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Rem Koolhaas in Short Movie Promoting OMA’s First Project in Manhattan

Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas talks about OMA’s new residential tower in Manhattan in a short movie made to promote the project. 121 E 22nd is OMA’s first building in Manhattan, and, in the movie, Koolhaas expresses his excitement at working in the city which he has always admired. Koolhaas has shown that admiration by releasing his famous book Delirious New York, A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan, in 1978. “Manhattan has been the biggest stimulus of my entire career in architecture,” says Koolhaas. “For that reason, it’s wonderful to actually build in a city that I’ve always tried to describe and that has really influenced almost every step I took.”

Courtesy of OMA

In autumn 2016, 121 E 22nd residential project, located in the Gramercy park neighborhood, was commissioned by Toll Brothers City Living. OMA’s New York office will be supervising the project. The office is headed by architect Sho Shigematsu who also features in the promo movie.
The tower will contain 133 residences. It will be on a corner plot, and so it will have two street facades. These glass on these facades will gradually change from recessed panels to flushed glazing the further it moves from the neighbors. “It starts with punched windows to be very contextual and seamless with the existing buildings,” explains Shigematsu. “You have this gradient being from very classical to very contemporary towards the corner.”

Courtesy of OMA

The two types of glazing will be joined together at their meeting point by a series of prismatic elements. On the side of the front facades, there will be private terraces accessible from the apartments. The building also has a “valley-like” courtyard, inspired by the surrounding parks. “The courtyard is a valley-like shape that maximizes its public and private functions, inspired by the neighboring parks: Madison Square Park and Gramercy Park,” Shigematsu says.
The tower’s apartments were available for sale last month, and the project is expected to be finished in autumn 2018.

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