UN Studio in NYC

Today UN Studio unveiled its design for Five Franklin Place, the latest celebrity-architect-designed Manhattan condo.


Potential buyers will need to shell out between $2 million and $16 million for one of the 55 residences, comprised of apartments, duplex lofts, or duplex townhouses.


As can be surmised, the 20-story building is located at 5 Franklin Place, between Broadway and Sixth in Tribeca.

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The design's horizontal emphasis is articulated by Ben van Berkel's signature ribbons, in this case twisting bands that occasionally rise and fall as they wrap the building.


The architect uses the following as illustrations of inspiration for this design:


The renderings make it appear that the justification is unnecessary; it's just a darn sexy design.


The attempt at integrating the interior design with the exterior is apparent, but the inside isn't nearly as successful.


This last piece of eye candy shows how the external expression likewise isn't as striking on the inside. The more equalized hierarchy of the horizontals and the verticals is inelegant, fence-like even, something not abated by the twisting island.


These images point to perhaps too much energy spent on the building's exterior and not enough on its resolution inside. Regardless, I'm sure the 55 units will have no problem being snatched up by those who can afford them.


  1. first interior shot bears a striking resemblance to the 40 Bond interior... hmmm...

  2. It's very apparent that this design was done from the outside. There's very little thought put in to designing the interior space. As an architecture insider would say, it's very superficial and superficial things would generally cost more money. Is this what post-modernism led us to? Can we go back to modernism where form follows function. We also need to design with the environment in mind.

  3. I love this building...simple and elegant..Your blog rocks!

  4. Great Blog!!!
    I love the building, the way such simple idea can be so difficult and so interesting.

  5. I wouldn't get too hung up on the fact that the interior isn't all that mind-blowing. They are just renders after all!

    If it's anything like the office that I work in, then early renders are often just eye candy used to sell apartments, or to give a general idea of the quality of the space.

    For all we know, this could just be the office "rendering nerd's" idea of what the space will look like.

    In any case, I don't actually mind the first interior, apart from the ugly handrail going up the staircase. The second render is a bit boring and the island bench design looks a little ugly. But hey! Can't really judge it until it's built.

  6. It's a very good and balance project. Ben strikes again! Yes the facade is the best part and the interior a bit standard like with high level furnishing :)

  7. that island reminds me of one of zaha hadid's islands for a modern kitchen in conjunction with apple products.

  8. Looks beautiful, but also like an office building. For a residence, isn’t this too stark, too impersonal? For buyers who want a make a statement.


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