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RFR, Vanke break ground on new Lexington Ave. apartment tower

Rendering of thew new tower designed by Foster & Partners

Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs, founders and principals of RFR Holding LLC, and YU Liang and ZHANG Xu of Vanke, China’s largest residential real estate developer, broke ground Tuesday on a new luxury residential condominium on East 53rd Street, adjacent to the landmark Seagram Building.

Designed by Foster + Partners, the  slim white tower at 610 Lexington Avenue will rise 700 feet and 61 stories to take its place on the renowned 53rd Street architectural corridor amongst the works of luminary architects Philip Johnson, Hugh Stubbins, Edward Larrabee Barnes, Mies van der Rohe, Gordon Bunshaft, Yoshio Taniguchi, Edward Durell Stone, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Jean Nouvel.

The site is centrally located with its entrance on 53rd Street, in close proximity to the best of New York’s businesses, restaurants, shopping, museums and entertainment.  RFR and Hines will work together on construction of the building through a joint development management agreement.

 “The 610 Lexington Avenue project is our first in New York City, and our second in the United States.  It truly reflects Vanke’s globalization objective of forging strategic partnerships with world-class developers and learning through close collaboration,” said YU Liang, president of Vanke.  “

Its fine architecture will undoubtedly transform the New York City skyline and redefine modern urban living.  We are also excited to see Sir Norman Foster’s incredible vision take shape and become reality in the midst of such distinguished architectural neighbors.”

 “It’s a great endorsement of the entire team’s commitment to this project that we’ve finally found the opportunity to realize something we’ve all worked towards for several years,” said Aby Rosen, Co-Founder and Principal of RFR.  “It’s rare to have the opportunity to create a tower of such elegant proportions, and rarer still to do so in such an architecturally rich section of Midtown Manhattan.  The location of our site is extraordinary, and the demand for highest-end condominiums in Midtown has never been stronger.  Our goal is to combine the finest residences with thoughtful, creative amenities that enhance Manhattan living.”

 Foster + Partners’ design for 610 Lexington Avenue features a pure white façade with undulating glass, in a slim shape.  In shaping the design, Foster + Partners focused on the relationship between 610 Lexington Avenue and the Seagram Building, aiming to create an appropriate counterpoint to the classic office tower designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson, and owned by RFR.

 “It’s not simply about our new building, but about the composition it creates together with one of the 20th century’s greatest.  In contrast to Seagram’s dark bronze, our tower will have a pure white, undulating skin.  Its proportions are almost impossibly slim and the views will be just incredible,” said Foster + Partners.

From left to right: Peter HAN, Partner, Foster + Partners; Gerald D. HINES, Founder and Chairman, HINES;Aby ROSEN, Co-Founder , RFR Holding LLC; Ambassador SUN Guoxiang – Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in New York; YU Liang – President, Vanke; CHEN Xiaozhou – Chairman, China Cinda Hong Kong; ZHANG Xu – Group Vice Present, Vanke; Photo by Jesse David Harris

“Simplicity of design is often the hardest thing to achieve but in a sophisticated marketplace, people appreciate the timeless beauty that comes from it.  Our design philosophy has always extended through the entire building and we will look to create interiors that blend seamlessly with the exterior approach.”

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