SOM in the Press

How Alvar Aalto's Undulating Glass Curves Inspired Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's Stunning New Manhattan Skyscraper

Photo © Albert Vecerka | Esto

Source: Artnet News

On the eastern end of Billionaire's Row—the corridor of ultra luxury high-rises along Midtown Manhattan's 57th Street—stands an elegant glass tower with an undulating facade. Located at 252 East 57th Street, on the corner of Second Avenue, the building joins the ranks of the city's most elite residential addresses, coveted for their exclusivity and palatial amenities, yes, but more crucially for their unparalleled vistas of Central Park, the Hudson, the East River, and the expansive city itself.


The project was designed by Roger Duffy, a partner at venerable architecture firm, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). Duffy's New York credits include the New School's University Center at Fifth Avenue and 14th Street and the Skyscraper Museum in Lower Manhattan. For 252 East 57, the architect sought to maximize the 715-foot tower's perspective on the city with curving walls of windows that echo the wave-like form of Alvar Aalto's iconic vases. We talked with Duffy about his exacting approach and how he melds architecture with art.

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