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Selene NYC: A 61-storey architectural masterpiece pushing skyscraper dynamics

The remarkably slender skyscraper ascends for sixty-three levels, accommodating ninety-four custom-designed new residences. Share

Selene is New York’s first and only condominium offering designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Foster + Partners in collaboration with William T. Georgis and Joseph Dirand. A rarified collection of 94 meticulously refined homes, these residences boast an impressive, yet intimate, lobby with a bronze-lined fireplace and art installation by Rachel Feinstein.

This 61-storey residential tower continues Foster + Partners’ investigations into the nature of the tall building in New York, exploring the dynamic between the city and its skyline. Located on the corner of Lexington and 53rd Street, it replaces the old YWCA building in Midtown Manhattan. Formally, it responds to the precedent set by two neighbouring twentieth-century Modernist icons—SOM’s 21-storey Lever House of 1952 and Mies van der Rohe’s 38-story Seagram Building of 1958. In the spirit of Mies’s philosophy of rationality, simplicity and clarity, the tower has a slender, minimalist geometric form, designed to complement these distinguished neighbors.

Selene NYC: A 61-storey architectural masterpiece pushing skyscraper dynamics

The building has a pure white façade with undulating glass and is designed with a 9-story bustle adjacent to the main 711-foot tower. The entrance is recessed beneath an illuminated canopy that sits harmoniously alongside the 53rd Street entrance and pavilion of the Seagram Building. The entry sequence continues on a single plane from the street to reveal a gallery-like lobby with fluted white marble walls, a bronze fireplace and diamond-polished concrete floors within.

The tower’s slender form creates a narrow floorplate, allowing the interior spaces to be flooded with daylight and creating spectacular views across the city from every side. With a total of 94 apartments, there are two main design typologies that distinguish them. ‘Loft Apartments’ are inspired by New York’s downtown industrial loft-style living with art gallery-type spaces and finishes.

Selene NYC: A 61-storey architectural masterpiece pushing skyscraper dynamics

These apartments occupy the lower floors where the floor sizes are larger, and views are more engaging with urban energy of New York’s street life. Materials used throughout these floors are reminiscent of the NY downtown gallery scene: architectural concrete columns and walls for hanging art, ribbed concrete ceilings with integrated gallery-style track lighting, polished concrete floors and brushed stainless steel kitchens.

These materials are complemented by a warmer palette of unstained natural oak cabinetry and doors throughout. Bathrooms are encased in the warm glow of Silver Striato travertine and are accessorized with bespoke details including Foster + Partners designed bronze and oak vanities, radiant heated flooring, steam showers and freestanding soaking tubs.

Selene NYC: A 61-storey architectural masterpiece pushing skyscraper dynamics

Second type of residences are the ‘Tower Apartments’, which are on the upper floors with commanding views of the city with high ceilings. These apartments utilize a more traditional material palette consisting of large plank white oak flooring, aged oak cabinetry and White Carrara marble kitchen surrounds. Master bathrooms are designed with Italian Silver Travertine flooring and custom-designed vanities and fixtures. Powder rooms also have Greek Argos Black vanities with bespoke lighting

Shared amenities for residents are located on the third and fourth floors, including a full wellness center with a 60-foot-long lap pool, fitness rooms, yoga & ballet studios, steam & sauna rooms, a library and multimedia room.

Selene NYC: A 61-storey architectural masterpiece pushing skyscraper dynamics

With no more than two residences per floor, residences in the tower offer multiple exposures with each revealing captivating day-to-night compositions of New York’s most celebrated landmarks. Fifty-Third is New York’s most important modern architectural street, bookended by the Museum of Modern Art, The CBS Building, Lever House, The Seagram Building, Citicorp Center, The “Lipstick Building” and Foster + Partners designed Selene.

The front door marks the coveted apex of city sophistication, surrounded by the shopping of Fifth Avenue, the culinary destinations of Midtown, including Le Jardinier, The Polo Bar, The Modern, and Le Bernardin, and the cultural riches of Carnegie Hall, Broadway, Rockefeller Center, and iconic Central Park.

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