower image

Like every New York tower that is not yet up to the third floor, Daniel Libeskind's new 54 storey tower at One Madison Avenue will probably never see the light of day. Too bad; unlike so many of his other buildings, it has some green features and a few right angles.

libeskind tower closeup image

Designboom says:
the 54-story condo building stands out from the crowd of glass towers by incorporating a series of 'sky gardens' at different parts of the building. the green spaces would be enclosed in cylindrical glass tubes at the centre of the building and cut-aways in the face would open them up to the outside. The openings also provide the condominiums in that part of the tower with balconies.

libeskind tower at night image

New York Magazine quotes the architect:

Initial designs show a glass-curtained tube with cutaways spiraling up and around the façade to reveal segments of terraced verdure, like cultivated patches on the side of a steep alpine slope. "We didn't just fill up the tower," the architect says. "We've taken space away [from the apartments] to create the gardens," which are actually balconies tucked within the envelope. "It's as if nature has come back into the city."

Right. New York also writes: "The whole project has an air of fantasy about it, but the developer is betting that the current fiscal misery will end before the approvals process does. "The assumption is that by the time construction starts, we're going to be looking at a different economy," Lloyd Kaplan, an Elad spokesman, says.

I suspect that different economy will recover much like the last one did- recycle empty office buildings into residential first, then start with modest, affordable buildings while people tiptoe back into the market, then have proposals like this at or just past the peak of the boom. It will be a while before we see projects like this again.

For the absolute apotheosis of architecture, the elevation of the New York Condo into a new, higher state of being, watch this movie. Just when we are out of money, out of jobs and out of energy, it drops from the heavens to save us. See also Condo Design Jumps the Shark

56 Leonard Street from david basulto on Vimeo.

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