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First peek at Foster + Partners' US housing debut

The AJ can reveal this image of the first residential tower by Foster + Partners in the US

The 44-storey luxury apartment skyscraper will sit on the long-vacant plot at 50 United Nations Plaza north of the UN Headquarters in New York.

The practice describe the ‘polished steel’ tower as split into ‘three slender volumes’ which ‘appear faceted in elevation, visually reducing the building’s scale, while emphasising its vertical form.’

Norman Foster said: ‘The slender proportion of 50 United Nations Plaza is attenuated by the vertical stacks of bay windows, which give it a distinctive identity. From the apartments within, these bays offer spectacular views of the East River and Manhattan’s skyline.

‘The polished stainless steel detailing of the facade is in the sprit of earlier historic towers in the city and it reflects the sharp quality of light which is special to New York. The building has a strong environmental agenda combining measures to reduce energy consumption with the use of recycled materials.’

Construction work officially began today (14 November) on the high-rise project, which is backed by Zeckendorf Development with Global Holdings, and the scheme is scheduled for completion at the end of 2014.

image by dbox branding & creative.

The architect’s view

Each volume extends into a series of deep bay windows, which maximise views and broaden the elegant living spaces within. The bay windows are unified by a delicate horizontal grid of stainless steel bands, referencing the refined New York Art Deco style of nearby buildings. The tower’s jewel-like quality is further enhanced by highly reflective panels, which run vertically between each of the bays.

The bay windows reference the refined New York Art Deco style of nearby buildings

Entrance is via a bracelet of lush planting that surrounds the tower. Inside, the colour palette for the lobby is warm, complemented by granite, marble, wood and an open fire to the rear of a full-height water feature that divides the space. Every apartment is focused on the floor to ceiling bay windows and the interiors are luxurious, with generous space for entertaining. A spa in the basement incorporates a large exercise pool for residents, and the penthouse features an infinity pool, dramatically cut out from the top level of the building.

The tower incorporates a combination of active and passive environmental strategies –more than half of the facade is solid, with the rest made up of highly insulated glazing and construction will incorporate recycled materials.

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