New York Gets A New Herzog and De Meuron Residential Tower
When I received this press release almost a week ago, I thought to myself: I have to write about this immediately! I was so excited to see another commission for Herzog and De Meuron, famed Swiss architects, in New York City. I have visited 50 Bond Street in the Bowery many times and stood there slack jawed that such a bold building could actually be built here in this country. Now, I will witness a new building, now under construction in Tribeca, that will push the boundaries of what people thought possible in a 57 story sky scraper.
About this building: It is for the rich. Each unit is a completely unique configuration. No unit repaeats. The prices start at $3.5 million and work their way up to $33 million for the penthouses. The beauty of the building is its unique integration with the exterior. The inside and the outside, in many ways, become one on each floor of this building.
For those who are not multi-millionaires, we can still enjoy the exterior of the building which will feature a form that is not unlike a rickety house of cards. It defies laws of gravity, seemingly, which give it a character on the skyline that might be called post-apocalyptic. This is not a bad thing, though. It’s just something that has never really been seen before. Only time will tell of its success. I’m just happy it will be built. In an architects dream, one can image neighbors on different floors interacting with each other as new adjacencies are created never seen before in high rises. In reality, the form could lead to ever-increasing condo lawsuits as the innovated design is seen as an invitation to peeping toms. Is that too cynical?
One last thing about Herzog & De Meuron that I like to tell people about: They were fired by my own alma matter for not putting a red tile roof on top of their museum design. This happened at the University of Texas where there are a number of prominent Swiss-loving architecture professors who had suggested them for a new museum. As the story goes, H&DM were hired. At the time they had no reputation in the U.S. The design they gave the University was beautiful and modern, but did not meet the red tile roof design requirement for that part of campus. The University and H&DM were at an impasse. Eventually, the architects were fired. Since then, Herzog & De Meuron have gone on to design some of the world’s most prominent contemporary buildings such as the Bird’s Nest in Beijing and the Tate Museum in London. I can only hope that the officials at the University of Texas have recognized their foolish decision to fire this duo.