TRD documentary on Manhattan’s most prolific architect, Costas Kondylis, debuts

May 11, 2011 03:38PM

Images from “Building Stories” include, from left to right starting at the top, Costas Kondylis, Kondylis-designed Riverside South, Donald Trump, Richard Meier and Larry Silverstein, Aby Rosen, Kondylis-designed Atelier and Kondylis

Manhattan’s most prolific architect will get the big-screen treatment in the premier of a new documentary by The Real Deal tonight.

The film, “Building Stories,” about the career of architect Costas Kondylis, who has added more than 86 towers to the New York skyline yet has remained relatively unknown to the general public, is airing as part of an invite-only event at the Morgan Library in Midtown.

Developer Donald Trump, who has hired Kondylis for many of his buildings, is slated to introduce the film. Renowned New York journalist and novelist Peter Hamill will also give a talk. The event is expected to draw more than 750 people.

The documentary features interviews with real estate bigwigs like Trump, developer Larry Silverstein, “starchitect” Richard Meier, developer and financier Aby Rosen and others.

Kondylis’ career tells the story of how the city’s skyline was built up, through booms and busts, over the last three decades. The movie also looks at the tension between art and commerce in the shaping of the skyline, and how the artistic vision of architects sometimes wins out, but oftentimes the bottom line of the developer prevails.

Among Kondylis’ record number of buildings is Trump World Tower, the tallest residential tower in the world when it was completed in 2001.


The Real Deal’s
publisher, Amir Korangy, is the executive producer of the documentary. The film was directed by Toni Comas. The Real Deal’s editor-in-chief, Stuart Elliott, wrote the script.

Later this month, check out The Real Deal’s website for more information about the film’s public release date. TRD