Costas Kondylis

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Costas Kondylis[1]

Constantine Andrew Kondylis, generally referred as Costas Kondylis (April 17, 1940 - ) is a Greek born architect, who is the principal of Kondylis Architecture. Over the last three decades, Kondylis has designed dozens of residential and commercial buildings throughout the New York City, including some of New York's tallest and the most influential landmarks, like the Trump World Tower for the Trump Organization.

Contents

Biography

A native of the Greek island of Samos, Kondylis spent his childhood in the Belgian Congo before moving back to Greece with his parents as a teen. Following college in Switzerland, he relocated to New York to study urban design at Columbia University. Kondylis worked as an architect at Philip Birnbaum & Associates in the 1980s, and launched Costas Kondylis Architects in 1989. Since then, Kondylis has acted as a very prolific architect, and designed over 75 buildings, the majority of which are located in New York City.[2]

Representative Buildings by Costas Kondylis

Costas Kondylis is known for his practical but a little boring design style, which earns him a nick name as the "developer's architect". His journeyman work doesn't exactly wow critics, but he gets the job done—on budget and on time—which is what his mega-wealthy clients care about. In particular, Kondylis has designed several iconic skyscrapers, such as 1049 Fifth Avenue, Trump World Tower, and Manhattan Place [3]. Some famous buildings designed by Costas Kondylis include[4]:

Trump World Tower, 845 United Nations Plaza, New York City, NY

While admired by many for its sleek and slender design, Trump World Tower was not met with enthusiasm by many of its neighbors. Quite the opposite, as the proposed building was vehemently contested by several high profile residents of neighboring buildings, including Walter Wriston, James Ivory, Alberto Vilar, and William H. Donaldson. Perhaps the most famous of the protesters was Walter Cronkite who derided the proposed building in the press, defending the protesters as “more less-than-wealthy folks who are sharply offended by the unnecessary grossness of this project.” Many of the protests stemmed from the building’s height as it would dwarf the neighboring United Nations complex, not to mention restricting many prized views of buildings around it.

1049 Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY

1049 Fifth Avenue had a rocky journey to becoming condominiums, as it fell victim to the financial crisis and stock market crash of the late 1980s. Nevertheless, the building persevered, and even managed to overcome the fact that it is technically not located on Fifth Avenue, and yet 1049 Fifth Avenue still enjoys the prestige of this famous address. Beginning life as the Adams Hotel located at 2 East 86th Street, the building spent over half a century in this occupation before being purchased with the intent to convert the hotel into condominium apartments, a rarity at the time in the neighborhood of the Upper East Side.

Manhattan Place, 630 First Avenue, New York, NY

Manhattan Place is a 35-story condominium. It appears deceptively enormous due to the angling of the brown-brick and bronze-glass tower, which creates a large plaza facing west. The Building was built by Kondylis in 1985. Costas Kondylis’ early buildings are known for functionality and the maximization of space – for real use by their tenants and residents. Manhattan Place is a prime example of its beginnings.

Atelier, 635 West 42nd Street, New York City, NY

Atelier is a 46 storey slender structure containing 478 condominium residences. Overlooking the Hudson River in the neighborhood of "Clinton" in Midtown Manhattan, it offers spectacular views of the both the river and the city skyline. Costas Kondylis has described this building as reminiscent of a great ship due to its glass cladding and wrap around balconies. Atelier is the first phase of a two phase project that will include more condominiums and retail and commercial space. Ground has already been broken for phase two, a 57 storey tower with 938 condominium units at 605 West 42nd Street, the adjacent lot.

Aldyn, 60 Riverside Boulevard, New York City, NY

Aldyn was purchased from Donald Trump in 2005 by the Extell Group. It was intended to be the southern half of the Trump Place complex. Extell continued to use the services of Costas Kondylis who designed Trump's buildings at this location, but later, Christian de Portzamparc was commissioned to design the Riverside Center segment. Extell also built the Avery and the Rushmore just to the north and the Ashley to the south.

Other Buildings by Costas Kondylis

References

  1. Photo Credit: New York Times
  2. Costas Kondylis Architects
  3. Costas Kondylis, Gawker
  4. Costas Kondylis, Wikipedia


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