Renderings bridge the gap between the fantasy in an architect’s mind and the realities of construction in New York. For condominiums and office towers that will actually rise, they showcase a designer’s talent for artful compromise. For projects that will exist only in the imagination however, renderings can ignore the shackles of cost, a developer’s demands, and, in some cases, gravity.
This year, builders unveiled a medley of showstopping glassy high-rises, office towers built with new-age materials and lively reimaginings of existing stock. Here’s a look at The Real Deal’s collection of some of the hottest.
The Big Bend
What happens when you grab two 432 Park Avenues and stitch them together in horseshoe fashion? The Big Bend, of course! The conceptual tower, which resembles the Gateway Arch in St. Louis (or a stemless tuning fork), was dreamed up by architecture firm Oiio.
“What if we substituted height with length?” Dezeen mused. “What if our buildings were long instead of tall?”
Central Park Tower
A new set of renderings for Extell Development’s project –– the priciest condominium in New York history – surfaced earlier this month — including one featuring a posh blonde and an even posher pooch. The main event, however, is the above rendering, which positions Gary Barnett’s 1,550-foot-tall tower at 217 West 57th Street among the other towers on Billionaires’ Row.
Apple Store Fifth Avenue
Let there be light: In September, Apple’s Angela Ahrendts revealed a new look for the iconic glass cube that sits atop the company’s Fifth Avenue flagship. The redesign, now underway, includes skylights embedded into the sidewalk, which let the sun’s rays dance into the subterranean space.
Kushner Companies’ proposed redevelopment of 666 Fifth Avenue grabbed headlines not just for its $12 billion valuation and its courting of foreign investors, but also for going full-tilt on the phallic imagery. The Zaha Hadid Architects-designed tower would add 40 floors to the original office building, rising to a height of 1,400 feet.
Kushner Companies is yet to lock in the capital for the project, however, so it’s unclear if it will ever come to fruition.
Another Extell project landed on this year’s roundup, thanks to Snøhetta’s design for this 775-foot limestone and bronze building set to rise at 50 West 66th Street. Extell recently tripled the height of the tower after shelling out $202 million for air rights. The project, however, isn’t winning over the entire neighborhood.
See more 2017 year end reviews here
Sharif El-Gamal’s Soho Properties offered this sneak peek of 45 Park Place in February, a 43-story condo tower that will rise 665 feet over Tribeca. The teaser site included renderings of the building’s interiors, which are designed by Italian architect Piero Lissoni, but also this one of the tower’s facade at sunset. Michel Abboud’s SOMA Architects is designing the building.
There are a lot of ostentatious projects in the works for Manhattan, so it’s refreshing to see a more subtle approach taken at Victor Group and Michael Shvo’s High Line-hugging condo project. The boutique condominium was conceived by the leather-loving Peter Marino, who envisioned a mix of metal and glass for the building’s facade. Who knew it used to be a Getty gas station?
Ekstein Development Group and Pinnacle Group launched sales at their Morris Adjmi-designed condo while debuting a slew of new renderings, including new look at the building’s glassy, geometric facade. Notable are the shots of the common areas, which show how the rectangle and triangle-shaped windows add extra pizzazz to the interiors.
Lightstone Group unveiled its design for 130 Williams Street in the Financial District just last week. The facade of the 800-foot condo tower, conceived by British architect David Adjaye, will be made entirely of concrete, a design technique employed at the city’s tallest residential tower, 432 Park Avenue.
320 and 360 Wythe Avenue
Though New York City isn’t quite ready for a timber tower, architecture and development firm Flank is taking a stab at a pair of office buildings made entirely of wood. The two structures being planned for 320 and 360 Wythe Avenue in South Williamsburg will be composed of an extremely dense type of mass timber, which strengthens the material and makes it fire-resistant. The firm is billing them as the first wooden structures to be built in the city in nearly a century.
Many of the above renderings may seem out of this world, but here’s one that actually is. New York-based Clouds Architecture Office conceived a design that would suspend the world’s tallest tower from an orbiting asteroid. That’s right, an orbiting asteroid. Residents of Analemma Tower would then parachute down to Earth to come and go as they please. Pretty far out, to say the least.