Monday, December 22, 2008

RICH YUNG REPORT: Green Dreams on Madison Square: New York


New Yorkers are used to living amongst huge skyscrapers around Madison Square Park but they have probably never seen anything like this.

For his first New York building, Daniel Libeskind has proposed a 900+ foot, 54-story glass condo with dripping sky gardens. Libeskind’s creation would swoop up next to, and past, the 700-foot Met Life tower.

Initial designs show a glass-curtained tube with cutaways spiraling up and around the fa├žade to reveal segments of terraced verdure, like cultivated patches on the side of a steep alpine slope.

“We didn’t just fill up the tower,” the architect says. “We’ve taken space away [from the apartments] to create the gardens,” which are actually balconies tucked within the envelope. “It’s as if nature has come back into the city,” he says.

The whole project has an air of fantasy about it, but the developer is betting that the current fiscal misery will end before the approvals process does. “The assumption is that by the time construction starts, we’re going to be looking at a different economy,” Lloyd Kaplan, an Elad spokesman, says.

While the design of the New York Tower is in the embryonic stage, Libeskind said the following today via statement: “The design features a series of spiraling gardens extending the green of Madison Square along the facade of the tower. The tower is set back from its neighbors—maintaining views and maximizing light and air.” “We look forward to a continuing dialogue when the proposal enters the public review process”, he added.

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