New York City residents have long been aware of the trend toward “skinny” skyscrapers. Buildings like Rafael Viñoly’s 432 Park Avenue and SHoP’s 111 West 57th Street are noted for their high height-to-footprint ratios and even higher rents. Herzog & de Meuron’s sleek new luxury tower at 56 Leonard Street in TriBeCa certainly fits the skinny skyscraper bill, although the striking arrangement of its top floors wards off any suggestion of conformism.
The residential tower, which is nearing completion, is 821 feet (250 meters) tall and 57 stories high. Its stacked, cubic design has earned comparisons to Jenga blocks. This is most apparent near the top, which features 10 penthouses stacked in a staggered arrangement that allows for 200-foot wraparound views. The irregular pattern of the stacked volumes breaks down the monolithic nature of the skyscraper, lending the luxury glass edifice a more human scale.
Residents of 56 Leonard Street will enjoy amenities such as a 75-foot swimming pool and a fitness center. They will also be living in the heart of one of Manhattan’s most desirable downtown neighborhoods.
Construction of 56 Leonard has not been an easy road. After the financial crisis of 2008, building halted for four years before resuming in 2012. Penthouse sales launched in March 2013, but residents will not be allowed to move in until later this year. As of May 11, all but two of the building’s 145 units were under contract.