Decoding the design: 432 Park Avenue

One of the tallest residential buildings in the world, 432 Park Avenue is a luxurious apartment building in New York City.

At 96 storeys, and reaching over 425 metres tall, the building is an architectural challenge. It’s pencil thin yet rises high above the rest of New York.
Here we decode the project’s design, architecture and how you can get the look.


Designed by Rafael Viñoly, the building is based on the grid and the entire profile of the building is perfectly square.

Each floor features six windows that measure a huge three metres by three metres to take advantage of the iconic New York skyline.

Given its incredible height and impressively thin profile, the building’s core has been exposed at intervals to help with wind pressure and structural stability. The architect describes the structure as a set of seven independent buildings stacked upon each other, separated by the two-storey voids where the buildings circular core can be seen. These voids don’t house any residence or amenities.

The design of the core and window structure also means there are no internal columns in the residences, giving maximum living space. It is pure simplicity.

Arial view of 432 Park Avenue

The interiors are designed by Deborah Berke Partners, and feature window seats to maximise enjoyment of the views and the monolithic windows themselves.

Park Avenue itself is a famed address in New York, and where 432 now stands was the site of the regal Drake Hotel. So as a nod to the golden era, there are classic touches throughout the apartments including freestanding baths, breakfast bars across the windows, and herringbone flooring.

The building is full of amenities, including a restaurant, boardroom, swimming pool, yoga studio and 18-seater screening room.
Interestingly, the upper floors of New York buildings were once less than desirable and typically consisted of smaller apartments. This was flipped in the 20’s with the advent of the penthouse, and the upper floors became prime real estate for society’s upper crust.

Of course, the building isn’t for everyone. Many New York residents feel that skyscrapers are stealing the sun from the city, casting shadows all up and down Manhattan.

And fair enough, especially when a monolithic structure like 432 stands over 400 metres tall. Though the square design of the building is simplistic, it’s certainly not minimalist and one can’t help but wonder if a curved building would be more pleasant to look at.

Materials used

As expected with a luxurious development, the high-calibre materials and finishes used in the residence match the tone.

The apartments feature marble benchtops, as well as flooring and walls in the bathrooms. While the rest of the flooring is laid with solid oak.

432 Park Avenue Kitchen with views, breakfast bar and marble benchtop

The lobby is clad in Limestone and wood panelling, for a classic-meets modern look while the pool area is dressed in Travertine.

Reinforced concrete helps give the building strength and the required rigidness for the structures height and width. The entire project is an engineering feat.

Get the Look

432 is all about modern simplicity.

The exposed curves of the building’s core, which help with wind pressure and vortex shedding, contrast sharply with the straight lines and grid system that dominates the otherwise square building.

Living and dining room of 432 Park Avenue

Contrasting is great in modern interiors, especially if you can find contrast beyond your palette. Think how you might mix colours, textures, materials, and shapes to create an interesting space.

If you don’t want to follow the grid system in your own project, consider how you might adopt 432’s mix of classic materials with ultra modern design. Think polished aluminium with Travertine, or square benchtop featuring honed black stone contrasted against a light timber and herringbone flooring.

Or take queues directly from the lobby and blend Limestone tiles with dark and rich timber panelling for a very modern but regal room.

To learn more about International Trends and classic materials, visit our showroom at 484 Church St, Richmond, or for more information phone us on (03) 9427 9100.