In New York, Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard strains to inject variety into Tribeca’s pro forma skyline. Colloquial comparisons of its teetering upper stories to Jenga blocks are apt, but for all its purported dynamism, it remains a resolutely stolid object (just as one typically desires in a work of architecture). Girthy walking columns recessed just behind the glass ribbon facades keep the tower standing.
It’s in these penthouse units that the columns exert a real presence, particularly at the corners of rooms. When the Brooklyn- and Detroit-based architectural outfit Dash Marshall was tasked with converting a lean corner of a penthouse into an office, there was little choice “but to engage with the column,” said cofounder Ritchie Yao. “Apart from the wraparound glazing, it was the strongest element in the space.”
The residence wasn’t short on personality, however. The client, a financier with a penchant for flash, had requested a private space “‘to take me out of this world,’” Yao recalled. A collector of cars, the client also has a fondness for art objects and gems, which informed the palette of the larger unit already set down by the interior designer Richard Mishaan. Onyxlike patterns, punchy iridescent hues, and velour fabrics predominate in the living areas and primary bedroom and some of that texture needed to find its way into the office.