From New York to Veracruz: Ismael Leyva Architects Expands its Sphere of Influence

Icon, a 43-story apartment building with a 15:1 slenderness ratio garnered Leyva recognition by The Skyscraper Museum for being one of the most slender structures in the world.

New York City-based architect Ismael Leyva, AIA, has helped shape the Manhattan real estate market with a number of high-performing luxury residential projects including Place 57, Oro and Yves as well as the design of luxury residences at high-profile properties such as the Time Warner Center. The firm was selected by developer Magnum Real Estate Group to design the New School of Visual Arts dormitory on First Avenue. The Charles, a new luxury condo on the Upper East Side developed by Bluerock Real Estate, is in construction now.

Every architectural commission comes with its unique set of challenges, but Icon, a 122-unit rental building designed with 24 feet of frontage, rising 43 stories and with a 15:1 slenderness ratio garnered Leyva recognition by The Skyscraper Museum for being one of the most slender structures in the world. Leyva and his team also received a SARA award in 2013 from the Society of American Registered Architects for this project located at 785 Eighth Avenue.

Icon features studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments. The building’s dynamic appearance is driven by the reflective blue-tinted glass façade and cascading balconies facing Eighth Avenue from the 9th floor to the 43rd floor penthouse.

Ismael Leyva Architects’ diverse practice also includes hotel, mixed-use and educational projects and the firm has extended its services beyond New York to other markets including Costa Rica, Mexico, China and Qatar.

Currently the firm is working on a plan for a Veracruz Waterfront Park located at Boca del Rio in the City of Veracruz. Veracruz is Mexico’s oldest, largest and most historically significant port. The City of Boca del Rio serves as the seat of the State of Veracruz.

This is Leyva’s first commission in his native Mexico and he envisions the new park as a gateway to the sea. The plan will create a walking esplanade open to the sea, with accessible design features to encourage pedestrian traffic through walkways, along with cycling paths, viewpoints and urban furniture for enjoying the outstanding vistas, and nearby parking facilities. The park will measure 60 meters wide and extend long the waterfront for 5 kilometers.

“We are extremely pleased to have been selected by Municipal President, Sr. Miguel Angel Yunes Marquez, to create this grand vision for the thriving waterfront of Veracruz. As a native of this beautiful city I am particularly honored to have been chosen to undertake this important assignment, and wish to thank both the citizens of Veracruz and the Municipal President for their confidence in me,” said Leyva.