Can we pause for just a minute to commend the fine people of Brooklyn for approving such a good-looking building as the new tallest structure in their fair borough? Truth be told, I did not think this day would come. I even said as much when plans for this skyscraper were first announced. I didn't believe that the borough could be sold on the 73-storey tower — which is almost twice the height of anything around it — and I worried that preservationists would rush to "save" a landmarked bank on the ground floor to stop the building from blocking views or creating shadows.
But sometimes things work out so nicely, don't they? According to the New York Times, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a plan to turn that bank into a pretty retail component on the ground floor, which is a very good idea. And as for the value of the 325m tower itself, well, you can't argue with these numbers: 500 rental apartments with 20 per cent of those units offered at affordable rates.
With the approvals secured, the team at SHoP Architects will now get to work bringing the super-nice supertall to life. Most new skyscrapers in New York are whisper-thin silver spikes or clunky glass boxes. This building is a classy departure from the prevailing aesthetic, with dark glass accented by bronze. The staggered roofline nods to the city's Art Deco history but without the strict symmetrical geometry, making it feel fresh and of the future.
"To me, this project is enlightened urbanism at its best, where old and new are combined, where short and tall are combined in juxtaposition," said Frederick Bland, during the landmark's commission hearing. I really could not have put it better myself. Congratulations, Brooklyn.
Top: She's a beauty. Images: SHoP Architects