The triangular plot of land on the east side of Astor Place will soon be home to a 12-story LEED Gold certified office tower designed by Fumihiko Maki. You may remember the corner to formerly hold a failed Starbucks and Cooper Union’s engineering building. The new glass tower at 51 Astor will reach both Fourth and Third Avenues, and offer tenants a 13th floor green roof space, as well as an art-infused ground floor plaza.
Developed by Edward Minskoff, the block long glass tower is made of three sections: a rising 12-story rectangular black glass tower, which is met by a lower clear glass section which rests upon a 5-story flat base that opens to the pedestrian plaza. The lobby of the building will feature a James Carpenter art installation, and the outdoor plaza will include an Alexander Calder sculpture for all of New York to enjoy.
The building will give 400,000 square feet of office space to what Minskoff hopes are high-tech companies like IBM or Microsoft. The entire glass façade will be made up of energy efficient low-e glazed glass, as well as an aluminum curtain wall that will filter light and block solar heat gain. An energy efficient HVAC system will allow each tenant to individually control their office space with simple keypads. The green roof gives employees a space to relax and take breaks without the hustle and bustle of the East Village outside, while also helping filter rainwater and reduce energy costs by insulating the inside.
A bicycle storage area will be available for tenants on the first floor, along with showers for those biking long distances to work. Along with the Astor Place Loft Residences across the street, the 51 Astor Place affirms that Bohemian spirit that once occupied the intersection is now long gone. While the planned building may not be that easy on the eyes, we are happy that it is at least an energy efficient, LEED-seeking structure.