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MAD Architects softens New York City skyline with fluid-form skyscraper

MAD Architects has unveiled an alternative skyscraper softening New York City's skyline with its fluid form and new iconic presence. Called East 34th, the 232-metre tall skyscraper is design to create a distinct dialogue between New York's modernist landscape and nature.
All images courtesy of MAD

The project, led by Ma Yansong, unlike the pinnacles of conventional towers that typically express very distinct, imposing outlines, MAD's skyscraper expresses a deep-coloured glass curtain-wall fa├žade that slowly fades into a slender and fluid transparent cap, quietly dissolving into the atmosphere.

"Having materialised as a result of economic growth, New York City’s skyline has become one of the most recognisable in the world, where skyscrapers rise tall and en masse," said MAD in its project description.

The new tower is located adjacent to the Empire State Building – which held the title of the world’s tallest building for almost 40 years. East 34th is planted like a seed, sprouting within the grid, rising with a soft, undulating surface that suggests a more organic, living architecture.

All images courtesy of MAD

Cultural impact of power and capital

MAD's design opposes the traditional towers that demonstrate the cultural impact of power and capital in our cities, defying the stacked floor plates and authority of a bygone industrial era that has come to characterise the city’s horizon.

The design starts as a commercial podium at street level, combining retail and public amenities. A large, multi-floor atrium with an expansive green wall offers an escape into nature, from the otherwise concrete jungle of the city. Moving vertically upwards, rooms are organised around an off-centre core, maximising the efficiency of the limited floor plan.

The interior is interspersed by double-height communal spaces and amenities, creating opportunities for residents to connect with one another, and experience a new type of ‘urban nature’ within the vertically dense city.

Article originally published on World Architecture Community.
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