Columbus Circle Competition

A slender, iconic tower evokes its landmark urban context.

Meier Partner’s proposal for 3 Columbus Circle is inspired by the character of its unique setting and the broader importance of the building’s position in New York City at the confluence of Broadway and Central Park.  The project combines a major flagship retail, housed in a base elegantly designed to evoke the golden age of American and European department stores, with a sleek residential tower inspired by the iconic geometry of the original Flatiron Building on lower Broadway.

The slender and elegant form of the tower is borne of a desire to minimize its profile in the important view corridor that stretches along upper Broadway, while simultaneously establishing a grand urban gesture appropriate to the building’s prominent site and maximizing breathtaking views of nearby Central Park.  The base of the tower is designed specifically for Nordstrom’s flagship store, and the character and materials of this retail podium are inspired by the grand tradition of downtown American and European department stores.  The facade is a rich limestone envelope with its surface is strategically carved to mark the light and views unique to the site, and with its upper levels set back to create a smooth transition to the scale and proportion of the tower above. 

The tower’s subtly faceted skin is designed to reinforce the gesture of its prismatic massing by acknowledging the various angles of Broadway above and below the site.  The staggered variation in facade facing Central Park—reminiscent of a ship under full sail—will create a rich variety of reflections and establish an iconic composition of lightness and transparency.