The world’s skinniest skyscraper is complete, and its interiors are remarkable

Written by the author John Blake, CNN

Helpers Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

The designers behind the world’s skinniest skyscraper have just given fans of the luxury lifestyle an early Christmas present.

New York-based Studio Sofield has unveiled the interior of the Steinway Tower, a newly constructed 1,428-foot-tall tower overlooking Central Park. The announcement ends the opulent Midtown Manhattan landmark, which was built on a site once occupied by the historic Steinway & Sons piano company.

The Steinway Tower is 1,428 meters high. Credit: David Sundberg

The 91-story skyscraper, also known as 111 West 57th Street, has 46 full-floor and duplex residences. Photos released by the designers this month show opulent lobbies covered in limestone, marble, blackened steel and velvet, smoky gray solid oak floors and original artworks by Picasso and Matisse.

According to Studio Sofield, the interiors of the Steinway Tower were designed to evoke the grandeur of New York’s Gilded Age, a time when the city’s boulevards were lined with the stately mansions of robber barons like Andrew Carnegie and Cornelius Vanderbilt in the late 19th century. Midtown is located on a street lined with gleaming towers known as “Billionaire’s Row.”

The interiors were designed by William Sofield, founder of Studio Sofield.

The interiors were designed by William Sofield, founder of Studio Sofield. Credit: Adrian Gaut

Studio Sofield’s founder, William Sofield, told CNN that he wanted the tower to feel like New York.

“We’ve all been in very luxurious places, but I wanted to create a building that couldn’t be anywhere else in the world,” he said. “I know a lot of people can have multiple homes, which will be apartments here. And I wanted to create a very distinct experience that could only be in New York.”

Sofield aimed to create an atmosphere that felt distinctly New York.

Sofield aimed to create an atmosphere that felt distinctly New York. Credit: Adrian Gaut

A record feat

Elsewhere, the building’s interior includes an 82-metre swimming pool set in a light-filled room, floor-to-ceiling windows and a row of Kentia palms. There’s also a modern take on New York’s legendary King Cole bars, with a decorative balcony and custom gold and silver murals.

Other amenities include private dining rooms, a chef’s kitchen, a golf simulator, and a garden terrace.

The 82 meter pool has gold leaf detailing.

The 82 meter pool has gold leaf detailing. Credit: Adrian Gaut

“I’m always very personal in my work,” Sofield said. “So (take) the pool, for example… I didn’t want it to feel like a normal pool. It has wood paneling with great detailing and gold leaf detailing.

“It has a vaulted ceiling,” he added. “It has spirits… So it’s very different from the pools you’d find in New York.”

With a 24:1 height-to-width ratio, the Steinway Tower has been described by its developers as “the world’s slimmest skyscraper”. The tower’s facade consists of terracotta blocks, a material that changes color and texture when viewed in different lights and from different angles.
Although described as developers "the most slender skyscraper in the world," It has 46 duplex residences.

Despite being described by the developers as “the world’s slimmest skyscraper”, it has 46 duplex residences. Credit: Adrian Gaut

At 1,428 meters high, it is one of the tallest buildings in the Western Hemisphere, ahead of two others in New York: One World Trade Center at 1,776 meters and the Central Park Tower at 1,550 meters.

Super-slender skyscrapers, also known as pencil towers, became prominent features of the Hong Kong skyline in the 1970s. Since then, major cities like New York have followed suit.

Residences in the Manhattan skyscraper, developed by JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group, range from $7.75 million to $66 million.