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JENGA! Herzog & de Meuron's 56 Leonard Revealed

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To those who say New York's building boom is coming to an end, least it's going out with a bang! Last week brought us the reveal of Dutch starchitect Rem Koolhaas' eagerly-anticipated condo building at 23 East 22nd Street just south of Madison Square Park, and today brings the long-awaited debut of Swiss starchitects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron's condo tower at 56 Leonard Street in Tribeca. It has been almost a full year since we revealed that Herzog & de Meuron would follow up 40 Bond in New York with their first residential high-rise building, a 57-story project developed by the deep-pocketed Alexico Group at the corner of Leonard and Church Streets. In that time, the firm's stock has soared to new heights, thanks to the celebrated design of Beijing's Bird's Nest stadium. And so, the official unveiling of this 145-unit skyscraper is garnering local and international headlines.

The concept is "houses stacked in the sky," and each apartment will have a unique floorplan as well as its own private outdoor space. The outcome is a mish-mash of cantilevers that the architects describe as a "pixelated vertical layering" look. The building is broken up into five "zones" from bottom to top: lobby, "townhouse" residences, amenities spaces, tower residences and penthouses, of which there are 10. Amenities will include a 75-foot swimming pool with adjoining sun deck, screening room, children's play room, library and more. The double-height lobby will be sheathed in black granite.

The apartments themselves will range in size from 1,430 square feet to 6,380, all two- to five-bedroom spreads priced from $3.5 million to $33 million. Herzog & de Meuron handled all the interior details, from the 12-foot glass doors that lead to the outdoor spaces, to the handrails on the balconies, to the champagne-colored window mullions, to the piano-like dining island to the massive floor-to-ceiling fireplace hearths. In fact, the only thing the architects seemingly didn't have a hand was is the outdoor sculpture designed by British artist Anish Kapoor specifically for 56 Leonard. Seen in the above gallery of renderings, the metallic orb looks like Kapoor's Chicago Cloud Gate rolled into Tribeca and got caught under the building's base. Squish!

Corcoran Sunshine will be handling the sales, and the sales office is expected to open later this week. Occupancy is scheduled for late fall 2010. The downtown skyline rendering seen up top conspicuously omits Robert A.M. Stern's 80-story 30 Park Place tower currently under construction (and maybe even Frank Gehry's Beekman?), but we're most curious about how 56 Leonard will impact another new Tribeca luxury condo building, Five Franklin Place. All of a sudden, Ben van Berkel's bendy black ribbons make up the second most avant-garde apartment building within two blocks. That's gotta bruise the ol' ego.
· 56 Leonard [Official Site]
· All Curbed 56 Leonard Street coverage [Curbed]

56 Leonard St

56 Leonard Street, Manhattan, NY 10013