Toll Brothers’ 400 Park Avenue South is well past the halfway mark, but more notable that the superstructure’s progress is the tower’s facade, which now covers six floors – giving a real taste of what the final product will look like. The glass is crisp, clear, and reflects perfectly, a trait the development shares with the significantly-larger 150 Greenwich Street, though that’s where the similarities between the two projects end.
Unlike Four World Trade Center, 400 Park Avenue South’s form is crystalline – this results in a funhouse-like appearance to the facade, as the building’s angled walls result in a kaleidoscope of reflections. That’s not to say that 400 Park Avenue South’s appearance is less attractive than 150 Greenwich, because it isn’t – in fact, Portzamparc’s creation shows a versatile side to all-glass buildings that is rarely seen in New York, and the only true predecessors are the IAC Building, by Gehry, and the Louis Vuitton Headquarters, which was also designed by Portzamparc.
Still, 400 Park Avenue South is on another scale compared to the aforementioned projects, which are quite short. At an eventual 42 floors – and 476 feet – the development will be the largest of its kind, and the first to truly make a mark on the skyline. Its form is already striking, but the quality of the glass will add layers and depth to the project external to the building’s design – in this regard, 400 Park Avenue South will blend into the streetscape, given the tower’s ability to reflect its surroundings, while simultaneously standing out as a testament to modern architecture and the evolution of the skyscraper.
Once finished, 400 Park Avenue South will have a total of 365 units, offering a mix of rentals and condominiums, in addition to prime retail space adjacent to the 6 subway stop, at the corner of 26th Street and Park Avenue. Completion is expected in 2014.