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Skyscraper

December 23rd, 2014

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A few weeks ago, I had a flight out of LaGuardia Airport in New York City. On the drive there, I caught a distant glimpse of the Manhattan skyline. I was startled to see that it is newly altered. Rising from midtown was a silhouette that seemed both impossibly narrow, and taller than any other skyscraper in the far-off cut-out.

Photo Credit: 432 Park Avenue -- processed screenshot

Original Photo: 432parkavenue.com — Photoshop processed screenshot

The Internet, of course, has the story. 432 Park Avenue — $1.25B, 426 meters, the highest rooftop in the city. Many of its floors, especially the higher ones, are monolithic residences, in the process of acquisition by opaque, limited liability corporations, “bank safe deposit boxes in the sky that buyers can put their valuables in and rarely visit.”

Often, the aesthetic informing such projects veers toward the rococo, but 432 Park is minimalist to the core. Every window of the tower is an exact 10 foot by 10 foot square. From the elaborate on-line galleries, it wholly ambiguous whether the surreal bone-parchment interiors already exist or whether they are virtual. Somewhere, in micrometric accuracies of the digital architectural model, lies the pattern of the seasons, the moment of the equinox, the precise angle of sunlight shafting into the cavernous, unvisited, perhaps as-yet unconstructed rooms.

Like the pyramids at Giza — after they were sealed and before they were robbed.

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