432 Park Avenue is a new 89 story supertall residential skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan. The extremely slender tower soars 1398ft and yet the square floor plan is only 93ft wide – creating an almost unheard of 15:1 height ratio. The top floor penthouse - offering the owner views looking down on the Empire State Building - is under contract to sell for $95 million. Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2015.
The tower, designed by architect Rafael Viñoly, has a very simple exterior design consisting of a grid of large 10ft square glass windows. Five double-story mechanical floors at regularly space intervals are open to the air and help relieve wind pressure. The black building on the corner of Park Avenue and 57th Street is called 450 Park Avenue – a 391ft office tower.
Ordinarily a simple rectangular building would mean an easy LEGO build. However the extremely small floor plan coupled with tight window grid as the only noteworthy architectural element made it challenging for my scale. I didn’t want a design built with overly thick corners. The model is only six studs wide – hardly enough room to space seven columns and six windows across. In the end I managed to get four windows across – and 55 total floors.
The most interesting feature of the build is probably those corners. I used technic axles and L-shape lift arms. Each corner extends 81 studs straight up but is only attached to the base by two studs each. They rely on friction between the windows and the lift arms to stay in place. It’s surprisingly a sturdy method.
The base consists of a tree lined plaza and a separate retail structure shown here. A fictitious LEGO store is a common feature of my models.
Atrium entrance on 57th street surrounded by older townhouses.
Here is a rendering of what the finished building will look like.