12 Aug 2021 | Architectural Digest

Exclusive Look Inside the World’s Tallest Residential Skyscraper

By Nadja Sayej

Located along New York’s Billionaires Row and designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, Central Park Tower is a staggering 1,550 feet tall.

The latest jaw-dropping, super-tall building on Billionaires Row is Central Park Tower, which will break records as the world’s tallest residential skyscraper. This angular, icicle-like glass tower, designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, stands at 1,550 feet tall with 131 stories. Set at 225 West 57th Street, it offers unbeatable views of Central Park and Manhattan. But for such a grandiose statement, the design team decided on a minimal aesthetic for the exterior—it’s a kind of modern classic, inspired by luxury. “The exterior aesthetic was envisioned as one of tailored elegance,” Gordon Gill, a partner at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, tells AD. “We strove to develop an expression that was specific to the massing ensemble and orientation of the tower.”

The 179 luxury residences—some of which are already occupied—are designed by Rottet Studio, which has mastered the art of chic minimalism. Starting on the 32nd floor, the residences are priced at $6.5 million and up, ranging from one to four bedrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows. The building’s developer, Extell Development Company, predicts this is the comeback of the super luxe condo, with a $4 billion sellout that makes it the country’s most expensive condo tower. It had some of its first closings earlier this year.

It’s what Extell’s founder and chairman Gary Barnett calls “the very best you can buy on Central Park.” (Kevin Clayton of Clayton Homes is rumored to have snapped up a condo here for $11 million, though Extell cannot confirm or deny any of the residents). It comes with an exclusive private club called the Central Park Club featuring 50,000 square feet of luxury amenities across three floors, including a dining room and kitchen with Michelin-star chefs, a lounge, a screening room, and a private ballroom. The tower boasts a 100th floor club too, as part of its “highest private residential club in the world” status.

The structure also offers an outdoor terrace with a 60-foot swimming pool, a bar, and waiter service to your lounge chair. If that wasn’t enough to dull the noise of Midtown traffic, there will be a health and wellness center on the 16th floor with a fitness center, a basketball half-court, and a sauna. This lavish lifestyle is part of the latest flurry of high-end residencies bringing resort life to Manhattan.

“Texture, palette, and material selections were made in order to address a softer, more sustainable and, hopefully, sophisticated expression,” Gill explains. “We do think of it as a contemporary modern language.”

There are public elements too. Central Park Tower has retail on its ground floor, including a seven-story flagship Nordstrom department store designed by James Carpenter Design Associates, who created a façade in the shape of waves.

The building faces the southwestern tip of Central Park, overlooking the various ponds, lakes, and rolling hills that reach up to the horizon of Harlem. Gill is most excited about the views. “There are spectacular views of Manhattan,” he says. “They were achieved by carefully positioning the tower and incorporating large panels of glazing to capture the expansive views.”

But buildings that claim to be the “world’s tallest” will always see one-upmanship (it’s the second-tallest skyscraper in the U.S. after One World Trade Center and the 14th tallest in the world). So Gill is expecting competition. “There will always be a transformation of cities around the world that would invite solutions such as Central Park Tower,” he says. “These are very special buildings for very special cities.”