100 11th Avenue by Jean Nouvel

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Photographer Philippe Ruault has sent us his photographs of the newly-completed 100 11th Avenue by French architect Jean Nouvel, an apartment block in Chelsea, New York, with every glass panel of the curtain wall tilted at a different angle.

The project features over 1,650 different window panes across its curved surface.

More information in our earlier stories here and here.

See all our stories about Jean Nouvel in our special category.

All photographs are by Philippe Ruault.

The information that follows is from Jean Nouvel:


In 1987, maverick French architect Jean Nouvel burst onto the international scene with a new headquarters for the Arab World Institute in Paris, one of President François Mitterrand’s Grands Projets.

With mechanized oculi and veils of glass and steel, the building was hailed as an unconventional masterpiece that encouraged people to not only accept modern architecture in a historic setting, but to be thrilled by it.

Over ensuing years Nouvel has woven art, history, cultural references and new building technologies into provocative architectural contrasts between inside and outside, intimacy and the urban network, and has become renowned as one of the most original designers of his generation.

In conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Arab World Institute, construction has begun in New York City on Nouvel’s latest glass and steel landmark, a direct material and conceptual descendant of his Paris tour de force: 100 11th will be a 23-story tower described by its architect as “a vision machine” at the intersection of 19th Street and the West Side Highway, along the Hudson River in Manhattan.

The building's gently curving curtain wall of different sized panes of colorless glass - each set in a unique angle and torque - will sheath one of the most meticulously customized, high performance residential addresses in the nation.

This dazzling window pattern will frame splendid views from within the tower while producing an exterior texture that serves as a poetic analog for the vibrancy, density and changeability of New York City.

Nouvel describes 100 11th as “a vision machine,” with every angle and structural detail designed to create visual excitement. Approximately 1,650 different windowpanes comprise the most highly engineered and complex curtain wall ever constructed in New York City.

The curtain wall of 100 11th captures daylight differently over the course of the day and the year.

A surface that seems to brighten and go dark as if by computer program is, in fact,made dynamic by the movement of the Earth.

These daily and seasonal changes will heighten your senses and foster a connection to nature.

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See also:

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This year's Serpentine pavilion
by Jean Nouvel
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Jean Nouvel
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| 30 comments

Posted on Friday, May 28th, 2010 at 4:58 pm by Catherine Warmann. See our copyright policy. Before commenting, please read our comments policy.

  • somedude

    nice…great play on pattern/shape of the windows…it makes the aerosol can snow spray gehry building next door look even worse…

  • poster

    wow i guess how much do they ask for the penthouse! Sold! I’ll send my finance manager to NY to get it now.

  • Evan

    Photos of the groundfloor entrance at 11th Ave and 19th St.,where the facade touches the ground, are noticeably missing. The facade is elegant and light from afar, but at the bottom it interfaces with the street in a really brutal and seemingly clumsy way. It’s a jarring and incoherent moment in a design that seems otherwise preoccupied with a very different aesthetic intention.

    Anybody reading this from Nouvel’s office? Is this intentional or is it just the best solution the architects and engineers could do to support such a heavy facade?

  • michelalano

    The multiple window angles make my head hurt a little and the facade is way too busy. It’s nice as a composition, but inside the spaces I think all those mullions and their shadows would get on my nerves. Maybe they could have achieved something similar with larger windows so the facade can breathe a little. The plans look nice and there seem to be some interesting living spaces.

    And as my professor would say, “there’s alotta math in that building.”

  • KaptnK

    that’s awful.

    I would never want to be somewhere with so many windowframes!! What a nightmare, looks like a glazing based bad dream

  • Badass

    The varying planes of the applied glazing to catch the light is just simplistic genius.. I love this concept and the varying effect it will create at any given time of the day. BOOYAA

  • mvb

    Best Nouvel has come back! The apartments are fucking luxurious! Thank you so much for the drawings, there is no doubt that it is a great project. The picture with 3 windows and 3 different views of NY is awesome! Congrats!

  • bibo architect

    I believe they should have used mirror glass panels. for me it’s not looking like the renders.. specially 2nd and 3rd images

  • the uninformed observer

    Overall Gorgeousness… but the air vents, Jesus!

  • http://www.georgehollander.com George

    The west side of Manhattan will become “architects row”. Very unattractive area needs alot of work, but it’s getting there, slowly but surely!

  • MrCoolTeapot

    When I first saw this I thought, “Who’s going to clean all those windows?”

    I then thought, “A bit busy but I can see it.”

    Now, seing it next to the Gehry building, I’m left with the sense that we have a case of dualing architects and its a little weird.

    I can’t decide if they compliment each other or compete with each other?

    The fact that the funky window treatment is just on the street side of the building makes it seem a little deliberate doesn’t it?

  • http://facebook.com john

    it’s one of those structures that destroys new york’s skyline..

  • http://architecturepost.org The Architecture Post

    Awesome facade. But the apartments are too expensive!

  • Filip

    I like Nouvel, but it looks like a lot of dusting on those frames, cleaning a home shouldn’t be so much effort, having less is more time for other things.

  • Tom Ford

    Interesting from close up but the interior spaces are decidedly average. Looks like all the novelty thought has gone into the 2 facades, the rest is just another piece of real estate.

  • shell

    I think it looks beautiful but is needlessly excessive, especially tilting every glass panel differently. What a waste of time, money, energy. There are plenty of buildings throughout the world who have achieved capturing light patterns without going to such extreme a solution.

  • Miguel

    ‘poetic analog for the vibrancy, density and changeability of New York City’
    What is that? It seems ridiculous. If architects continue to provide this sort of cheap arguments, the profession is in serious danger. That is not creativity or originality, it is just an absud post-justification of a superficial project. Poetic? An analogy of this sort is never poetic if we try to define poetry. Vibrancy? Because the windows are tilted?. Density? If Rem would listen to this he would feel embarrashed. Changeability? I don´t any changeability, maybe just a bunch of different and small windows randomly disordered. …..Come on! Let us start to use our brains a little bit more. The time of irrational originallity should be over by now.

    • ephraim

      …very very well said….my thoughts exactly!!!!!!…."The time of irrational originallity should be over by now"…… I also thought we were so over this by now….

  • http://www.asdfghjkl.com asdfghjkl

    He’s possibly the best designer in the world right now.

    His wall/shelving system in Milan was the best thing there by far.

    The photos are great too.

  • marcos

    Neo-gothick plans with neo-baroque facade. All the effort on the appearance.
    Superficial and pretentious, or simply another Jean Nouvel commercial piece of architecture.

  • EstherR

    “…destroys new york’s skyline” ? Come on!
    the glazing angles and all the different frames sizes do make the building look very busy and distracting, but perhaps that was the intention, to become the new distraction on the site. I think it works well. I like driving by it and I’ll love to live in it.

  • BenNYC

    Awful building. I walk past it several times a week. The early renders looked great, but the finished product is a real disappointment. Facade pattern is boring, and the interior spaces look atrocious. No doubt the pathetic US style procurement process is partly to blame.

    The glazing colour is uninteresting, it’s gone from a golden hue which looked great in the renders to pseudo-corporate shades of grey.

    I doubt Nouvel will be too happy with this eyesore. He can chalk it up as another bland failure, along with 40 Mercer. Seems like Nouvel’s genius doesn’t work in New York. He seems to get so anxious about fitting in with the rest of Manhattan’s boring architecture that he settles for these compromised designs.

    Once again, it would seem that New York’s conservative attitude to architectural design has resulted in another uninspired lump.

  • http://oscarwalden.com Oscar Waldén

    Love that building! Here’s my version of it on a hot, hot, hot summer day: http://bit.ly/c8642x

  • Reinhard04

    messed up confetti-facade… and believe me there is no design line á atelier nouvel..

  • http://www.orgone-design.com spasmody

    another master piece by Jean Nouvel, definitely the architect of transparency

  • Fizz

    Those people at Everest never get it right…..

  • maishado

    This is architectural pollution.

    Those two buildings should not be next to each other – I don’t really blame the architects (though I don’t know why ghery would design a snowy mountain
    and put it next to the hudson)

    I put the blame on the lack of sense in NY, an architectural superstar mess.

  • http://hjldiary.blog.163.com harry

    i hete the light pollution!

  • Ass

    I think the facade works extremely well from outside especially view from riverside. Identically vibrating. But just not sure what will I feel like for living in a life time. Maybe too much~

  • http://andrewprokos.com/ Andrew Prokos Photography

    I love the contrast of this building and Gehry’s IAC building next to it. Polar opposites, but they play well together. West Chelsea is the most exciting part of Manhattan right now, and probably will be for a while.