By Nikolai Fedak on February 26, 2015
111 West 57th Street viewed from Central Park, image by SHoP
At a recent talk for the Southern California Institute for Architecture entitled “Never, Ever, Don’t,” SHoP principal Gregg Pasquarelli discussed several of the firm’s upcoming projects, including 111 West 57th Street. JDS Development and Property Markets Group are behind the 1,420-foot tall tower, which will become New York City’s second-tallest residential building, after 217 West 57th Street.
The building recently received a slight bump to its planned height, meaning it will surpass the 1,397-foot tall 432 Park Avenue, even though the top few hundred feet of 111 West 57th Street will be solely ornamental. Describing the top, Pasquarelli stated the uppermost “200 feet of the building itself is just spire — it’s just a glass and bronze sculpture. After you get the tuned mass-damper, it literally is just a piece of art.”
While the building’s proportions will be record-setting or nearly so, at a jaw-dropping height:width ratio of 23:1, its nighttime appearance had remained under wraps until now. Down in Chelsea, the crown atop JDS and PMG’s Walker Tower (at 212 West 18th Street) offers one of the most attractive nighttime displays on the neighborhood skyline, and certainly one of the most prominent. It appears that 111 West 57th Street will borrow from the same playbook to light up the 57th Street corridor.
111 West 57th Street at night, image by SHoP
Regarding the lighting scheme, Pasquarelli stated “we’re working with L’Observatoire doing the lighting in the terra cotta itself,” and that at night, lights will be “hitting the terra cotta as it moves up the building.”
In terms of form, function, and facade, Pasquarelli said “[we] also wanted the facade to connect to the performance; it became this idea of super thick terra cotta and bronze on the side, and super open glass on the north and south.” SHoP’s plan calls for twists in the terra cotta “so that off each setback as the sun comes from the south and hits the building, you get this moire pattern of light and shadow. And the building goes up to where it’s about 14 feet wide, at the top.”
The project will have between 55 and 60 total condominiums, and completion is currently expected in 2017.