Will OMA’s 23 East 22nd Street Ever Leave the Drawing Board?

The lot at 23 East 22nd Street has sat vacant for quite some time now, with no signs of activity. Although Rem Koolhaas and OMA have designed a futuristic and almost otherworldly tower for the site, it appears that Koolhaas’s design will not be built.

Cantilevered Tower Midtown South
23 East 22nd Street, Image via World Architecture News from OMA

Whether that’s a good or bad thing is open to discussion, given the building’s form. Koolhaas is known for avant-garde work, and 23 East 22nd is no exception to the rule. The building is actually cantilevered over its neighbor, appearing as if it’s leaning quite severely.

In some renderings, it looks as if 23 East 22nd is actually peeking around One Madison Park, its taller and skinnier next-door neighbor.

Rem Koolhaas Residential Manhattan
23 East 22nd Street, Image via World Architecture News from OMA

If built, 23 East 22nd would be one of the most extreme examples of cantilevered architecture in the city. It certainly isn’t that large, at only 335 feet and 24 stories. The tower would serve as a welcome exercise in modern design, and the residences look luxurious as well.

The condominiums at the top of the building have floor-to-ceiling windows that would provide spectacular views over much of Lower Manhattan. Only 16 units would be built as well, meaning they would all be enormous and making the project extra exclusive. Unfortunately, 23 East 22nd seems like it will never leave the drawing board–a shame in a city that’s becoming increasingly saturated with boring and unimaginative designs.

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