Richard Meier & Partners Unveils Milestone Black-Glass Residential Tower for New York City

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© bloomimages

Richard Meier & Partners has revealed the design of 685 First Avenue, a new 42-story residential tower to be located just south of the United Nations Headquarters along the East River in Manhattan. The 460-foot-tall building, Meier’s tallest in New York City, will be primarily constructed of black glass and metal panels, marking a surprising departure away from Meier’s signature all-white aesthetic.

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Richard Meier & Partners Unveils Milestone Black-Glass Residential Tower for New York City, © bloomimages

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“We asked ourselves, can formal ideas and the philosophy of lightness and transparency, the interplay of natural light and shadow with forms and spaces, be reinterpreted in the precise opposite – white being all colors and black the absence of color?” explains Meier. “Our perspective continues to evolve, but our intuition and intention remain the same – to make architecture that evokes passion and emotion, lifts the spirit, and is executed perfectly.”

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The building takes a minimalist approach to form, drawing attention to its considered “materiality, lightness, transparency and order.” The facade’s sleek, black-glass curtain wall presents a solid figure on its eastern elevation, interrupted only by an architectural cut-out at the 27th and 28th floors, while on the western side, balconies, canopies and corners have been introduced to break up the elevation into human-scaled elements.

Individual window modules spanning full floor-to-floor heights have been subdivided into a system of operable window panels, joints and reveals. According to the architects, the use of black glass “unifies the façade, provides privacy for residents, and modulates the reflections of the context.”

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© Scott Frances

© Scott Frances

The interiors of the 556 rental and condominium apartments have also been designed by Richard Meier & Partners, and will feature a material palette of white, gray and earth tones complemented by wood, plaster and glass. Residents will have access to a multitude of building amenities located on the second floor, including an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, child playroom, work room, game room, private dining room, and lounge.

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Down at street level, a double-height glazed lobby space will act as a link to the site context, while retail space along First Avenue will inject urban activity into the building.

“The singular form of 685 First Avenue is borne of a desire to create an iconic building unique to Midtown Manhattan,” said Meier. “With advanced technologies and building materials, we seek an innovative and timeless design that adds to the history and roster of Manhattan’s landmark buildings. The architecture will be finely crafted, precise, elegant and striking. It is very meaningful to me personally to work in New York City, and to give something enduring to the city I call home.”

685 First Avenue is being developed by  Sheldon Solow’s East River Realty Development, becoming Meier’s 19th designed project in New York City, with other designs including the Perry Street & Charles Street Condominiums, the Westbeth Artists’ Housing in the West Village, and the Aye Simon Reading Room at the Guggenheim Museum.

News via Richard Meier & Partners.

  • Architects

  • Location

    685 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States
  • Design Team

    Richard Meier, FAIA, FRIBA; Dukho Yeon, AIA; Stefan Scheiber-Loeis
  • Project Manager

    Richard Liu
  • Project Architect (Architecture)

    Sang-Min You
  • Project Architect (Interiors)

    Bori Kang, Hans Put
  • Project Team

    Tetsuhito Abe, Diana Carta, Luis Arturo Corzo, Joseph DeSense III, Ana Paola Hernandez, Henry Jarzabkowski, Graham Kervin, Peter J. Liao, Jackson Lindsay, Cameron Longyear, Diana Lui, Sharon Oh, Greg Chung Whan Park, Luciana Ruiz, Anne Struewing, Xiaodi Sun, Yuanyang Teng
  • Owner & Developer

    Sheldon Solow, East River Realty Development LLC
  • Major Building Materials

    Glass and Aluminum Curtain Wall, Metal Panel, and Stone
  • Program

    Residential Tower, Street Level Retail and below grade Garage
  • Floors

    42 floors above grade, cellar, and sub-cellar
  • Site Area

    32,365 SFT
  • Renderings

    bloomimages
  • Model Photograph

  • Architectural Drawings

    Courtesy Richard Meier & Partners Architects
  • Facebook & Instagram

    @richardmeierpartners
  • Area

    765590.0 ft2
  • Photographs

    bloomimages, Scott Frances, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects
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