Frankfurt, New York, Berlin
by Dorothea Metasch
Did you know that Frankfurt is actually the heart of Europe? Cash flows, data streams, traffic flows—it all comes together here. And the short flight times to other metropolises show: No other city in Continental Europe is quite as centrally located. This is not least explained by Frankfurt Airport. As the fourth largest airport in Europe, it provides employment for more than 100,000 people, and is one of the world’s leading hubs.
Seven hours after leaving Frankfurt’s skyline behind I see the skyline of New York City before me and hit the ground running, off to the place with the prettiest view, Brooklyn Heights Promenade. And there it was, my first WOW moment. That’s because the high-rise at 56 Leonard Street by Herzog de Meuron has been completed and it was amazing to see the so-called Jenga Tower turned into reality. The second WOW was entirely different: The slender “pencil” tower by Rafael Viñoly at 432 Park Avenue. Elegant, unobtrusive, and truly a landmark building. The last remaining flats here are literally celestial pieces of real estate: spacious apartments with a design both up-scale and stark and with a simply extraordinary view.
Also playing in a league of its own is the last remaining penthouse by Daniel Libeskind in Berlin. It is a true collectors’ item in the now completed Sapphire building, extending over 224.60 sqm and over floor-to-ceiling heights of up to seven metres. Like in many Libeskind structures, the non-orthogonal architecture mysteriously maintains the tension between the human dimension and a clerical aura. But it was in his new office in New York that I found the perfect type of chair for the apartment, designed by Studio Libeskind and created by its partners.