Anish Kapoor’s Long-Awaited Bean Sculpture at 56 Leonard Street Gets Outlined, in Tribeca

Lobby View of the sculpture to come, rendering by Anish Kapoor

Currently the tallest skyscraper in Tribeca is 56 Leonard Street, designed by Herzog & de Meuron. Its cantilevered balconies have created a distinctive and new architectural icon for Lower Manhattan. With the building complete, residents get to enjoy uninterrupted views of the Financial District to the south and the Midtown skyline to the north. But while most eyes are looking up at the Jenga-esque structure, something just as exciting was recently spotted down at street level.

Orange-colored arrows spray painted on the sidewalk along with a continuous curvilinear outline have showed up in front of the skyscraper, next to the main lobby of the development. This can only mean one thing, the Anish Kapoor metallic bean-shaped sculpture will (finally) arrive and on-site installation will hopefully begin sometime soon.

Recent photos show the dashed outline of the art installation’s future home.

Multiple arrows and a continuous dashed line have been spotted on the sidewalk at the corner of Church Street and Leonard Street. Photo by Michael Young

Looking east towards Church Street. Photo by Michael Young

Looking west towards the main lobby. Photo by Michael Young

Looking towards the building. The two concrete columns will eventually be enclosed by the sculpture. Photo by Michael Young

The outline is the only part of the sculpture that will make physical contact with the sidewalk. The shape of the art piece will bulge outwards in all directions and span an even larger amount of space in the air. The two large concrete columns seen in the last photo will eventually be hidden within the installation itself. It’s definitely possible they could act as two large anchoring supports for the structural framing of the reflective bean. This will be Anish Kapoor’s first permanent art installation in New York City. One of his works, a whirlpool called “Descension” was temporarily set up in Brooklyn Bridge Park two years ago.

As for an exact start and completion date for this future Tribeca icon, no announcements have been formally made yet.

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22 Comments on "Anish Kapoor’s Long-Awaited Bean Sculpture at 56 Leonard Street Gets Outlined, in Tribeca"

  1. I’m sure Kapoor’s sculpture will be fabulous, but this extensive article with multiple photos of dots on the ground is a bit um, underwhelming.

  2. Please pardon me for using your space: My mother haggles over the price of clothes, but progress from you I was not haggling over evidence that I’ve seen. (Hello YIMBY)


  4. Nice. I didn’t realize this was even still part of the plan for this building.

  5. Patrick C Valentino | March 4, 2019 at 10:19 am | Reply

    I think my dog’s pee photo bombed your pic, off to the right.
    Seriously this is great but I am wondering about that retail space. The street seems a bit dead there with the grumpy doormen.

  6. I’ll withhold final judgment until this thing actually shows up, but all signs indicate total garbage.

    • But no one cares of your judgement. Let those who enjoy it, enjoy it. Find something you enjoy and be happy for and leave the wonderful art to those of us who can’t wait for its installation! There are other blocks, or boroughs you can walk on!

      • What makes it wonderful? I’d love to hear you convince me. I realize many are quite narrow-minded but in this case I just see a wasted opportunity and some strangely enthusiastic people, who I presume were involved in the design/selection.

  7. What a complete waste of money Shameful. Its not even attractive

  8. elliot reisman | March 4, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Reply

    taking valuable street space that pedestrians need.All of the designer buildings will put many more people on the street, and where pray tell are they supposed to walk?How will an antiquated transit system that is overcrowded now be able to take more riders? In the near future central park will be in shadows all day long All the architects are salivating over their latest ,tallest , residential tower ,but where will people walk and travel about town?The greed of these people have already destroyed most of the city. It won’t be long before people will leave the city en mass Do we have city planners? or just rubber stampers of papers.

    • BadArchitectureInNYC | March 4, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Reply

      ER – I’m not sure what’s worse, your ideas or your punctuation.

    • What do you mean where will people walk?? Anywhere they want, there’s more than enough space to walk in this neighborhood! These accompanying photos reveal that the sidewalks are nowhere near saturation points regarding pedestrians – not even close! Go ahead, count the pedestrians.

    • Money (aka “greed”) BUILT this city. You want it trapped in amber to satisfy your desire for late-19th/early-20th century typologies. This city needs to change and grow. We need to build to justify an improved transit system. You’ve got a major cart/horse problem.

  9. David in Bushwick | March 4, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Reply

    This building could have been so much better. There seems to be no good explanation for the wide, white-framed operable windows located throughout the continuous window walls. They look like vinyl replacements after a wind storm. And then there are the uppermost, heavy floors that simply cantilever too far indicating the architects didn’t appreciate the view of computer models from below. The window frames can be fixed…

    • It’s a stunning building for those who can afford it! Beautifully done and top notch service from staff. Amenities are in line and the architecture is something you can admire from outside of our wonderful island – I love when buildings are so amazingly done you can spot them from great distances!

  10. So the tenants will have to fight their way through a scrum of selfie-taking, Instagramming tourists every time they enter and leave their homes? Is there a secret door for the owners of the $47million penthouse so they don’t have to mix with the hoi polloi?

    • David in Bushwick | March 6, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Reply

      Nobody really lives there.

      • Wow. Check out the lobby of the building on a Thursday afternoon at 5pm. Sure are a lot of people streaming in and out that look like they live here. Strollers, families. Pretty nice place to live. I’m looking forward to finally getting the sculpture.

  11. Ugly public art for a building with an even uglier facade.

  12. What a waste of time ?Picture of a punctured pavement! Kapooooosh to you Sir !

  13. Wow! A lot of negativity over a very interesting building, of which we’ve seen little lately. I’m happy to see the building and the sculpture.

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