Just over a month ago, across the globe, those not in tune with the world of fine architecture might have not heard of Herzog & de Mueron. That changed during the unprecedented opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics, when the firm’s astounding Beijing National Stadium, dubbed the Bird’s Nest, took stole the athletes’ spotlight. The stadium effectively redefined the standard sports stadium, and no other arena in the world could come close to comparing to its amazing beauty.
Herzog & de Meuron has now set its sites on redefining the American skyscraper. Construction has begun on 56 Leonard Street, a 57-story residential condominium designed by HDM. The Tribeca building will house 145 residences, each with its own unique floor plan and private outdoor space.
The architects refer to the space as “houses stacked in the sky.” With articulated surfaces, dramatic cantilevers, profiled slab edges, profusion of balconies, expanses of glass, and views from downtown Manhattan to the Atlantic, 56 Leonard Street is set to be an example of the iconic American skyscraper re-envisioned as a pixilated vertical layering of individually sculpted, highly customized private residences.
The building will appear to rest on a reflective stainless steel sculpture created by London-based artist Anish Kapoor. The enigmatic balloon-like form will create a new cultural landmark in Tribeca and mark the artist’s first permanent public work in New York. Occupancy for the building is anticipated for fall 2010, with prices ranging from $3.5 million to $33 million.