Solow Building Company
685 First Avenue is an unprecedented interplay of black and light—a balance that reflects the architecture's bold exterior and luminous interiors
685 First Avenue is an essay on proportion and geometry
A layered black glass form that rises 460 feet above First Avenue, 685 First Avenue is Richard Meier & Partners' tallest residential tower in New York City. 685 First Avenue lies just south of the United Nations Headquarters between East 39th and East 40th Streets.
The building is a beautiful paradox: from outside,
it is entirely black; from within, it appears transparent.
At 43 stories, the building rises above First Avenue and overlooks the East River.
The black glass itself was carefully sourced to provide the crispest, clearest and warmest effect. Striking and austere, it offers superior performance and the smoothest surface quality available on the international market.
The glass provides a clear view of the city from the interior, with abundant natural light streaming into each residence, while maintaining a consistent black exterior. Residents occupy light-filled spaces, with many residences offering unobstructed views.
The building’s travertine, a type of stone beloved by both Mr. Meier and Mr. Solow, was hand-selected by the latter in the quarries of Tivoli, just outside Rome. The vein cut slabs— like those Mr. Solow chose from the same quarry for his building at 9 West 57th Street—showcase the stone’s parallel veins and maintain a greater consistency of color.
An architectural drawing leading to an indelible
imprint on the Manhattan skyline