One of the most highly anticipated skyscrapers in Manhattan’s history has finally reached its peak architectural height. Two American flags have been fastened to the top of the tower in Midtown, announcing that the full topping-out has now occurred.
This differs from the mid-June topping out event that architect Jean Nouvel attended, since that was to celebrate construction reaching the peak habitable height. Hines is responsible for the development.
Jean Nouvel is responsible for the design. The tower’s slick dark façade is decorated with a randomized diagrid pattern. The most noticeable visible element is the gold and silver-foil tipped setbacks on the eastern and western sides, which further highlight the background of excess from which the tower was borne. The golden tip has been completed, but the top of the silver tip remains to be finished. The façade is just one floor away from covering all habitable floors.
For many who love the design’s effect on the skyline, this celebration is bittersweet. Development has been underway since 2006, but in between conception and completion, the New York City Planning Commission removed 200 feet of height from the original proposal.
When YIMBY asked about the reduction in mid-June, Nouvel told us “It was very disappointing. The skyline has a rhythm and the intersection of 53rd and 6th will not be quite as prominent as it deserved, especially when you compare it with the new buildings on 57th Street. However, we are still very happy with the finished product.”
As it stands now at 1,050 feet above ground, 53 West 53rd Street is tied with the Chrysler Building and the New York Times Building as the sixth tallest in the city and 13th tallest in the United States.
Completion is still anticipated by the end of the year.