~ a super-slender, ultra-luxury residential skyscraper

superslenderSuperslender projects and proposals in Midtown Manhattan

There is a new kind of skyscraper in town, and even though it just got here, it already has its own exhibition at the beloved Skyscraper Museum in New York. Called: SKY HIGH & the logic of luxury, the exhibition…

» …examines the recent proliferation of super-slim, ultra-luxury residential towers on the rise in Manhattan. These pencil-thin buildings-all 50 to 90+ stories-constitute a new type of skyscraper in a city where tall, slender structures have a long history.

Sophisticated engineering and advances in material strengths have made these spindles possible, but it is the excited market for premium Manhattan real estate that is driving both heights and prices skyward, Reported sales seem almost inconceivable: some penthouses in the buildings featured here are in contract for $47 million to $95 million. «

These new type of skyscrapers are a step up from the already slender projects that have been built in New York City as of late, such as One Madison Park and 785 Eighth Avenue (see gallery). Compared to these, the latest skyscrapers takes both height and slenderness to the extreme. The tallest and most slender proposal of all is the the 111 West 57th project (see gallery), which has a slenderness ratio of about 1:23.

All but one of the current superslender projects in New York City are named after their address: 432 Park Avenue, One57, 30 Park Place, 56 Leonard, Hudson Yards Tower D and the latest addition, 217 West 57th Street. (see gallery).

Given the number of projects on their way in Midtown Manhattan, we now just need a new term for these. The Pentominium project in Dubai (see gallery), was named after a combination of the words penthouse and condominium, and as such could have been a nice term if it hadn’t been used as a name for this project.

Asking the Skyscraper Museum’s director Carol Willis about some suggested terms such as ” skinnyscrapers, twiggyscrapers, or slimscrapers, she replied:

» Those terms seem too cute. I think Super-slender is appropriate as a corollary to supertall. They’re not all 1,000 feet, but most are close. I was inclined to call them slims, and some headline writers call them skinny, but I decided that, indeed, super-slender, ultra-luxury were both necessary key characteristics to describe the type. «

By discarding the hyphen and presenting the superslender as a noun, I think Willis helped coining the perfect term for these. As a term, it relates to a supertall, as opposed to the previously introduced term pencil tower.

On a personal note, I think the superslender can most likely be regarded as a symbol of the the ongoing accumulation of wealth and power in a decreasing number of world cities. Locally they can probably also be regarded as a climax marking of the end of Michael Bloomberg’s reign as a Manhattan focussed mayor of New York City.