Jenga Tower Adds To New York Skyline

"...Every floor is different to one another as the tower intertwines and shifts with its metaphorical likening to a game of Jenga all too accurate..."

New York City is a hub of millionaires and billionaires – reported to be close to 400,000 of the both – and such a demographic is really redefining the cityscape and its residential offering. A highly ambitious architecture project that has been designed by Herzog & de Meuron and features a sculpture by Anish Kapoor, this tower can be found at 56 Leonard Street, Tribeca (New York) and is certainly setting the bar very highly for aspirational American homes. Made up of a series of translucent cantilevered boxes, the tower is providing the perfect sculptural anchor-point for the neighbourhood, one that already boasts a coveted array of internationally acclaimed restaurants, festivals and events, and luscious riverside parks. Adding to the area’s rich architectural setting that includes many galleries, museums and public art, Herzog & de Meuron’s design ideas for the tower was to create a cultural focal point of lower Manhattan.

Surrounded by people of international origin, and within an area of one of the world’s most desired neighbourhoods, 56 Leonard Street is certainly worth a visit. Designed with only five of its 145-strong apartments identical to one another, Herzog & de Meuron’s tower also includes ten generous penthouses that each have ample amounts of living space, not to mention their 60 metres worth of continuous window offering. Every floor plan on every floor is unique as the tower intertwines and shifts with its metaphorical likening to a game of Jenga all too accurate. The Jenga-like nature of the tower has enabled private and semi-private balconies to be irregularly located up the tower, where the inside / outside relationship of every home is really well designed. Each apartment is aligned so that it has its own panoramic view of Lower Manhattan, and its almost haphazard facade nature is interesting for both the architecturally trained and the general eye.

If the luxurious setting, views and neghbourhood aren’t good enough to put your pennies-worth deposit down, the tower also includes resident’s amenities on the 9th and 10th floors that include a theatre that interacts with the outdoors, a 75-foot (23-metre) long infinity swimming pool, library lounge, yoga studio, private dining salon, fitness suite and a conference centre. Of particular note, the swimming pool area is coupled with a landscaped sundeck and hot tubs that cantilever over the streets below. Everything sounds all very imaginative and unachievable.

As Justin Davidson of the New York Magazine explains, the tower is “…the most alluring addition to the downtown skyline in decades,” and as such, the Financial Times reported that a duplex with a size of 7,800sq ft sold for $47m, a “…record price for a condominium south of Midtown Manhattan.” 56 Leonard Street really does exemplify the most prestigious of Manhattan’s billionaire buyers.

Seemingly original, irregularly stacked block designs are actually becoming a trend in the field of architecture with another example within New York City being Foster + Partners’ proposals for their Two World Trade Center skyscraper, though not to take anything away from this Jenga tower of course.

Discover more about the architect’s other work at HerzogDeMeuron.com.

New York's Signature Style

As cities worldwide aim to manage vertical development harmoniously, New York is setting the trend of needle-like buildings and other super-slim architectural strategies to continue the rise of Lower Manhattan.

(Photography Credit : 56LeonardTribeca.com)

9.5 Design
9.5 Originality
7.5 Culturality
8 Context
8.6

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