All images by Mark Foster Gage
As we’ve recently covered, there are many new radical ideas for New York City skyscrapers to come in the upcoming five years. However, no design seems as dramatic and revolutionary as Mark Foster Gage’s proposal for 41 W. 57th Street. First reported by 6sqft, this 102-story residential building is decked out in all types of ornaments and architectural embellishments that would vastly reshape the skyline for Midtown’s Billionaires’ Row, if built.
According to Gage’s website, “each unit has its own unique figurally carved facade and balconies that frame particular features of the surrounding urban and natural landscapes.” Integrating sheet-bronze and brass into limestone-tinted Taktl concrete panels, some of these whimsical features include giant birds spiraling down the building, huge fans and propellers that look like they’ve been taken out of a plane and finally, atop the building, a “temple-like observational platform which is then crowned by a golden wreath-like structure fit for any victorious Roman general,” as quoted by 6sqft.
The details are murky on how real this project is, though Gage’s website lists it as “ongoing.” Gage, a tenured professor and Assistant Dean at the Yale School of Architecture, has written at length about his architectural philosophy, which can be found on his website. In the essay “Killing Simplicity: Object-Oriented Philosophy in Architecture,” he explains his “object-oriented ontology,” which breaks away from the traditional “form follows the function of the structure” architectural ideology pervasive during 19th and 20th-centuries. He writes that “architects of the past century have been unwittingly complicit in making architectural form invisible to its user.”
His work and architectural style of object-oriented buildings derive from the philosophical findings of Graham Harman. Harman argues that all objects have a variety of characteristics that are both knowable and unknowable to the viewer. Gage elaborates that “buildings, as objects, should be understood to have vast numbers of qualities, properties, and even relations but that their full reality can never be a reduced to a single, simplistic observation.”
It’s easy to see that his new 41 W. 57th Street skyscraper, with its array of complex and enigmatic ornaments, embodies this very ontology. Continue scrolling to see more of the skyscrapers intricacies and take a look at the video below to ride up the entire 102-story floors.
Next, read about the the top 10 tallest planned, proposed or existing New York skyscrapers, and see a rendering of what the NYC skyline may look like in 2020. Find out more about the architect, Mark Foster Gage, on his website.