The Centrale

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New York, New York, USA
250,000 square feet / 23,000 square meters
2019

The Centrale rises 800-feet high, within blocks of New York’s iconic Chrysler Building. Primarily a luxury residential tower, the building combines contrasting qualities of classic Manhattan Art Deco with contemporary biophilic accents. The base, body, and crown unite through crystalline switchbacks that climb from an articulated base of stone and metal screens, to a high-performance curtainwall, faceted in cream and chocolate terracotta chevrons. The composition of glass and masonry, smoothness and texture, amplifies the alternating setbacks with dynamic rhythms of angled reflections. The changes in light and shadow throughout the day animate the tower within the midtown skyline.

The playful folds and pleats of natural stone along the storefronts anchor the tower to the street. The residential entry finishes, cream limestone with bronze accents, echo the warm palettes of the surrounding neighborhood. The main entry doors, featuring custom-shaped antiqued bronze motifs, distinctly combine geometric deco with sinuous figuration inspired from natural analogues. Just above, a veil of textured fins and perforated chevron screens shape the otherwise open base – the result of setting the residential levels over 100 feet above street level to clear adjacent buildings. From the ground upward, the exposed concrete super-structure incorporates natural textures through rough, board-formed surfaces and cast chevrons.

The slender massing of the tower, with plans averaging only 3000 square feet in area, is possible through carefully integrated structural engineering, from a robust concrete moment frame of reinforced shear walls,
columns and flat plate floors to an uppermost 400-ton tuned mass damper. This innovative structure controls the dynamic motions of the pencil-thin tower to reduce building acceleration and ensure occupant comfort.

The Centrale embraces the sophisticated crafting of different architectural attributes: classic geometric Deco configurations along with biomorphic forms and patterns.

Furthermore, the project in sum addresses critically different urban scales – from streetscape to city skyline: providing the greatest impact from the smallest of footprints.