March 22, 2012

LVMH Tower,
New York


The LVMH Tower was inaugurated on December 8, 1999 by Bernard Arnault and VIP guests, including then First Lady Hillary Clinton. The building showcases the talent of architect Christian de Portzamparc for enhancing the urban landscape.

Bernard Arnault was actively involved in the design of the LVMH Tower, which he wanted to be “a building that in itself conveys a powerful message, instantly expressing the essence of LVMH—creativity, beauty and seduction.” Take a tour of an architectural masterpiece.

The LVMH Tower is the Group’s flagship, the headquarters of LVMH North America and other subsidiaries based in New York. The 23-storey (112 meters) building rises gracefully in the heart of Manhattan.

Designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc, winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 1994, the building’s geometric petals bloom over 57th Street. “This building is a body, not a façade. It is a crystal flower unfolding in the New York sky,” said the architect at the inaugural ceremony.

The astutely broken lines transfix the eyes. The play of volumes, transparencies and reflections gives it a crystalline allure. The tower is built of glass produced specially for its facades, alternately transparent and translucent. A curtain wall of translucent white glass partially covers the body of the building.

The first two levels are occupied by a Dior store fitted out by celebrated interior architect Peter Marino. The crown of the building is an exceptional space with a towering double-height ceiling, affording a spectacular view of Manhattan.

At night, shafts of neon concealed in the façade bathe the LVMH Tower in subtle variations of rainbow colors, at the same time modulating the building’s appearance.

In 2011 Christian de Portzamparc was honored with the Architectural Record Award from Business Week for this stylistic tour de force which, according to architecture critic Francis Ramber is “an urban event comparable to the creation of the Chrysler Building, a building that will delight New York for decades.” Indeed, this is truer than ever a dozen years on….

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