OMA’s First New York Residential Project Is a Prismatic Fusion of Historic and Contemporary Styles

OMA has unveiled its design for the office’s first residential building in New York City. Designed by its New York partner Shohei Shigematsu, the building will be situated in between the neighborhoods of Gramercy Park and Madison Square. Occupying a corner site, the building endeavors to create a “gradient from historic to modern.”

Its facade will be formed of a structural grid and large glass windows that reference the qualities of the prewar buildings in the surrounding area. Where the southern and eastern facades meet, the grid system is distorted into a prismatic system of windows, generating unique views over Gramercy Park and introducing a contemporary freshness to the area. Read more from OMA about this project:

“Commissioned by Toll Brothers City Living, OMA’s first residential tower in New York will be located at 121 East 22nd Street and designed by partner Shohei Shigematsu. The site straddles two separate and distinct neighborhoods: Gramercy Park, a calm oasis formed around a private park, and Madison Square, a bustling public space hosting an array of activities and commercial programming.

This location posed a unique opportunity to provide a dynamic meeting point of these two identities — between classical and contemporary, between quiet streets and bustling avenues. Shohei Shigematsu commented: ‘The design of the 133-unit residential block was driven by the duality of its context. Punched windows echoing the facade of its prewar neighbors seamlessly transition to contemporary, floor-to-ceiling glazed windows towards the corner, forming a gradient from historic to modern.’

A cubist collage of multiple intersecting neighborhoods is expressed with a three-dimensional, prismatic corner. The corner element provides a distinct facade and frames unique views with intricately folded windows to look up to the sky or down to the lively street.”