Friday, March 19, 2010

Fifty Six Leonard Street Building Model

This unusual model of a planned New York City building is comprised of 58 separately-numbered plastic pieces. You can assemble it yourself like a clear lucite Jenga game. Howie brought this to my attention after one was recently auctioned on eBay. The final price was $1,136 for model #37 of 300. Not bad for a souvenir of a building which has not yet been constructed. The 20" interactive model of the Herzog & de Meuron designed luxury high rise project which was to be built at 56 Leonard Street in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood. Never available for sale to the public, these models may have been given away to those related to the project. Only 300 miniature building replicas were created. Included in the model is a representation of artist Anish Kapoor's chrome balloon-like sidewalk sculpture which was also planned for the site. On the box is the text, “This box contains a numbered, limited edition interactive model of Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard Street, designed to be taken apart and reassembled as a means of exploring the tower’s radically innovative design. The building will contain 145 residences, each with its own unique floor plan and private outdoor space, in a veritable cascade of houses stacked in the sky, blending indoors and outdoors seamlessly together.” The original box contains numerous statements and descriptions of the building and has a form-fitting foam which cradles the model. The amazing souvenir model was created, but the real building may never be realized due to the down-turn in the U.S. real estate market. It was just bad timing for the planned show piece of the TriBeCa neighborhood. The sales office for 56 Leonard opened just as the real estate market began it’s steep decline. Prices per square foot ranged from $2,300 to $5,300 and each apartment featured extremely high-end features. This gleaming glass building would have changed the landscape of downtown Manhattan. The project is not yet officially dead, but it won't be rising as planned anytime soon. Latest word is it could rise instead in Bangkok, Thailand. Check out this very cool video of the building's planned construction (if it happens). Boym Studio also made a more simple model of 56 Leonard as part of its 'Recession Souvenirs.'

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