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Alternative Tower for MoMA by Axis Mundi

Axis Mundi is a dynamic interdisciplinary firm based in New York, providing outstanding works of architecture and interior design in the form of high-end residential, commercial, and cultural projects.

Axis Mundi was founded in 2004 by John Beckmann. Beckmann is a recipient of a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and is a MacDowell Colony Fellow. He edited and contributed to The Virtual Dimension: Architecture, Representation and Crash Culture (Princeton Architectural Press).momatower_streetmodel

Axis Mundi Unveils Alternative Design for MoMA Tower  (New York, NY) July 15, 2009 – As the city takes stock in a post-boom era, architect John Beckmann sees this as the time to rethink the tall buildings that have become synonymous with New York City’s identity.  “Instead of disguising the rich potential of towers that have a mix of uses, we looked for a way to express that diversity,” Beckmann explained. The firm used parametric computer-modeling software to test a wide range of possibilities. Out of this iterative process, Beckmann and his firm, Axis Mundi, propose a new way to organize and express tall buildings: the Vertical Neighborhood.momatower_midlevel

“A more diverse, complex, heterogeneous, and environmentally minded city need no longer be represented on its skyline by one-note architecture that makes a singular visual image and little else,” explained John Beckmann, the founder of Axis Mundi, a Manhattan-based architecture firm. Rethinking Hines Tower Site Beckmann proposes a conceptual alternative to business-as-usual, choosing the site of the proposed 53W53rd, among the city?s largest skyscraper proposals in one of the most overbuilt parts of Midtown.momatower_density

Hines, the developer, engaged Paris architect Jean Nouvel, who designed an 82-story hotel and residential tower higher than the Chrysler Building. The site was purchased from the Museum of Modern Art with the proviso that the project would house additional gallery space for the museum.

The Axis Mundi proposal is timely since the Hines MoMA tower is currently moving through the city’s Urban Land Use Review Process (ULURP). Flexible Floors, Open to Views The architectural diversity Beckmann envisions starts with a double-ring, multi-level floor-plan unit, anchored by two cores that run the full height of the building, containing elevators, stairs and other vertical services.  The ring units called “SmartBlocks” make possible a wide variety of floor plans. Single-unit layouts can mix with duplex, or triplex layouts. The units can shift in and out, adding rich texture to the surface, creating vertical garden space, and linking the units in unique ways.

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