As Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed re-zoning of Midtown East progresses through City Planning, we now have the first concept renderings of what could eventually rise as a result of the effort. Per The Wall Street Journal, The Municipal Art Society of New York requested renderings of what could eventually rise adjacent to Grand Central from several architectural firms. SOM’s proposal is definitely revolutionary.
|SOM’s Plan for the Midtown Re-zoning, Image from SOM via The Wall Street Journal|
The key facet of SOM’s vision (the key word!) is a halo-like observation ring between two supertall skyscrapers on both sides of Grand Central Station. Apparently, the observation ring would actually be designed to move up and down over the course of the day, giving those visiting a range of different views, which would be truly amazing.
The super-tall buildings appear to be roughly 1,200 feet in height which actually isn’t that impressive, but the plan is still just a vision. If the re-zoning passes as proposed, buildings in the special Grand Central district would be eligible to build up to 30 times the area of their land (floor-to-area ratio), which is also the highest density permitted as part of the Hudson Yards re-zoning. Buildings could certainly rise taller than 1,200 feet, and even 432 Park Avenue–being built before the zoning change–will reach 1,398 feet.
One thing is for sure, and that’s the fact that SOM has managed to one-up KPF in terms of awesome observation platforms. Renderings of KPF’s observation deck at the top of the Hudson Yards North Tower were recently released. Though that platform is also fantastic, it really can’t compare to the one produced by SOM, although it’s much more likely that KPF’s platform actually is built.
|KPF’s Hudson Yards North Tower with observation deck, Image from Visualhouse via NY Mag|