Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd.
4056 Basel, Switzerland
- 2006-2008, 2012-2017
- 2008, 2012-2017
The high-rise tower is an important ingredient within the contemporary city. However, towers have come to be defined solely by their height and, as a type, they have become anonymous. Typical residential towers, while successful in aggregating the living unit, often fail to improve upon the living environment. The multiplication of units within simple extruded shapes produces repetitive and anonymous structures with no extra benefits or architectural qualities despite the incredible densities they achieve. For those who live in these structures, this experience of sameness and repetition can be relatively unpleasant. 56 Leonard Street acts against this anonymity and repetitiveness, emanating from so many towers of the recent past. Its ambition is to achieve, despite its size, a character that is individual and personal, perhaps even intimate.
The project is conceived as a stack of individual rooms, where each room is unique and identifiable within the overall stack. A careful investigation of local construction methods revealed the possibility of shifting and varying floor-slabs to create corners, cantilevers and balconies – all welcome strategies for providing individual and different conditions in each apartment. At the base of the tower, the stack reacts to the scale and specific local conditions on the street, while the top staggers and shifts to engage with the sky. In-between, the staggering and variation in the middle-levels is more controlled and subtle, like in a column shaft.
To break-up the tendency towards repetition and anonymity in high-rise buildings, 56 Leonard Street was developed from the inside out. The project began with individual rooms, treating them as “blocks of glass” grouped together on a floor-by-floor basis. These blocks come together to directly inform the volume and to shape the outside of the tower. From the interior the experience of these blocks is like stepping into a series of large bay windows.
The strategy of stacking rooms also happens in section, creating a large number of terraces and projecting balconies. While careful to avoid directly overlooking a neighbouring apartment, these outdoor spaces provide indirect visual links between people – maybe strangers – who share the building. Aggregated together, these houses-in-the-sky, form a cohesive stack, a vertical neighbourhood, somewhat akin to New York’s specific neighbourhoods with their distinctive mix of proximity and privacy in equal measure.
The top of any tower is its most visible element and, in keeping with this, the top of 56 Leonard Street is the most expressive part of the project and relates to the tradition of iconic tower tops in New York City. This expressiveness is driven directly by the requirements of the interior, consisting of ten large-scale penthouses with expansive outdoor spaces and spacious living areas. These large program components register on the exterior as large-scale blocks, cantilevering and shifting according to internal configurations and the desire to capture specific views that ultimately result in the sculptural expression of the top.
Meanwhile, the base of the tower responds to the special character of Tribeca. This is a part of New York characterized by a wide range of building scales – from small townhouses to large industrial blocks and the ubiquitous high-rise buildings of downtown. By grouping together blocks of various sizes, including lobby, parking deck, housing amenities and a few apartments, the tower reflects and incorporates each of these neighborhood scales.
The overall appearance of the tower is very much a result of accepting and pushing to the limit simple and familiar local methods of construction. As a volume, the building has extreme proportions – at the very edge of what is structurally possible – and given its relatively small footprint, is exceptionally tall and slender. The building also shows its structural ‘bones’ and does not hide the method of its fabrication underneath layers of cladding. Instead, exposed horizontal concrete slabs register the floor-by-floor stacking of the construction process and exposed in-situ concrete columns allow the scale of the structural forces at work to be experienced from within the interior. The system of staggering and stacking is further animated through operable windows in every second- or third- façade unit. This unusual feature for high-rise buildings also allows occupants to directly control fresh air intake.
Together these different strategies – considering the tower from the inside-out, responding to local scales, and maximizing the potential of local construction systems – produce a building where only five out of the 145 apartments are repeated, giving those who will live in this project their own unique home characterized by distinct moments of individuality within the overall stack.
Herzog & de Meuron, 2016
A residential tower in Lower Manhattan features three zones in response to the architecture and street grid of the neighborhood.
The units are a composite of rooms typical of New York real estate and are grouped like pixels around a central core. The mix generates individual apartments and stories.
The combination of different types of units and precisely planned setbacks heightens the sense of perspective from the outside.
Studies for the shape and surface structure of the tower: from a square to an oval ground plan.
Variations on stacked volumes. The base of the building contains general uses and relates to passers-by; a sculpture by Anish Kapoor commands the open space next to the lobby.
The apartments are like homes in the sky, reminiscent of modernist villas. Variations in the layout of the stories allow for spacious terraces and facades set back from the
Studies for the material of the ceilings. Custom-designed kitchen, living area with fireplace, and bathroom.
The detailing of stairs and interiors echoes the oval shape of the transfer columns.
The residential tower in its urban context.
- Project Team
- Philip Schmerbeck (Associate, Project Director)
- Mehmet Noyan (Associate, Project Manager)
- Vladimir Pajkic (Associate)
- Caroline Alsup
- Iwona Boguslawska
- Marija Brdarski
- Mark Chan
- Simon Filler
- Josh Helin
- Dara Huang
- Sara Jacinto
- Jin Tack Lim
- Mark Loughnan
- Jaroslav Mach
- Donald Mak (Associate)
- Hugo Miguel Moura
- Jeremy Purcell
- Martin Jonathan Raub
- Chantal Reichenbach
- James Richards
- Heeri Song
- Kai Strehlke
- Zachary Vourlas
- Jason Whiteley
- Sung Goo Yang
- Daniela Zimmer
- Christian Zöllner
- Elias Sanez
- Alexico Group
- This project was developed in collaboration with an architect licensed in the state of New York acting as the "Architect of Record". Herzog & de Meuron is not licensed to practice architecture in New York State.
- Design Consultant : Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
- Executive Architect: Goldstein, Hill & West Architects LLP, New York, USA
- Construction Management: Lend Lease, New York, USA
- Mechanical Engineering: Cosentini Associates, New York, USA
- Structural Engineering: WSP Cantor Seinuk, New York, USA
- Specialist / Consulting
- Acoustics Consulting: Shem Wilsom & Wilke, LLC, New York, NY, USA
- Building Code Consulting: Construction Consultant Associates, New York, NY, USA
- Concrete Consulting: Reginald Hough Associates, LLC, New York, NY, USA
- Concrete Consulting: Reginald D. Hough, Rhinebeck, NY, USA
- Crane Engineer: Howard I. Shapiro Associates, Lynbrook, NY , USA
- Crane Inspector: Enso Crane Services, Kittery, ME, USA
- Energy Consulting (Schematic Design - Construction Documents): Veridian Energy & Environmental LLC, Norwalk, CT, USA
- Facade Consulting: Gordon H Smith Corporation, New York, NY, USA
- Geotechnic Consulting: Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, New York, NY, USA
- Gym Consulting: The Wright Fit, Inc., New York, NY, USA
- Lighting Consulting: Schwinghammer Lighting LLC, New York, NY, USA
- Hardware Consulting: Glezen Fisher Group LLC, Campbell Hall, NY, USA
- LEED Enhanced Commissioning Consultant (Concept Study)): Vidaris, Inc., Norwalk, NY, USA
- Parking Consulting: Philip Habib & Associates, New York, NY, USA
- Pool Consulting - Trace Pool Design: A Division of Lothrop Assoicates LLP, White Plains, NY, USA
- Stone Consulting: Swenson Stone Consultants, Ltd, Hanover, NH, USA
- Surveyor: New York Land Surveyors, PC, Staten Island, NY, USA
- Testing & Inspection Company: FTC-Future Tech Consultants, Mineola, NY, USA
- Testing and Inspection for Crane Pad: Twenty/Twenty Engineering, Brooklyn, NY, USA
- Theater Consulting: TK Theaters, Brooklyn, NY, USA
- Vertical Circulation Consulting: Jenkins & Huntington, Avon, CT, USA
- Waterproofing Consulting (Sub Consultant for Heintges): Henshell and Buccellato, Shrewberry, NJ, USA
- Wind Tunnel & Slosh Tank Consultant: Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Inc., Guelph, Ontario, Canada
- Window Washing Consulting: Entek Engineering, PLLC, Hackensack, NJ, USA
- Wood Floor Consulting: Janos P. Spitzer Flooring Consultants Inc, New York, NY, USA
- Electrical Installations: Livingston Electric Associated, I, Flushing, USA
- Lifts: Schindler Elevator Corporation, New York, USA
- Plumbing Works: Almar Plumbing & Heating Corporation, Hicksville, USA
- Terrazzo: Port Morris Tile & Marble Corp
- Appliance Supplier: PC Richard & Son L.I. Corp, Farmingdale, USA
- Electrical Installations: Con Edison Vault - Civetta Cousins, Bronx, USA
- Concrete Works (Concept Study): Sorbara Construction Corp, Lynbrook, USA
- Concrete Works: Collavino Construction Compan, Northport, USA
- Coring: United Drilling & Cutting Corp., Woodside, USA
- Drywall: Pabco Construction Corp, Farmingdale, USA
- Fire Protection (Concept Study): Federated Fire Protection, Bronx, USA
- Fire Protection (Concept Study): RAEL Automatic Sprinkler Company, Inc., New Hyde Park, USA
- Hoist & Bridge: Atlantic Hoist & Scaffold, Carlstadt, USA
- Hollow Metal Hardware: Long Island Fireproof Door, Flushing, USA
- Kitchen Fittings and Equipment: Molteni, IT, Milan, Italia
- Lighting Fixtures: Maison Lucien Gau, Paris, France
- Lighting Fixtures: PND, Brooklyn, USA
- Maintenance Rig: R&R Scaffolding, Ltd, Moonachie, NJ, USA
- Masonry: Signature Restoration Services LLC, Bronx, NY, USA
- Mechanical: R&S United Services, Inc., Amityville, NY, USA
- Millwork: Patella Woodworking, Orangeburg, NY, USA
- Millwork: Conway Hardwood Products LLC, Gaylordsville, CT, USA
- Miscelleanous Metal: MENT Brothers Iron Works Co, New York, NY, USA
- Miscelleanous Metal 'A' Package: Post Road Iron Works, Inc., Greenwich, CT, USA
- Ornamental Metal: Coordinated Metals Inc., Carlstadt, NJ, USA
- Internal Paint and Lacquer : Spectrum Painting Contractors, Scarsdale, NY, USA
- Precast Concrete Elements: Get Real Surfaces, Inc., Poughkeepsie, NY, USA
- Roofing & Waterproofing: KJC Inc., Dumont, NY, USA
- Roofing/ Waterproofing/ Temporary Roofing: Eagle One Roofing Contractors Inc., Astoria, NY, USA
- Safety: Construction & Realty Safety Group, New York, NY, USA
- Stone and Tile: V.A.L. Floors, Inc., Carlstadt, NJ, USA
- Shower Door: Jerome Aluminum Products Corp., Westbury, NY , USA
- Swimming Pool: Bradford Products, Riverside, CT, USA
- Trash Chutes & Fireplaces: Action Chutes, Patterson, NY, USA
- Testing & Balancing: Northern Test & Balance Corporation, Redding Ridge, CT, USA
- Aluminum Window Wall: Enclos Corp, New York, USA
- Wood Floor Supplier: RQ Floors Corp , Ridgefield, NJ, USA
- Wood Flooring and Carpet Contractor: Resource New Jersey , Denville, NJ, USA
- Special Collaborators
- Public Art Work: Anish Kapoor, London, UK
- Building Data
- Site Area: 12'508 sqft, 1'162 sqm
- Gross floor area (GFA): 487'508 sqft, 45'291 sqm
- Number of levels: 57
- Footprint: 10'656 sqft, 989 sqm
- Length: 125 ft, 38 m
- Width: 100 ft, 30 m
- Height: 831 ft, 253 m
- Facade surface: 328'000 sqft, 30'472 sqm
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