The design of East 37th Street Residential Tower, the dynamic new Manhattan high-rise conceived by the New York office of global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will, has been unveiled on the occasion of a major international honor. The new slender, 65-story building currently in design has been recognized this year with a MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Award in the Tall Buildings category, the firm’s third award of this kind.
At over 700 feet tall, the 150,000-square-foot condominium tower represents another in a series of major projects in New York City by Perkins+Will, where the firm has recently designed highly anticipated and acclaimed projects, including the programming and design services for the 3.7 million square foot United Nations Building and Lehman College’s LEED Platinum Science Building, among others.
This latest announcement of the high-rise commission by developer Nef of Turkey—and the award—showcases the firm’s innovative approach to urban architecture, with a concept specifically tailored to the Midtown Manhattan context and the client’s unique brand. Emerging from its shimmering, angled curtain wall, the building is organized with five clusters of shared amenity and park spaces for residents to enjoy, at specific intervals along the tower’s rise. This is a marked departure from other condominium towers, which use small exterior balconies or, in some cases, cluster all shared spaces in one area.
“In this way, the design of the Midtown Residential Tower creates five unique but interconnected blocks of social and community zones to foster a vertical urban community,” said Robert Goodwin, FAIA, design director for the New York office of Perkins+Will. “This adds a diverse urban landscape and various mixtures of city life to high-rise living, a dynamic and sustainable departure from typical condominium developments.”
The concept also creates an unmistakable and iconic image both at street level and on the soaring Manhattan skyline above. “This New York project is also our first to introduce our brand Foldhome abroad, a symbol of lifestyles steeped with high-quality design,” said the Nef Board Member, Erden Timur. “The design is based on life in Manhattan and the needs of the people, and it aims to bring residents a breath of fresh air and more opportunities to socialize. Turkey and Nef are proud to unveil this design and concept, a true first in the real estate industry.”
A New Landmark for New York
According to Perkins+Will, the East 37th Street Residential Tower also integrates a number of environmentally sensitive elements andtechniques to improve the quality of city life.The five open-air gardens, for example, arearranged as a series of overlapping, angled, anddiverse spaces all within easy reach—four stories maximum—from any given condominium unit.
“The idea is to create a new kind of communal ecosystem of social relationships within a thin tower design,” said Scott Allen, an associate architect and designer with Perkins+Will. “Rather than giving residents small, almost unusable balconies as seen in many towers, they will enjoy big community terraces that are the kind of social and interactive spaces in high demand today.”
Each community space features a variety of amenities, from event rooms, a chef’s table, private yoga studio, art room, exterior Jacuzzi, fitness room, terraced gardens, an outdoor cinema, observatory, and at the tower’s top level, an infinity pool and roof terrace garden. Wind speeds, which can be high in upper floors of tall buildings are controlled by architectural screening and outdoor space configuration.
The structure and organization of the tower are equally innovative. Aimed at a completely flexible and adaptable floor plate, the entire structural system is shifted to the exterior perimeter and arranged in a thin, 17-inch by 19-inch steel diagrid with a concrete core.
“This hybrid steel-and-concrete structure allows for flexibility in unit layout and reduces the overall thickness of the interior elevator core by about 50 percent,” said Goodwin. It also eliminates the need for corner columns and allows a slender diagrid size of less than two feet, giving the developers a novel and dynamic yet highly economical response way to integrate the exterior glass curtain wall.
In a win for the client, said Allen, the exterior area for each terrace does not incur a penalty against the building’s overall zoned floor-to-area ratio, or FAR. As a unique response to New York City by integrating the elements of a diverse urban landscape and various mixtures of city life, this major new project creates a modern example of a dynamic, iconic, and sustainable building, and “a beacon of ideal, yet responsible urban development,” Perkins+Will has declared.
“This is the first project in Manhattan by a famous Turkish developer,” said Cagri Kanver of Turkey and CIS Regional director for Perkins+Will. “Nef has a unique concept for residential development in Istanbul and Europe.”
The MIPIM Awards jury agreed. For this, its 26th edition, the MIPIM Awards organizers received more than 2,400 submissions from 22 countries, from which 155 projects and products have been earned the prestigious honors. In addition to Future Projects and Tall Buildings, award categories include Best Hotel & Tourism Resort, Best Innovative Green Building, Best Office & Business Development and Best Shopping Center, among others.
International Laurels, a Third Time
The 2015 honors for East 37th Street Residential Tower are from MIPIM, an international real estate organization, in conjunction with the influential London magazine The Architectural Review, “celebrate excellence in unbuilt or incomplete projects spanning across twelve categories” from around the world. Future Project Awards go to building projects with “a strong focus on creativity” and are considered “examples of fine architecture [that] have also responded to the client’s development brief, and considered the way in which they will impact and contribute to the community around them.”
This year’s award is the third such MIPIM award for Perkins+Will in six years, which has also won the same Future Project Award honors for its Sail Tower hotel and residential project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2009 and the Al-Birr Foundation Headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 2010. The latest winners of the internationally renowned real estate competition, the MIPIM Awards, will be presented and displayed during the MIPIM world property market, taking place from March 10-15, 2015 at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France.