Work on the SOM-designed Baccarat Hotel continues to move forward, with the focus shifting to cladding and interiors as the superstructure is nearly complete. With a total of 46 floors, the tower rises 610 feet – not enough to become a skyline-defining icon, but prominent enough for neighborhood visibility. The building’s height is sufficient for the upper floors to enjoy Central Park views, and – consequently – the tower pokes out of the skyscraper forest when viewed from 5th Avenue and Central Park South.
With superstructure work coming to a close, the facade continues to rise, and the first of the building’s lot-line windows are also now in place. Eventually, the bare concrete sides will be covered in black cladding, which will serve to negate any potential banality; other developers would be wise to take note, though the Baccarat Tower is a super-luxury project, which is why SOM addressed an aesthetic issue that would normally be ignored.
The tower’s glass is also superb. The actual tower is slightly off-center from the podium, which looked awkward in renderings, but in reality the juxtaposition actually enhances the dynamism of the facade. Near-perfect symmetry is sometimes better than actual symmetry, and intricacies like the Baccarat Tower’s offset base – and are what distinguish good projects from great ones, with the Baccarat Tower likely to end up in the latter category.