Amanda Burden to Chop 200 Feet Off Nouvel’s MoMA Tower

The Jean Nouvel-designed skyscraper planned for next to the Museum of Modern Art is slated to lose 200 feet. The tower, developed by Hines Interests and designed to be one of the city’s tallest towers at a soaring 1,250 feet tall, is expected to receive the haircut from the City Planning Commission on Wednesday.

The commission, led by maverick Amanda Burden, is voting to drop the height on account of concerns about the quality of the design of the top, given that the uppermost floors would rise above the observation deck of the Empire State Building (which, including the base of its antenna, measures at about 1,250 feet as well).

Here’s portions of a statement read Tuesday by Edith Hsu-Chen, Manhattan director at the Department of City Planning:

“The commission notes that the proposed design of the building is exemplary and that the building … would be a strong addition to the city and its architecture.

However the commission believes that the applicant has not made a convincing argument that the design of the tower’s top, with the uppermost 200 feet of the building, merits being in the zone of the Empire State Building’s iconic spire, making the building the second tallest building in New York City.

“It appears that less attention has been paid to this portion of the building, … in particular the commission is not satisfied with attempts at incorporation mechanical equipment into the tower top, which results in a tower top with a highly visible mechanical equipment.”

We’ll have more on this later, along with another component involving restrictions on design.

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