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Foster + Partners in New York City

The 44-story luxury apartment building at 50 United Nations Plaza was designed by Foster + Partners. Image: dbox/ Foster+ Partners

Construction has begun on 50 United Nations Plaza, a 44-story residential office tower designed by Foster + Partners. Developed by Zeckendorf Development with Global Holdings, the luxury apartment building occupies a prominent location within United Nations Plaza, with views of the celebrated UN Headquarters building, the East River, and the Manhattan skyline.

According to the firm, "The tower's massing respects the height and scale of its neighbours. Its three slender volumes appear faceted in elevation, visually reducing the building's scale, while emphasising its vertical form."

Each of those three volumes becomes a vertical series of bay windows, which help to increase views and increase the size of living spaces within the building.  Stainless steel bands provide horizontal punctuation of the bay windows. The firm indicated that this detailing is particularly meant to recall the iconic Art Deco styling of nearby buildings.

Highly reflective panels occupy the space between the bay windows. The building's base is flanked by lush planting areas, while the lobby is finished in granite, marble, and wood.

Each apartment is focused on the floor to ceiling bay windows and the interiors are luxurious, with generous space for entertaining. A spa in the basement incorporates a large exercise pool for residents, and the penthouse features an infinity pool, dramatically cut out from the top level of the building.

The tower incorporates a combination of active and passive environmental strategies – more than half of the facade is solid, with the rest made up of highly insulated glazing and construction will incorporate recycled materials.

The project is scheduled for completion at the end of 2014.

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