IBM Building, 590 Madison Avenue, Edward Larrabee Barnes Associates [1983]

An example of late modernism, this wedge-shaped structure is clad in polished black stone that emphasizes its sheer mass. To make a visual pun regarding its bulk, the ground-level entrance is set back at the angle of Madison Avenue and 57th Street. With a piece of the building cut away, the corner of the tower is left dramatically cantilevered over the street, seeming to defy its height and weight. In contrast to the heaviness of the 57th Street facade, a glass-enclosed plaza along 56th Street contains a cafe and a winter garden landscaped with delicate bamboo and other plants. A public exhibition space is located on 57th Street as a sympathetic (if corporate) gesture to the private, upscale galleries located in close proximity to the tower.

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