MAD architects seeks to soften new york's skyline with 'slender and fluid' tower proposal

MAD architects seeks to soften new york's skyline with 'slender and fluid' tower proposal

MAD architects, led by ma yansong, has released an alternative vision for new york high-rises with
 ‘east 34th’. unlike the city’s conventional towers that typically express distinct, imposing outlines, MAD’s design expresses a deep-colored glass curtain-wall façade that slowly fades into a slender and fluid transparent cap. the project, which was imagined for caerus group, the owner of the site, is currently being presented as part of a year-long permanent collection exhibition at the centre pompidou in paris.

MAD architects east 34th
all images courtesy of MAD architects



‘having materialized as a result of economic growth, new york city’s skyline has become one of the most recognizable in the world, where skyscrapers rise tall and en masse,’ explains MAD architects. ‘located adjacent to the ’empire state building’ — which held the title of the world’s tallest building for almost 40 years — ‘east 34th’ is planted like a seed, sprouting within the grid, rising with a soft, undulating surface that suggests a more organic, living architecture.’

MAD architects east 34th
the project seeks to soften the city’s hard skyline



at street level, a commercial podium combines retail and public amenities. meanwhile, a large, multi-floor atrium with an expansive green wall offers an escape into nature, from the otherwise concrete jungle of the city. the interior is interspersed by double-height communal spaces and amenities, creating opportunities for residents to connect with one another, and experience a new type of ‘urban nature’ within the vertically dense city.

MAD architects east 34th
the tower slowly fades into a slender and fluid transparent cap



‘the design opposes the traditional towers that demonstrate the cultural impact of power and capital in our cities,’ MAD continues. ‘defying the stacked floor plates and authority of a bygone industrial era that has come to characterize the city’s horizon, ‘east 34th’ softens the hard skyline and introduces a dialogue between new york’s modernist landscape and nature.’ a model of ‘east 34th’ is on show at ‘MAD X’ — a year-long permanent collection exhibition at the centre pompidou, which is now open.

MAD architects east 34th
a model of ‘east 34th’ is on view as part of a permanent collection exhibition at the centre pompidou

MAD architects east 34th
the proposed site is located adjacent to the empire state building

MAD architects east 34th
section showing the scale of building in relation to the empire state building



project info:


name: east 34th

location: new york city, NY, USA
typology: residential, retail
site area: 486 sqm | 5,231 sqf
building area: 11,148 sqm | 119,996 sqf
building height: 232 meters | 761 feet
architect: MAD architects
principal partners in charge: ma yansong, dang qun, yosuke hayano

associate partners in charge: lu junliang (dixon), kin li, flora lee
design team: jordan kanter, wenshan xie, joanna tan, dmitry seregin, yu zhipeng, dora lam, sear nee, casey kell, jannet yoon
client: caerus group

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