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New York | Five Franklin Place | Ben van Berkel

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Five Franklin Place, UNStudio’s first major American project, will be a 20-story residential tower on Franklin Place, an original 19th century cobbled passageway that runs parallel to Broadway and connects Franklin and White Streets in the Tribeca historic district of Downtown Manhattan.

The building will be wrapped in a constantly shifting pattern of horizontal black metal bands. A direct homage to the applied metal façade decoration of Tribeca’s celebrated 19th century cast iron architecture, these gleaming reflective ribbons will grow thinner and thicker, wrapping the entire tower.

The facade bands will serve as functional elements of the tower as well, transforming into balconies for more than half of the building’s residences, terraces for the penthouses at the top, and sunshades that deflect heat and protect all of the structure’s interiors from excess sunlight.

The metal bands will serve to also frame panoramic views from inside the building’s residences and insure privacy.

The exterior geometries will relate directly to the building’s interiors. The facade bands have been brought inside and translated into broad horizontal spatial arrangements.


Ben van Berkel
Co-Founder of UNStudio / Principal Architect

Ben van Berkel studied architecture at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and at the Architectural Association in London, receiving the AA Diploma with Honours in 1987. His first projects were built almost immediately after founding Van Berkel & Bos Architectuur Bureau. Among the buildings of this first period are Karbouw, the Remu electricity station, and Villa Wilbrink. Being elected to design the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam (1996) profoundly affected his understanding of the role of the architect today and constituted the foundation of his collaborative approach to practising, leading to the foundation of UNStudio in 1999.

In the interim a blue period resulted in the realization of projects such as The Moebius House, Het Valkhof Museum (1998), and the Prince Claus Bridge (2003). Recent projects, which reflect his longstanding interest in the integration of construction and architecture, are: the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart and Arnhem Central. He has been visiting lecturer at Princeton and had taught at Columbia University, the Berlage Institute and UCLA. He is currently Professor of Conceptual Design and head of the architecture department at the Staedelschule in Frankfurt am Main (Germany). Ben van Berkel has co-authored a significant number of essays and monographs. Photo: Koos Breukel

Fonte: Archinect

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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.


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