Norman Foster Enjoys a New York Moment

His buildings might not be the tallest, priciest or zaniest. But in New York, the British architect Norman Foster seems to be having a moment all the same.


Four major creations from the designer, who favors lots of stainless steel and glass, are under construction or close to breaking ground in Manhattan, where the award-winning architect has been relatively quiet since starting his career five decades ago.


And these new buildings — 50 United Nations Plaza, 551 West 21st Street and 610 Lexington Avenue, which are condominiums, and 425 Park Avenue, an office project — come after a few notable setbacks for Mr. Foster, including the New York Public Library’s recent decision to rethink its planned conversion of part of its research flagship into a circulating library using a Foster design.


So what’s fueling the current Foster fad?


“What’s shocking is the reverse question: Why is one of the most prominent architects of his generation so underrepresented in New York?” said William Lie Zeckendorf, the co-chairman of Zeckendorf Development, whose 50 United Nations Plaza, an 88-unit condominium, is being developed with Global Holdings.

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