Luxury Supertowers Are Going Even Higher

James Tarmy   /  Source:  Bloomberg

Advances in concrete, elevators, and engineering have created a new breed of buildings. Every apartment at 432 Park Ave. in New York City has a phenomenal view, but there’s one direction none of its residents can look: straight down. The 1,396-foot-high, 85-story supertower was designed that way, according to its architect, Rafael Viñoly, because anyone capable of looking directly groundward would be terrified. Viñoly didn’t have any outsize concern for those with a particular fear of heights. He simply knew that his ultraluxury apartment building, the unofficial team captain of Midtown Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row, was going to sway like crazy in the wind. “If you saw the facade, you’d have not one, but two heart attacks, because the thing does move,” Viñoly said during a lecture while the skyscraper was under construction. “Don’t tell the tenants.”

The tenants found out for themselves. At 432 Park, chandeliers often sway with the building, and creaking sounds can be heard on gusty nights. Elevators have been shut down in high wind because their cables were shaking too much to be safe. Right before Labor Day, the entire building had to clear out for about two days during extensive repairs to the building’s electrical systems. It’s hardly what residents thought they’d be getting for their $20 million-plus investments. (That sound at the edge of your hearing is the world’s smallest Stradivarius.)...

Bloomberg: Luxury Supertowers Are Going Even Higher (Don’t Mind the Swaying!)

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