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Penthouse at Jenga Tower

Home of the Gods

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Once upon a time there was Tribeca. There still is. But who knows what the first Dutch settlers would have to say about this section of the island of Manhattan, now perhaps one of the Big Apple’s most iconic areas, but in their day farmland close to the wooden stockade that protected their village of New Amsterdam. The Triangle Below Canal Street, from whence TriBeCa gets its odd-sounding name (at least to Italian ears), has become one of the most upbeat quarters of this metropolis where history and new artistic and architectural trends form a vibrant mix that often overturns conventional thinking, clearing the way for innovation. The upshot can be real masterpieces of construction technology and the ultimate in luxury living: one-off iconic chef d’oeuvres that inevitably escalate Tribeca’s realty values.

The apartment described in this issue is in fact a restructuring and refurbishment project for an apartment in the Jenga Tower skyscraper at 56 Leonard Street carried out by the prestigious architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, founded in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 1965 but today with some six offices in the USA. Designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and completed only in 2017, the 245 m solitary tower is uniquely spectacular, as demanded by entrepreneur Izak Senbahar, who went to Europe in search of high-rise examples that would not only take the market by storm but also give a new lease of life to the conventional box-shaped skyscraper that for over a century had dominated the New York skyline. Although tackling their very first skyscraper, the proposal of the two Prizker Award winners was truly bold. State-of-the-art engineering and innovative solutions did away with the need to lessen the weight of the building as it rose. This enabled the extraordinary configuration of the top nine stories of the tower. Supported by super strong cast-in-place floor slabs and sustained by Vierendeel trusses, each...

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