First US residential tower underway for Foster + Partners

British powerhouse Foster + Partners is in the middle of construction for its first residential tower in the United States, developed by Zeckendorf Development with Global Holdings.

The 44-storey luxury apartment tower is located in the prestigious green setting of the United Nations Plaza, including views of the UN Headquarters, the East River as well as the Manhattan skyline.

Visually reducing the building’s scale, the three slender volumes of the tower appear faceted in elevation, simultaneously emphasising its vertical form.


Each volume extends into a series of deep bay windows, maximising views and broadening the living spaces within. Unified by a horizontal grid of stainless steel, the bay windows reference the New York Art deco styled architecture in the proximity.

The tower’s jewel-like quality is also enhanced by highly reflective panels, vertically running between each bay.

Incorporating a combination of active and passive environmental strategies, more than half of the façade is solid while the rest is made up of highly insulated glazing, including recycled materials.

“The slender proportion of 50 United Nations Plaza is attenuated by the vertical stacks of bay windows, which give it a distinctive identity,” said Lord Foster.

“The polished stainless steel detailing of the façade is in the spirit of earlier historic towers in the city and it reflects the sharp quality of light which is special to New York. The building has a strong environmental agenda combining measures to reduce energy consumption with the use of recycled materials.”

The project itself is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014.

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