New York–CetraRuddy is behind the design of One Madison Park in New York City, and judging by recent accolades, the developer of the year-old luxury condominium property chose the right architectural firm for the job. CetraRuddy was recently honored by Residential Architect Magazine with a Multi-Family Grand Award for its design of the 50-story high-rise sheathed in clear and white glass.
Rising 620 feet above the streets of Manhattan’s Flatiron District, One Manhattan Park presents its modular-like glass façade of five six-story “pods” right at the edge of historic Madison Square Park. The towering structure sits on a tiny 10,730 square-foot parcel at 23 E. 22nd St., a parcel that would present a bit of a test for any designer, but CetraRuddy rose to the occasion and successfully erected a striking high-rise with a footprint of just 5,175 square feet. “Creating livable, functional floor plates are a challenge with such a small footprint,” John Cetra, principal with CetraRuddy, tells MHN. “The challenges can be amplified in a building that also reaches the height of OMP. In order to fit into a small space, we employed the use of cantilevers on each floor, which allowed us to enlarge the floor plate to the east and west, from 6 to 10 feet.”
Size matters, but so does context, and CetraRuddy employed its celebrated skills to devise a design that conjures visions of modernist sculpture while complementing a neighborhood of façades constructed with more traditional materials. “Other great buildings from the past, such as The Flatiron Building and MetLife Tower, were clad in limestone and brick–timeless materials that were readily available at the time they were constructed,” he notes. “Glass is the material of the 21st century. Although it obviously has been around for a long time, we are just beginning to refine what we as modern architects can do with it. We wanted our building to be of its time.”
The Multi-Family Grand Award, CetraRuddy humbly suggests, acknowledges not only One Madison Park’s iconic design, but its distinctive structural engineering as well. “The placement of shear walls in a cruciform shape buried in partitions within the apartments and around elevators and stairs, as opposed to the standard method of locating them around the perimeter, opened up the interior spaces to the spaces and buildings that surround it,” Cetra says. CetraRuddy’s firm grasp of the importance of fitting in while standing out and its progressive techniques melded effortlessly at One Madison Park to create a residential destination that offers easily viewed access to some of the Big Apple’s most incredible aesthetics.
As Cetra reflects on the property’s attributes, CetraRuddy’s status as a cutting-edge, award-winning design firm becomes increasingly evident. “On the lower floors one feels a direct connection to Madison Square Park. At the midpoint, the outside connection is to the MetLife Tower and its clock. The park begins to take on the proportions of a green doormat at your feet. At the top of the building, one looks directly at the golden top of the Met Life Tower, with views of the Empire State Building beyond. The entire city is visible for miles around-–forging a relationship with other iconic towers. The rivers that encircle Manhattan and the bridges that connect it to areas beyond come into view, reminding one of the larger context of the city. And Madison Avenue becomes a grand promenade, visible all the way to its terminus at 138th Street. This would not have been so impactful in a more conventionally designed building.”
The architecture community–which has celebrated One Madison Park with other awards, including the 2010 AIA New York State Design Award of Excellence–is not alone in its admiration. “The uniqueness of the property certainly played a role in attracting buyers,” Cetra says. “Many of the floor plates have only one apartment, affording views in all directions. Floors at the notches gave those apartments unique wraparound terraces that are not found anywhere else in New York City.” And that is precisely what many locals desire. While it is globally accepted that there is no other city in the world like New York City, local residents still crave individuality. It appears CetraRuddy has given them just that with One Madison Park.