Despite its svelte silhouette, 111 West 57th Street, in New York City, has already become an icon of skyscrapers in a megapolis of skyscrapers. Its vistas of Central Park and Lower Manhattan are all there, of course; the location on the famous/infamous Billionaires’ Row, a stretch that showcases luxury high-rises such as Rafael Viñoly’s 432 Park Avenue and Christian de Portzamparc’s One57, draws attention, naturally; but, separating it from the pack is its 435-metre reach and its height-to-width ratio of 24:1, measurements that make it the second-highest in the western hemisphere, and the world’s skinniest of its kind.
This slender, 91-floor giant, constructed by SHoP Architects and also known as Steinway Tower, has an upper whose tapered, flat end brings to mind the mouthpiece of a woodwind instrument – and it is this distinct profile that has added a sharp dart in the New York skyline, a stunning creation that mixes technical prowess and the optimism of the city.
Anchored by what is said to be the strongest concrete in the world, and built around and upon the original landmarked Steinway Hall – which once housed concert halls and piano showrooms – the new structure uses terracotta tiles with bronze markings, stacked on the east and west sides like a wave during break, nodding to the material so common during the golden age of the Manhattan skyscraper. Glass-curtain walls, on the other two sides, allow for views on to Lower Manhattan, in the south, and Central Park, in the north.
Local firm Studio Sofield’s 46 luxe residences in the main building – each one of which has at least one dedicated floor – were completed late last year, as were the 14 pads for Steinway Hall, which also saw a refresh.
It is an “unmistakably and quintessentially New York” look, says firm founder William Sofield, whose historic-style interiors evoke the romance of NYC’s rich history.
Notably, there is a ‘block-long lobby sequence’ that brings together the two areas of the tower, in which you’ll find marble, velvet touches, and original Steinway Hall flooring. References to legendary architecture are immortalised in murals done in bas-reliefs of silver and gold leaves; lighting by Lasvit, a Czech design studio, provides the glow; a drinking area takes its aesthetics from King Cole Bar, a famed hangout whose grand setting once saw Marilyn Monroe and Salvador Dalí; and a 25-metre pool, and a double-height fitness centre, complete with terrace, are there to facilitate the trimming of any excess.
Apartments are focused around a central room in which vistas of the surrounds are the main draw; each also has a ‘signature great hall’ that can spread across the tower’s width. Furnishings, such as the freestanding tubs, were sourced from historic manufacturers, lending the scheme a throwback feel, meanwhile flooring in macauba stone and grey oak balances it all with a contemporary luxe touch.
Want more architectural feats? In Verbier, The Rocks Estate offers a modern take on alpine architecture…
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