SHoP Goes Skinny The model-thin design 105–111 West 57th Street is the next tallest tower in New York City.
By Philip Nobel from Architect Magazine Online
The tower’s short walls will be finished with low-iron glass (to the north, overlooking Central Park) and various sun-beating systems (to the south). But the side walls, incorporating the lion’s share of the concrete and steel structure, are a new take on something old. And they will also be very New York: a system of terra-cotta blocks, to be supplied by craftsmen at venerable Boston Valley Terra Cotta in 26 distinct profiles, ranging in shape from the nearly traditional to the almost-futuristic. The blocks will be stacked in strips between tall windows to create a kind of wavering, rippling effect—a challenge to the lingering blobitectural impulse still seen in so much new construction. I’m looking at you, Frank Gehry.