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Balconies Apartments - Italy
This 5-storey residential tower continues the practice’s investigations into the nature of the user-building interaction, exploring the dynamic between the city and its green areas. Located on the corner of Lexington and 53rd Street, it replaces the old YWCA building in Midtown Manhattan. Formally, it responds to the precedent set by two neighboring twentieth-century Modernist icons – SOM’s 21-storey Lever House of 1952 and Mies van der Rohe’s 38-story Seagram Building of 1958. The building has a simple, minimalist geometric form, it replies the boxes surrounding, and stacks them one on top of the other in various sizes and heights.
The cantilevered balconies create a dynamic rhythm to the facade and provide a series of small private gardens.
A layer of anodized aluminium mesh on top of the white walls is used as a wrapped skin on all vertical surfaces, as a continuous blurring layer, that gives different light reflections and creates shutters to the apartment windows, doors and balustrades of the terraces. The result is an elegant, light and white succession of surfaces, without any interruption or contamination by other elements: a semi-transparent dress for the shifting body of the building.
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