Room With a View: 432 Park Avenue | The B1M

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05:44   |   Sep 14, 2016


Room With a View: 432 Park Avenue | The B1M
Room With a View: 432 Park Avenue | The B1M thumb Room With a View: 432 Park Avenue | The B1M thumb Room With a View: 432 Park Avenue | The B1M thumb


  • New York has always inspired with its high-rise buildings; a city synonymous with skyscrapers
  • that gave definition to the term. But the height, engineering and design of the latest
  • building to join its skyline, is truly remarkable.
  • The building is situated on a tight site between East 56th and 57th Streets on the west side
  • of Park Avenue.
  • It shares a block with several other buildings on the former site of the Drake Hotel, built
  • in 1926 but acquired and demolished by a private developer – Harry Macklowe – in 2007.
  • The unimaginative site, sandwiched between other structures and busy city streets, is
  • actually one of the world’s most valuable pieces of land. Macklowe bought the space
  • for USD $440M and needed to maximise floor area in any new building in order to maximise
  • the return on his investment. Like most of New York’s developments, unable to go anywhere
  • else, things started moving upwards.
  • The result is a structure with one of the world’s most extreme width to height ratios
  • – just 1:15 – demonstrating just how much value has been squeezed from this relative
  • postage stamp of a site. Engineering a tower like this, is far from simple.
  • From deep foundations on Manhattan Island’s solid bedrock, two basement levels were formed.
  • From there, 432 Park Avenue begins to climb. The building’s design by Architect Rafael
  • Viñoly is said to be inspired by a Josef Hoffman wastepaper bin. It is based around
  • square geometry in its very purest form. Each side of the square floorplate is enclosed
  • by six square windows and the tower rises with uniform symmetry to its summit.
  • It reaches a staggering height of 426 meters, creating 104 apartments over 96 levels and
  • some 3,100 meters squared of floor space.
  • The wind vortex acting on a tower as thin as this could easily have created an uncomfortable
  • amount of movement for those on the highest levels. Conventionally, this would have been
  • managed with shear walls which are wider at the bottom of the building and grow narrower
  • as it rises. However, this would have reduced space and reduced external views for those
  • on lower levels, something that the project team were keen to avoid.
  • Instead they located the core in the centre of the plan and moved the rest of the reinforced
  • concrete structure – a basket grid of beams and columns – to the building’s perimeter,
  • leaving clear spans inside for maximum space and flexibility in how that space can be used.
  • To further reduce the risk of swaying, two floors in every 12 are left open so that wind
  • currents can pass through. These each contain mechanical services for the six floors above
  • and below them to reduce the amount of ductwork needed internally.
  • Two enormous tuned mass dampers at the top of the tower and in the outriggers of some
  • of the mechanical floors help to further dampen the motion.
  • The building’s reinforced concrete structure was poured in-situ using a climber rig that
  • rose up the concrete lift shafts as they were created. It was later dismantled and brought
  • down those same lift shafts running through the centre of the building.
  • Now completed, 432 Park Avenue is one of the tallest residential towers in the world. Its
  • residences range from a 33 square meter studio apartment to penthouses between the 91st and
  • 96th floors designed by Deborah Berke. Occupants can enjoy dedicated amenities including golf
  • training facilities, private dining and cinema screening rooms.
  • Aside from the Park Avenue address it’s clear that what these homes really offer is
  • a view unlike any other.
  • Looking at images like this, it’s tempting to call it priceless but that would be a mistake.
  • To take a bath here and make a home in this six bedroom, seven bathroom apartment will
  • set you back almost USD $95M.
  • Despite its impressive design and engineering feats, 432 Park Avenue has not been universally
  • welcomed by New Yorkers. Some describe it as an eyesore that casts a shadow over key
  • areas of the city; in particular Central Park. Others feel that it caters only for the super-rich
  • and represents a growing wealth divide that’s seen those on middle and lower incomes forced
  • to move out to the neighbouring suburbs and commute in.
  • The fact that New Yorkers have an opinion on the structure is testament to the impact
  • it has already had on the city’s iconic skyline.
  • 432 Park Avenue is the latest in a long heritage of high-rise buildings in this city and it
  • won’t be the last. For now at least, it has helped start the next chapter and like
  • so many before it, made its own contribution to the debate and ever-progressing engineering
  • science that drives the world’s most famous skyline.
  • If you enjoyed this video and would like to watch more like this, subscribe to The B1M.

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New York has always inspired with its high-rise buildings; but the height, engineering and design of 432 Park Avenue is truly remarkable. Fred Mills takes a look at how the tower was constructed and the incredible Manhattan views it now offers. For more by The B1M subscribe now - http://ow.ly/GxW7y

Read the full story on this video, including images and useful links, here: http://www.theb1m.com/video/room-with-a-view-432-park-avenue

This video was kindly powered by Viewpoint: http://bit.ly/2ndXSEU

Images courtesy of DBOX (Matthew Bannister and Keith Bomely), CIM Group and Macklowe Properties, Joseph Hoffmann, Doka, Richard Berenholtz and Google Maps. Time-lapse construction footage courtesy of CIM Group and Macklowe Properties.

Tuned mass damper footage courtesy of Terri Boake. Watch the amazing full video here: /watch?v=QJXThNHexJc

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