Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

432 Park Avenue, New York City
Featured October 2017
432 Park Avenue was recognized as a "Best Tall Building Americas" fianlist in the 2016 CTBUH Awards Program.
Other Featured Tall Buildings

“A profound addition to the New York skyline, 432 Park Avenue is jarringly slender, yet achieves a level of prominence akin to the other pronounced towers for which the city is known.”
James Parakh, Juror, Toronto Planning Department

Completion Date:
Total Building Footprint:
65,497 sq m (212,189 sq ft)
Building Height:
 426 m (1,396 ft)
Primary Function:
56th and Park (NY) Owner, LLC

CIM Group; Macklowe Properties
Rafael Viñoly Architects (deisgn); SLCE Architects (architect of record)
Structural Engineer:
WSP Cantor Seinuk
MEP Engineers:
WSP Flack + Kurtz
Main Contractor:
Lend Lease

Other Consultants:
Enclos Corp. (Façade); Deborah Berke Partners (Interiors); Zion Breen & Richardson Associates (Landscape); RWDI (Wind); Vidaris, Inc. (Building Monitoring, Energy Concept, LEED, Roofing)

432 Park Avenue distinguishes itself not through extravagance or ornamentation but through its astonishing slenderness and simplicity of design. Exceptionally rational, the tower marks its presence firmly on the Midtown skyline through its monolithic yet delicate appearance. Its extreme aspect ratio, achievable only through innovations in structural design, establishes an impactful presence for both building occupants and urban dwellers, while offering a pioneering solution for building tall on a particularly small plot.

432 Park Avenue has quickly become a new icon on the New York skyline. Located in Midtown Manhattan, the tower overlooks Central Park to the north with lower Manhattan and the harbor to the south. Its size and shape are dictated by the unique high-density requirements of the site and the surrounding area. As a result, its height and slenderness push the skyscraper typology to new extremes with a 1:15 slenderness ratio.

Simplicity is the defining trait of 432 Park Avenue. With a series of large glass windows set in a regular grid of exposed concrete members, the building offers a clean, rational exterior, rising out of the ground as a singular, white monolith. A flat roof neatly caps the rectangular structure. The straight, clean lines of the building’s façade simultaneously manage to evoke a modern aesthetic, while also reflecting Manhattan’s orderly street grid below. Each floor incorporates 24 large, square-shaped windows that add visual weight to the structure, creating a sense of stability despite its slender frame. The oversized, 9.2-square-meter (99-square-foot) windows also benefit residents with ample amounts of light and uncontested views.

The gridded window scheme forms the exoskeleton of the building and bears structural loads, thus no interior columns are needed between the elevator core’s shear walls and the façade of the building. As a result, the full perimeter around the core is available to be configured at the discretion of the unit owners. Additionally, generous ceiling heights and large plenum spaces allow for a range of possibilities when customizing kitchen and bathroom spaces.

Typical section
Corner unit living room featuring the 9.2-square-meter (99-square-foot) windows
432 Park Avenue’s outward simplicity belies a complex structural scheme. Its slenderness ratio (dictated by the demands of the site) required inventive concepts to reach structural stability and provide adequate levels of comfort to all occupants. This is achieved through a number of means. Although the tower appears simply as a vertically extruded rectangular form, there are actually several two-story “void” levels that help provide stability against lateral forces. As a result, 432 Park Avenue can actually be considered as six independent buildings stacked on top of each other, with void levels breaking up the massing.

The void levels not only provide an aesthetic element to the design by adding visually pleasing disruptions to the façade, but also allow air to pass through the building. This increases lateral stability on the tower in tandem with a tuned mass damper at the top of the tower, and also mitigates the “vortex shedding” phenomenon that develops in buildings with 90-degree corners. Within the voids, the exposed core of the tower – curvilinear in form – breaks up the angular massing of the tower, thus adding another element of protection against vortex shedding.

The extreme lengths taken to ensure not only stability, but comfort, were critical in a residential building of such extreme height. The resulting form achieves visual impact and provides tenants with the safety and security needed to ensure their well-being. As more buildings with extreme slenderness ratios are proposed and developed, 432 Park will no doubt be a model and inspiration to look back upon for years to come.

Typical residential floor plan

Related Links
CTBUH Skyscraper Center Profile:
432 Park Avenue

432 Park Avenue was recognized as a "Best Tall Buidling Americas" Finalist for the 2016 CTBUH Awards Program.