Guest Editor: Enrico Mancini @Enrico_Mancini
Where: 425 Park Avenue, New York
What: Tower Competition
On the 3rd of October Foster+Partners was announced as winner of the highly publicized competition to replace the aging tower of 425 Park Avenue with a new world-class, sustainable office tower.
The building of a brand new skyscraper in Manhattan is something pretty exiting itself, but this particular project is peculiarly noteworthy for four specific reasons.
First of all, it’s been something like fifty years since a full block, a new tower was built in this part of the island, and, second, the area we’re talking about is Park avenue.
That’s one of the most swanky neighborhood of the United States, and we’re talking about daunting neighbors such as Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram building and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Lever House.
Furthermore the developer, L&L Holding Company, decided to spice up the game posting a series of videos that offer a fascinating insight into the buttons’ room of the company’s board during the grilling of the four archistars.
Seeing giants caliber such as Richard Rogers, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas and atte Norman Fostermpting to pitch their ideas to win one of the most high-profile competitions in recent years, is definitely a wet dream for all of you young architects out there.
Last reason of all this attention but not least is that, as said, back in October was announced that the winning tower is perhaps the most classic of the bucket; a tempered stack of three glass blocks, separated with landscape-winking terraces and all tied together with linear ribbons of exposed structural steel.
As we can gather from the footage, not only the design, the architecture itself, could shift the balance between a winning proposal to a losing one, but it’s equally how you behave aiming to woo the ones that are paying for a building that must be risk-adverse and, at the same time, a new landmark for the most famous city in the world. Sir Norman Foster, although his poor sales in architecture bookshops as compared with the other three, showed once more why he is a master, and he triumphs so often, dealing with boards of corporate bureaucrats.
It’s because he has the ability to give the impression of being completely involved in every single aspect of the work he is talking about, despite he is chairman of a almost thousand workers architectural firm.