The crop of new skyscrapers going up on 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan are very tall, whisper thin, and—yawn—rather boring. This idea for a supertall on the same street is a throbbing EDM antidote to the architectural elevator music that’s taking over New York City.
The proposal that takes design audacity to new heights is not by Ivo Shandor but by Mark Foster Gage, New York architect and assistant dean of the Yale School of Architecture. Instead of a sheer wall of glass, the 102-story tower is adorned with deconstructed gargoyles made from “limestone-tinted concrete panels with sheet-bronze details,” which seem to iterate along the facade like a glitchy 3D printer spewing out random Art Deco references.
And, perhaps best of all, the building is named “The Khaleesi.” Okay, so those are dragon gargoyles.
Look at the video for this thing:
Once you get past the fact that the building is draped in what’s essentially Ed Hardy jewelry, the structure itself contains some great ideas. Instead of cramming the retail on the ground floors (ahem, Nordstrom Tower), shoppers will be treated to views from the 64th floor sky lobby and four outdoor balconies while they fork over their cash to boutiques. That’s pretty awesome!
While Gage doesn’t explicitly mention that this feathered filigree is a nod to the Art Deco architecture found throughout the city (even the Chrysler Building has its own birds), it’s obvious that he’s trying to bring a little bling back to the monotonous towers of our built environment. He’s trying to shake up the skyline, and for that he should be commended.
I am 99 percent certain this structure will never be approved or built but I almost wish it would be just so we could hear all the complaints from local NIMBY groups about how awful and inappropriate it is for New York City.
Follow the author at @awalkerinLA