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Selldorf Designing Faceted-Facade Tower Facing the WTC

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UPDATE: Selldorf reps wrote in to say the firm is not working on the 22 Thames project. Which leaves us with two mysteries: who is working on the 22 Thames project, and what project are the renderings on Selldorf's site for?

Six months ago, when a corner site south of the World Trade Center sold for $48 million as part of a deal at the old American Stock Exchange, there was no word of what would rise there. But a design from Selldorf Architects has popped up for that plot, rising 54 stories at the corner of Thames and Greenwich. The designs for 22 Thames Street show a prismatic tower, topping out a few feet taller than the W Downtown a half block to the west. On the first five floors, tucked inside a base of irregular glass bays, is retail and residential recreation space, topped by two floors designated for "performing arts."

Rising above and reaching 637 feet, the tower features a faceted facade filled with 428 residential units. Last month the creative team at Selldorf posted a video showing the louvered façade system, a "second skin" controlled by each individual dweller, and described thusly: "Cloaking the façade, a system of operable terracotta louvers animates the building with its changing configurations and reflectivity."

[The Selldorf team's facade video.]

Permits for a new building at 22 Thames, filed last summer with the Department of Buildings, have some zoning issues pending and are yet to be approved. The architect of record is listed as Goldstein, Hill & West Architects, the team behind 885 Sixth Avenue, aka The Continental, and other lesser wonders around town.

So far Selldorf's name is nowhere to be found among those DOB files, but the building outlined in the Schedule A for 22 Thames closely corresponds to the Selldorf design, give or a take a floor or two. As for the current building on the lot, a very handsome 10-story stack of bricks that's stood on that corner for over 100 years, it's slated for imminent demolition. Yet another bit of downtown history is about to make way for more towering glass and steel.
· Lower Manhattan Tower [Selldorf Architects]
· How to Make a Killing on The American Stock Exchange [Curbed]

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