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Reminiszenz to Postmodernism

Atelier Christian de Portzamparc - 400 Park Ave South Tower - New York City

  • Perspective 400 Park Avenue South residential highrise © Atelier Christian de Portzamparc
  • Perspective 400 Park Avenue South residential highrise © Atelier Christian de Portzamparc
  • Entrance area 400 Park Avenue South residential highrise © Atelier Christian de Portzamparc
  • Cross-section 400 Park Avenue South residential highrise © Atelier Christian de Portzamparc
Postmodern residential highrise by Christian de Portzamparc in New York.

The fact that Christian de Portzamparc knows how to play with glass towers is something we know since the opening of the das LVMH tower in New York in 2001. A beautiful change of façades from transparent to translucent, with kinked shapes, jutties and offsets. “This building is a body, not a façade. It´s a crystal flower unfolding in the New York sky“, the architects describes his building. And he’s right – even one decade after the opening ceremony, the building is still impressive.

A Hit?

His design for 400 Park Avenue South Tower was supposed to even outdo his praised work. It was not due to missing praise – the Pritzker award jury confirmed him to be an exceptionally gifted composer of space, structure, texture, shape, light and color and to be able to add his own flavor. So why can’t we see anything of all this with 400 Park Avenue South Tower in New York? The building consists of an engrossed glass silhouette of 41 floors, ramming itself into the ground like a splinted glass block on too little space. 436 (!) apartments from a studio down to flats with 3 rooms are supposed to find a home here, featuring direct access to the nearby subway station and stores on the first floor.

Fan of Postmodernism

According to the architectural bureau the building corresponds with the historical façades of the 1930s in its direct neighborhood and the other skyscrapers of the New York skyline. Even with a lot of fantasy in mind there is not much to see of this. The building is rather a reminiscence to postmodernism, a style Christian de Portzamparc definitely uses a lot. A typical distinguishing mark for him is the façade as a meaningful part of the whole building. Not the construction is visible, but the shell tells the whole story – through facets, patterns, symbols, ornaments. “The negation of the esthetic dictatorship of rationalism in favor of a playful dealing with shapes and stylistic contaminations.” Says the Encyclopedia of 20th Century Architecture. This explains the building’s wanted faceted glass shell. But what about airiness and the playful element? This was probably something that came to the investors’ minds, too, resulting in a building freeze – the people living nearby are lucky and can still use the area for parking their cars, something quite valuable in a city where parking areas are rare. 


A+R Kalimian Reality


Atelier Christian de Portzamparc


Construction time: 2002 –


Area: approx. 40,000 m²

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amo la belleza

28. August 2011 - 19:08
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28. August 2011 - 19:33
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tremendamente belo!!!!!!!

28. August 2011 - 21:49
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29. August 2011 - 3:29
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