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Thread: 400 Fifth Avenue @ 36th St - Setai Hotel and Condo - by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates

  1. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    the windows remind me of the Delorian or some other 1970’s space theme.
    I thought the exact same thing when I first saw it. It looks like something that would be on the cover of an Alan Parsons Project album circa 1976.

  2. #47
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Community Board approves air rights transfer for 400 Fifth Avenue





    13-OCT-06

    The planned mixed-use tower at 400 Fifth Avenue on the northwest corner at 36th Street took a giant step forward last night when Community Board 5 passed a resolution that endorsed transfer of development rights to the site.

    The board voted 27 to 10 with 1 abstention last night to approve a resolution requesting the Landmarks Preservation Commission to issue a report to the City Planning Commission authorizing the transfer of 173,000 square feet of development rights from the former Tiffany Building at 401 Fifth Avenue, a landmark, to a new building planned at 400 Fifth Avenue in exchange for a preservation plan and continued maintenance plan for the landmark building.

    The proposed tower will be 631 feet 10 inches tall including a 40-foot-high mechanical space at the top of the building which will have a ribbed crown that flares outward slightly and will be illuminated at night. The tower will be setback on an 11-story base.

    Michael T. Sillerman, the co-chair of the land-use department at the law firm of Kramer, Levin, Naftalis & Frankel LLP, who represented the developer at the meeting, told the board that the base of the proposed tower will have a luxury hotel that will occupy floors 4 through 16. Floors 17 through 56 will have corner windows, unlike the lower floors, and they will contain about 360 condominium apartments. The hotel is anticipated to have almost 200 rooms.

    Mr. Sillerman said that “an additional icing on the cake” is that the developer is giving an easement to the Landmarks Conservancy to oversee the maintenance program for 401 Fifth Avenue. He also noted that the 21.6 F.A.R. (floor-to-area ratio) of the proposed tower does not produce a building much taller than an as-of-right development with “wedding-cake” setbacks.

    The 57-story skyscraper has been designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates for Bi & Di Real Estate SpA, which acquired the site in May from Tessler Developments LLC and Lehman Brothers. Tessler and Lehman had, in fact, commissioned Gwathmey Siegel to design the project. Bi & Di Real Estate SpA is based in Italy and has developed offices and resorts in Europe and Cuba and this is its first project in the United States.

    The site has been cleared for several months and had been acquired by Tessler Developments LLC from The Chetrit Group for about $150 million.

    A previous design for the site was prepared The Chetrit Group by Peter Magill of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and that called for a low-rise based topped by a rectilinear tower of about 50 stories with a highly textured façade of undulating faceted elements and slightly angled windows. The Community Board had voted against the proposed air-rights transfers in 2004 and 2005 when presented by previous owners.

    The new design retains the general massing of the previous design but makes more contextual gestures in its base to the surrounding buildings on both sides of the avenue that are quite similar in their Italian Palazzo-style architecture. The new design is also much more contextual with its own base and with the façades of the Empire State Building, two blocks to the south.

    The new design also differs from the old design in that its corner is rounded, a treatment that Gwathmey Siegel & Associates has also employed in its design of a planned new residential building at 240 Park Avenue South.

    The landmarks committee of the community board had voted to approve the resolution by a vote of 5 to 4 and the co-chairs of the committee, Layla Law Gisiko and Joyce Matz, both voted against it and argued strongly against it at the board’s full meeting. Ms. Gisiko expressed dissatisfaction with the rounded corner and noted that the landmark building already has a “preservation plan” in effect. Ms. Matz claimed that the planned tower is too big.

    The project is expected to come up for review in the future before the board’s zoning committee.


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  3. #48
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    Ms. Gisiko expressed dissatisfaction with the rounded corner and noted that the landmark building already has a “preservation plan” in effect. Ms. Matz claimed that the planned tower is too big.
    Two clueless board members. I guess that is the criterion to becoming one.

    The rounded corner on that base is what makes it more interesting than without it.

    630 feet is now considered "too big" smack-dabbed in Midtown. Amazing.

  4. #49

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    It seems that Astor Place was the architectural equivalent of a "one hit wonder" for this firm. The buildings on Greenwich Street, Park Avenue South and this one are decent at best. Nevertheless, I prefer it to the old design.

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    Is it......yellow?

  6. #51
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    Interestingly enough, I find One Astor Place to be pretty dreadful, and this building to be far superior.

    The previous renderings that were posted a page earlier had me irked. I did not like the treatment of the windows, but it doesn't seem like that design facet carried on to this version.

    I love the treatment of the base - understated and contextual. The setback is at almost the perfect height, and the tower looks well-proportioned. Best of all, it's got that post-Modern flare at the top, which works wonders for the building's verticality. I definitely think Gwathmey took some cues from Graves' project up the street.

    All in all, this building gets an A from me.

  7. #52

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    It would be nice if the facade is limestone, but I am sure that it's tan brick.

  8. #53
    The Dude Abides
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    I think we'll have to wait and see more detailed renderings. But if they use the same type of yellow-tanish brick that's used on 425 Fifth, I think it will come out looking good.

  9. #54
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    So the crown will be illuminated at night! That is awesome. I think is in a cool location and good height and will certainly be seen from distances. This is a nicer welcome to the area than that new tower across from the Empire State Building.

  10. #55
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    A pleasant surprize and finally a residential that is designed way above expectations. I think it has a tasteful base, a very nice facade and an awesome crown. Looks like its gonna go well with the ESB. A welcomed addition to the NYC skyline.

  11. #56

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    Very contextual, which is not a bad thing here. A classy building for classy 5th ave. Another 325 5th would be awful.....so this is refreshing to see. Well done.

  12. #57

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    From that rendering it looks like it belongs in Trump Place. Hopefully the zig-zagged window pattern will be more apparent in reality. Otherwise, ::yawn::
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  13. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    630 feet is now considered "too big" smack-dabbed in Midtown. Amazing.
    I tell you, these people should be shipped off to Alaska.

  14. #59

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    Gwathmey Siegel & Associates are now the basement of architects in my opinion. This building has no direction and doesn’t work as a whole, the base looks like a cheap hotel. The shaft is unforgiving and bland and the crown is cartoonish and as bad as the very worst of Michael Graves. Here is a base (cheap mediocrity), shaft (bland to the utmost degree), and a cartoon crown (plopped on top of a dull shaft with no relation whatsoever).

    Grade, F.

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post

    From that rendering it looks like it belongs in Trump Place. Hopefully the zig-zagged window pattern will be more apparent in reality.
    You'll be able to look up the ladies' skirts with those windows ^^^

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