Walk by 502 Park Avenue and you'll find a vision in progress. There stands a classic example of a gracious Park Avenue building with one remarkable, eye-catching addition: an ultra-modern glass tower on the roof that is home to the kind of apartments most of us can only dream of, with large living rooms and dens, spacious bedrooms, foyers, and formal dining rooms, all located in one of the most upscale neighborhoods in Manhattan. The owners of the penthouses on the 25th through 30th floors of the building will enjoy 4,200 square feet of interior space, as well as breathtaking views of the city skyline.
The building is the Trump Park Avenue, and like a lot of things Trump, number 502 strives to embody luxury living at its finest - one thing it has in common with a lot of other Trump buildings is its architect, Costas Kondylis.
"Donald's buildings usually have a lot of bronze and gold," Kondylis says, but notes that this project is a little different. "This one is more understated. There are, of course, some Trump-brand elements in the project, but overall the building has more of a Park Avenue flair to it."
For Kondylis and the other elite architects who help create the look of Manhattan, each building has it own challenges. How do you best utilize the space available for apartments? How do you make it fit your clients' needs? How do you make something distinct while also making sure the building fits in with its neighborhood? There's a lot more to what an architect does than what meets the eye.
Ask people to close their eyes and think of New York, and chances are they will envision the city's famous skyline. Being an architect in New York means realizing a vision that fits the city and the particular neighborhood you're working in. Kondylis cites a Riverside South apartment building he's working on as an example of the synergy between building and neighborhood.