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Viva Zapata on West 23rd

Seems the prayers of the devoted have been answered. This faceted glass condo proposed for the Ladies' Mile Historic District received a thumbs down from Community Board 5 last fall. But it recently got a thumbs up from both City Planning and the City Council. 21-stories of folding glass planes will rise at 39-41 West 23rd Street. It comes to us via Carlos Zapata Studio, who whipped up the equally heavenly Cooper Square Hotel on the Bowery. No word yet how soon this one will rise. Additional prayers might be advised.

[The Zapata plan (left, lower right) and the West 23rd St. site today]

Zapata's 90,670 sf design for Horizen Global will reach a height of 278' above West 23rd Street and 90' at the townhouse section on West 24th Street. As it twists and bends it will cantilever over the 5-story 1880 building at 37 W. 23rd and then arc back towards the north. Although the tower incremently violates various zoning regs the CPC ruled for approval, deciding that:

... the proposed building is unique in design that gently arcs back from West 23rd Street, giving it a sense of lightness and airiness ... A bit of a slapdown to the folks at CB5, who declared that:... the proposed new building significantly destroys the continuity of the elegant decorative historic street wall ... despoils the special aesthetic character of the Ladies' Mile Historic District streetscape ... will cast deep new shadows across the neighborhood ... is incongruous to the neighborhood ...Carlos Zapata doesn't give us boxes like we see rising all over town. He plays with form and shape, twisting and pushing glass and steel. The results can get some people crazy. Zapata, together with his former partner Ben Wood, busted some nuts with their futuristic re-do of Soldier Field in Chicago. Wood + Zapata also designed an ethereal looking faceted glass tower for their submission to New York Magazine's theoretical proposals for the WTC site. One of Zapata's futuristic glass towers is currently rising in Ho Chi Minh City. And now NYC is getting not one but two of Zapata's bendy edifices. Viva Carlos.

[37 W. 23rd (left) will be restored; the parking lot (right) where the tower will rise]

[Wood + Zapata's re-do of Soldier Field in Chicago]

[The Wood + Zapata 2002 design for the WTC site]

· By All That is Holy in SoFi [Curbed]
· The Matter of the Application of 23rd Street Development, LLC [CPC]
· Cooper Square Hotel Fully Revealed [Curbed]
· Seven Architects Offer their Visions for Ground Zero [New York Magazine]