From the start, the Orion, a 60-story building on Manhattan’s refurbished 42nd Street corridor, was all about amenities. More than a handful of twenty- and thirty-something buyers affectionately refer to it as “the party building.”

Originally, those amenities, including terraces, a pool, meeting rooms, and “a fantastic laundry room” were planned to occupy the middle of the building (floors 28–30) for pricing reasons, explains architect John Cetra. Condos with the best views were to be located above these communal floors, with rental units (offering less spectacular views) falling below. Elevator runs would be split in half, meeting in the middle, with the first bank going from ground level to the 28th floor, and the second bank picking up from there and going up to the top floor.

When the developers decided to go for an all for-sale pro forma, the building plan still made sense, both architecturally and structurally.

“We took a 60-story building and split it in half so that [mechanical] systems would be fed to the middle from down and up,” says Cetra. “This allowed the building to be zoned in a way that minimized energy loss and wasted duct space.” Complementing midtown’s skyscrapers, the Orion’s sleek curtain wall gives it a distinct presence in comparison to traditional Manhattan residential buildings with their heavy, masonry slab construction. Streamlined interiors feature frameless cabinetry and stones the architects handpicked from quarries in five countries.

Category: Condos, for sale
Entrant/Architect: CetraRuddy, New York
Builder: Bovis Lend Lease, New York 

Learn more about markets featured in this article: New York, NY.