31 in 31: #15

This is a series for August 2010 which documents my on-the-ground -- and on-the-webs -- research for my guidebook to contemporary NYC architecture (to be released next year by W. W. Norton). Archives can be found at the bottom of the post and via the 31 in 31 label.

785 Eighth Avenue

If architecture is like fashion, then 785 Eighth Avenue by Ismael Leyva Architects is a skinny model. She may not be a supermodel, but she sure is skinny. At 42 stories tall, the building is unbelievable when seen from the east (above), something not apparent when looking up or down Eighth Avenue towards a tower more deep than wide. It's like a cartoon character that looks three-dimensional, only to be paper thin when turning.

785 Eighth Avenue

Balconies angle up the front facade, but not the rear elevation (above). This photo starts to illustrate how deep the building is relative to its width. A small building at the corner still stands, and the articulated solid end wall says to me that the tower did not purchase air rights from this property. (Air rights of some sort certainly were involved, or else the tower would have been stubbier.) Will we someday see a tower rise on the corner site, deflating the striking skinniness of the building? Well, all models pack on the pounds after their glory days.

#1 - Phyto Universe
#2 - One Bryant Park
#3 - Pier 62 Carousel
#4 - Bronx River Art Center
#5 - The Pencil Factory
#6 - Westbeth Artists' Housing
#7 - 23 Beekman Place
#8 - Metal Shutter Houses
#9 - Bronx Box
#10 - American Academy of Arts and Letters
#11 - FDR Four Freedoms Park
#12 - One Madison Park
#13 - Pio Pio Restaurant
#14 - Queens West (Stage II)


  1. Its always like a graphic point while the ground cost is very high... very beautiful, to see how a indirect (or direct?) sistem generates its substracts...


Post a Comment

Comments are moderated for spam.