The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Friday, 29 May 2015 00:00cat

MoMA Tower to be Newest Addition to New York Skyline

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MoMA Tower to be Newest Addition to New York Skyline NewYorkNews

Construction has started on one of Manhattans newest skyscrapers. Located at 53 W. 53rd St. the MoMA Tower, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, is to be completed sometime in 2018. Featuring a tapered profile with a roofline staggered across three irregular levels, the 1050-foot tall (82-storey) structure will house 139 apartments and is Nouvel’s first skyscraper in NYC. The tower will also have new public gallery spaces on the second, fourth and fifth floors, into which the neighboring Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will expand its galleries.

Unlike most buildings, which hide support columns within their interiors, 53W53 will have a diagrid, or a network of exposed braces, incorporated into the sloping glass façade. Inside the structure the windows tilt inward and columns traverse fenestrations at a slant. As the tower tapers each floor shrinks roughly two feet.

“Can you imagine?” said David Penick, the New York-based director for developer Hines, which is building the project with Goldman Sachs Group and Singapore-based Pontiac Land Group. “As the walls taper up, you can’t even keep the same basic plan. You have to move a bathroom or a kitchen. It’s very complicated.”

The project forms part of a wider expansion plan by the museum that also includes the controversial demolition of the American Folk Art Museum by US architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien.

Planned since 2006, the project endured the real estate bust and global financial crises that significantly decreased the demand for luxury homes.

“We’re very eager to begin,” said David Penick. “We’re confident in what we have to sell in the market we’re in, and we’ll see how it goes.”

“53W53 will be one of the most architecturally significant skyscrapers ever build in NYC,” continued Penick. “53W53 also shares a special connection to the Museum of Modern Art, one of the most respected cultural institutions in the world.”

The building initially was intended to stand at 1,250 feet, however, due to concerns that the structure would cast a shadow over Central Park it was approved by the City Council at 200 feet shorter. There is also some concern that the mid-block location of the tower will cause traffic problems.


Sources: New York Times, Bloomberg, Dezeen, wikipedia

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