Thin is in. The new look for Manhattan skyscrapers is tall, lean, and luxurious. Modern ‘pencil-style’ residences are popping up along the skyline as investors are growing more interested in their floor numbers, than the number of neighbors they have to share their view with. Skinny buildings, only now possible because of technological advances in their construction, have become all the rage amongst the ultra-luxury market, especially along 57th Avenue. The narrow style allows the prestigious buildings to pop up in smaller, seemingly impossible spaces.
Skinny towers have made 57th Street the hottest place to live in Manhattan. For the last few weeks we have been writing about the famously exclusive One57 Building, but it will soon have a string of ultra-thin neighbors to raise a glass to. 432 Park Avenue, a few blocks away, is the latest thin tower on the rise. With 120 residences, it will stand taller than the Empire State Building once completed, or any tower in the city for that matter. Even the renderings of what will be the United States’ tallest residential building are staggering. The penthouse is reported to be asking $85 million. Another skinny tower is slated for 107 West 57th in a spot so tiny it’s hard to believe they can fit a skyscraper there.
How thin are some of these buildings? The tower on 107 West 57th will be 43 feet across. This is roughly the size of two row houses. There will be no more than one apartment per floor, with more duplexes than simplexes. Traditionally residential towers have been at least 10,000 square feet wide. Compare this with super skinny tower, One Madison Park, where full-floor residences are as little as 3,300 square feet.
The technology is a part of what makes the skinny towers so interesting. The One Madison Park building, which is nearing completion, will stand at 597 feet. However with only 3,300 square feet of base, it seems disproportionately lean. To keep from snapping like a twig in the breeze, it employs a damper with concrete water tanks. When the wind blows, the water sloshes around to counter-sway and stabilize the tower. That’s science at work.
One drawback to the thin look is the cost to create it. Developers are marveling at the expense of building skinny towers, which keeps them firmly in the realm of the super rich. But as long as the demand for exclusivity is there, it’s difficult to imagine this trend slowing down. With private park views and floors to one’s self, it’s easy to see what makes skinny so attractive indeed.
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