YIMBY Scopes 53 West 53rd Street’s Perspectives Above the Midtown Plateau

53W53 from 5th Avenue, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson53W53 from 5th Avenue, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

For the second day of 2018’s Skyline Week, YIMBY has photos from the top of 53 West 53rd Street, aka 53W53, which has been talked about for longer than any other skyscraper currently under construction in New York City. The supertall has been eleven years and a controversial 200-foot height reduction in the making. The tower will yield condominiums, galleries, and a restaurant, and its kinetic dark façade matches the vibrant energy of the Midtown streets below, with crisscrossing diagrid lines careening from the base up toward the spearheaded peak. The structure is on its way to a 1,050-foot pinnacle, which will handily pierce the surrounding plateau of 700 to 800-foot rooftops.

53 West 53rd Street

53 West 53rd Street, rendering via VUW Studio

Jean Nouvel is responsible for the design, which features a distinctive dark profile covered by a bold diagrid pattern. Because of the sloping profile, the external hoist is at least twenty feet from the concrete building at the higher floors.

Looking north on the Catwalk toward the hoist and Central Park, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Looking north on the Catwalk toward the hoist and Central Park, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

This makes for an extremely death-defying catwalk, no matter the ample and abundant safety precautions.

Interior at 53W53, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Interior at 53W53, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

The influence of the diagrid and slope are evident once in individual units. The pattern articulates itself inside each residence as a unique set of angled concrete.

Central Park from 53W53, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Central Park from 53W53, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

The building’s lack of prominence on the skyline profile has not robbed it of sweeping views of the city. Perhaps most exciting are the perspectives looking North, across Billionaire’s Row, and at Central Park and the Hudson River. Progress on 111 West 57th Street is moving along steadily. Most recently, it has breached its first setbacks.

Central Park Tower, 220CPS, and One57 from 53W53, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Central Park Tower, 220CPS, and One57 from 53W53, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Looking beyond One57, 220 Central Park South is still working with an external hoist indicating significant interior work is still ongoing. Central Park Tower is continuing its steady march upward.

Looking south from 53W53, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Looking south from 53W53, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

53 West 53rd Street

53 West 53rd Street, rendering via 53W53 website

A single-bedroom residence with eastern exposure is expected to sell for $3.6 million. The most expensive unit currently listed is a $42.5 million four-bedroom spread on the 62nd floor that measures nearly 7,000 square feet.

53 West 53rd Street

53 West 53rd Street, rendering via 53W53 website

The through-block supertall will rise up 73 DOB floors, or 82 by the marketing count. 145 condominiums will result. The building will have 24-hour services, including housekeeping, pantry stocking, pet walking, laundry, and in-unit catering. Amenities will include a library, private theater, a shared lounge on the 46th floor, lap pool, wine vault, private storage, and private formal dining rooms.

MoMA's planned Expansion in progress at 53W53, image by Andrew Campbell NelsonMoMA's planned Expansion in progress at 53W53, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

MoMA’s planned Expansion in progress at 53W53, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Progress is advancing for the planned MoMA expansion as well. The institution has invested $450 million into the 50,000 square feet of new exhibition space, increasing its total footprint by 17%.

MoMA Expansion, rendering courtesy MoMA

MoMA Expansion, rendering courtesy MoMA

The new wing is expected to open in 2019. Each residence in the tower will come with a Benefactor W53 MoMA membership, including curated benefits and the chance to host private events in the museum’s Sculpture Garden.

53W53 from the base, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

53W53 from the base, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

The façade is about a dozen floors below the top floor, and the highest concrete is incredibly close to reaching the peak height. The final setback and the highest accessible floor have already been surpassed. It is shocking to see the building has not topped-out yet, despite being so close for the last few months.

53 West 53rd Street, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

53 West 53rd Street from 252 East 57th Street, captured February, 2018, image by Andrew Campbell Nelson

Photos posted in early February illustrate the lack of visible progress for such an active construction site. While construction appears to be on hold, it’s more likely at this point that energy is being focused on outfitting the extant floor-plates.

Hines, Pontiac Land Group, and Goldman Sachs are responsible for the development. Completion is expected by the end of 2018, with a possibility of 2019.

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3 Comments on "YIMBY Scopes 53 West 53rd Street’s Perspectives Above the Midtown Plateau"

  1. Please pardon me for using your space: Skyscraper never changed me with my excited. (Thanks to Andrew Nelson)

  2. Chris Becket | May 16, 2018 at 6:56 am | Reply

    What a shame the original design got the axe.

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