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Thread: 50 West Street - by Helmut Jahn

  1. #601
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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    The new gems get hidden.

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  3. #603
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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  4. #604
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    A Conversation With Helmut Jahn, the Architect Behind One Liberty Plaza in Philadelphia

    JAN. 20, 2015

    Q. What kind of year was 2014?

    A. It was a little tougher, but toward the end everything turned out O.K. We worked on some big projects in the Mideast, in China, and we just started some interesting projects in Europe.

    Q. How many projects are you working on?

    A. Active, maybe about 10.

    Q. Letís talk about one of them ó 50 West, your first project in New York in more than 20 years.

    A. Yes, I think the last building we finished was 720 Lexington Avenue.

    Itís about 790 feet, and obviously a long time in the making. We started in 2006 and they wanted to start construction, and they actually did. There was some foundation work and then the crisis came. Then Francis ó Francis Greenburger of Time Equities ó changed it. He made it more on the luxury side. We made the floor-to-floor height bigger; we had bigger apartments; and we had to adjust the building with a new code.

    Q. Well, the market has changed a lot since 2006.

    A. Yes, itís a luxury market. And I think people will see when the building goes up the facade is exquisite. The facade is stainless steel. It has a very transparent glass so it lets a lot of light in, and the corners of the building are huge sheets of curved glass. The stainless steel gives it a little different texture. Closer to the ground it gets more flat. As the building rises, it becomes more reflective.

    The idea is always that a building like this in a particular light merges with the sky. The building is on a very small site, and has a very small footprint. There was a requirement from a planning point of view, which we fully supported and were actually happy about, that we had to provide a plaza on the ground floor. And thatís actually why the building toward the base, it pulls in its belly and it slopes so that the urban space is adequate and a required size.

    Even now with the building about eight stories up you can see that itís very dynamic and elegant.

    Q. When is the building scheduled to be completed?

    A. I think the building is going to be done by the middle of í16.

    Q. Did its proximity to the World Trade Center influence your design?

    A. The buildings we did in Midtown ó all those office buildings ó there was a totally different intent. In this tight context of Manhattan, I was very interested in making a reference to the traditional New York buildings. But they also make a statement about a different time. In the neighborhood of the World Trade Center, the height of the tower is close to 800 feet, which makes it essentially a part of it. And we felt that this is now not the old New York ó this is the new New York. And thatís why this building is of a totally different language.

    Q. Itís also a more technical building.

    A. We had, by that time, advanced. We got familiar with new technologies ó technologies about all the parts that make a building. We were interested in the performance of buildings, and improving the living conditions.

    What can you do in an apartment building? Higher heights, more glass, which gives you more daylight, which makes the space brighter. We have glass now that almost performs like an insulated wall. The glass is not as dark anymore or as reflective. The glass is more transparent, but it doesnít let the unwanted solar energy go through and insulates better.

    You live healthier and not have the heating or air-conditioning on all the time. Youíve got to let the building do some of the work.

    Q. Will you be buying a condo there?

    A. No, I already have a place, on 59th and Park Avenue.

    Q. How would you describe your architectural style?

    A. The style, especially since the mid- to late-í90s, we actually describe as archi-neering ó a combination of architecture and engineering. We believe that integration drives the performance and the quality of the building, and at the end it determines the aesthetic.

    Q. Do you have anything else planned in New York City?

    A. I canít talk about it, but I just had a presentation. Itís not a very big building, but I think a very important building. Itís a residential building combined with some other.

    Q. Whatís your outlook for 2015?

    A. I think weíre going to be a lot busier. One of the most interesting projects is a master plan in Ufa, Russia, around three hours east of Moscow. Weíre doing a master plan for 15 million square feet. Eighty percent is housing ó housing of a totally different caliber than what weíre doing here. And thatís why I found it very interesting. The typical size of the apartments is 230 to about 800 square feet, and the 800-square-foot apartment is a three-bedroom. Itís more difficult to do that right than to build something expensive where somebody says it doesnít matter what it costs.

    Q. What do you do in your spare time?

    A. Iíve been sailing competitively for about 12, 13 years. We have six or seven regattas a year. Two years ago we were the world champions on Lake Michigan.

  5. #605


    this office building by Murphy/Jahn in Singen, Germany is very good.

    Recent shot of 50 West St.

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    Last edited by asg; February 7th, 2015 at 11:17 AM.

  6. #606
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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    Quality glass is important here.

  7. #607
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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  8. #608


    Quote Originally Posted by Tectonic View Post
    Quality glass is important here.

    Anyone know who is supplying the curtain wall here?
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  9. #609


    My guess would be Sotowall: but I do not "know". We need to hear from member 'MrGlass' : he would know - but has not posted in awhile....

  10. #610


    Some recent publicity courtesy of the NYTimes.

  11. #611


    Quote Originally Posted by asg View Post
    Some recent publicity courtesy of the NYTimes.
    I enjoyed that article - Mr. Petroni needs to me our own Mr. Glass, they have a lot in common.
    Last edited by infoshare; March 17th, 2015 at 04:26 PM.

  12. #612


    New York Yimby strikes again, with glass!

    So far so good--it looks like what the Goldman Sachs tower wishes it was.

  13. #613


    Alright I'm officially excited:

    And not to leave a sour taste in anyone's mouth but here's 90 Washington next door:

  14. #614


    That smooooth, and curvy glass facade is very attractive: this one is really exciting. I need to get back to the upper levels of that parking garage and take some more of my crappy cell phone photos......LOL

  15. #615


    Any news on what they're doing to 90 Washington?

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