Though it appears that demolition preparations have been put on hold for Tower Fifth, a proposed 1,556-foot-tall office skyscraper by Macklowe Properties, a new batch of renderings offers greater detail on the structure, which would become New York City’s tallest by roof height. Gensler is speculated to be the designer of the supertall project, which is located along East 51st Street between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue, directly to the north of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Recent photos show the two low-rise structures that were slated for demolition still standing between Olympic Tower to the west and the Look Building to the east. Both are largely vacated with the exception of the Consulate General of Venezuela at 7 East 51st Street.
The following renderings illustrate how Tower Fifth will rise from the parcel. The main lobby at ground level will feature a through-block hallway lined with white marble spanning the depth of the lot. In a striking design flourish, the tower will sit atop a narrow pedestal that rises nearly 400 feet above the street, higher than the spires of the nearby cathedral. The balancing of the tower above this pair of structural cores calls to mind the architecture of the Citigroup Center.
The main portion of the tower then features a regular grid of windows measuring about 15 feet wide with nine in a row on the northern and southern sides and 13 on the eastern and western. The podium would house the entrances to the elevator cores, a retail and food market in the cellar levels, an atrium that spans the whole height, expansive seating areas, and a three-story auditorium.
Going up the structure are floor plates spanning 19,800 gross square feet with column-free floor plans and a line of windows much like the fenestration of 432 Park Avenue. The eighth floor would house a wellness center with an indoor swimming pool and running track, while the 40th floor would house a sky lobby.
The most notable detail of Tower Fifth is the planned observatory, called “Sky of The Americas,” that will sit 1,451 feet high, making it the highest such attraction in the United States and the second-highest in North America, only 14 feet lower than the CN Tower’s upper observation deck. Renderings show a large open-air platform, a restaurant with a wrap-around floor-to-ceiling glass wall, and a vertigo-inducing rectangular U-shaped glass floor like the protruding Skywalk at Grand Canyon. Another interesting feature is a pair of tubular glass slides that spiral down multiple stories, taking visitors out over the side of the building. Also planned inside would be a chapel and a roof sculpture garden.
No word on when demolition of the existing small buildings will resume and construction of Tower Fifth will begin.