Brief

Cookfox Architects has designed 25 Park Row in New York City with details such as fluted concrete. Artex Systems manufactured the precast concrete for the 50-story skyscraper through a “close collaboration” with the architectural .firm.

 

Insight

COOKFOX Architects has been busy lately. The New York-based architecture firm has completed or is just wrapping up scores of projects across the city, ranging from twin-towered Ten Grand and One South in Williamsburg to St. John’s Terminal in Tribeca. Central to these projects is a fine-tuned understanding of context and unpretentious design cues that embed the structures within their setting. Scheduled to wrap up next year, 25 Park Row is one such project and joins the Downtown scene with fluted precast concrete and dramatic setbacks.

The 50-story tower is located adjacent to City Hall Park and stands in close proximity to some of Manhattan’s earliest and best-known skyscrapers, including Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth Building, McKim, Mead & White’s Manhattan Municipal Building, and R.H. Robertson’s Park Row Building. While designed in myriad styles, the historic skyscrapers in the area are all renowned for their rich masonry and metal ornamentation, and captivating historicist features ranging from flying buttresses to an iteration of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates.

Rather than imitate the old, COOKFOX’s design for 25 Park Row hits on the key points of turn-of-the-century skyscraper design: The concave concrete panels yield a substantial degree of depth to the facade and the resultant play of light and shadow, while biophilic metalwork bears a relation to surrounding ornamental filagrees. The formidable heft of the tower is extenuated through a series of setbacks topped with loggias, which form something of an Olympian stairwell overlooking City Hall Park. Additionally, the tower tapers as it rises and the corner balconies curve in a Streamline Moderne-like flourish.

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