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Selene's entryway at 100 East 53rd Street  (Williams New York) Selene's entryway at 100 East 53rd Street (Williams New York)
In recent decades, few architects have manifested optimism in capitalism and Modernity more than Foster + Partners. Led by Sir Norman Foster, the global design practice is widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost high-tech architects and has routinely churned out projects that convey a bold, functional, and increasingly ecologically oriented future for the built environment.
The office has long been internationally recognized for its corporate headquarter buildings that famously include the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters in Hong Kong, the Commerzbank Headquarters in Frankfurt, and the forthcoming J.P. Morgan headquarters now rising at 270 Park Avenue in Midtown. While the firm has only maintained a New York office since 2007, it has already gifted the city some of its finest contemporary towers of this century, ranging from the diagonally-braced Hearst Tower on Eighth Avenue to a newly-finished bladed office tower at 425 Park Avenue.
Norman Foster New York City Projects Foster + Partners' New York projects include Hearst Tower, 50 UN Plaza, and 551W21
In recent years, the firm has dipped its toes in the city's highly-competitive luxury market, with breakout successes at 551W21 and 50 United Nations Plaza. Their most recent New York apartment tower is a sheer and slender affair at 100 East 53rd Street, which has recently been rebranded as Selene.
Soaring from the corner of Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street, directly behind the landmarked Seagram Building, one of the world's most significant works of modern architecture, Selene presents a relentless, buttoned-down facade of faceted glass and stainless steel bays that allows the tower to glisten as a cut crystal dropped onto Midtown's cavernous streets.
While nearly 200 feet taller than the Seagram Building, the 711-foot tower sought not to encroach on its iconic bronze-clad neighbor. Foster's Landmarks Preservation Commission-approved design specified an ethereal light-colored skin in addition to maintaining a 117-foot distance between it and the Mies van der Rohe-designed landmark.
Selene is among the most slender skyscrapers in the world, with a height-to-width ratio of 14:1 according to its structural engineers at DeSimone. The tower usurps a Neoclassically-styled YWCA building from 1915 (pre-pre-war) that RFR Partners, led by Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs acquired in 2005 for $31.5M. The trophy property collectors also own The Seagram Building, for which they transferred 90 percent of its unused air rights to the development site — an opportunity largely made possible by the Seagram's influential plaza design, which occupies roughly half of its site.
100-East-53rd-Street-02 Night view from high-floor home | Credit: Williams New York
Gunner Hughes Day view from high-floor home | Credit: Williams New York
Selene's 94 condominium residences were first delivered in 2018 under the mouthful name of One Hundred East Fifty Third Street. Netting an average closing price/ft2 north of $2,250, the tower has attracted power couples such as George and Amal Clooney and Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber likely due to its central-to-everything location and sophisticated vibe.
Tailored with clean lines and spare finishes so as to not distract from glass walls bestowing dazzling city and park views, Selene's luminous homes bear custom-designed kitchens clad in Carrara marble, high-ribbed concrete ceilings, and serene baths of sheathed Silver Striato travertine. Other assets include high ceilings of up to 11 feet, zoned climate control, automated shades, Carlisle eight-inch wide-plank white oak flooring, in-unit Miele washer/dryers, and private elevator entrances in select units.

After a hiatus in sales, an affiliate of Vanke US has replaced RFR as the sponsor. During the pandemic, the Midtown luxury market has struggled to keep up with its more residential counterparts as offices remain sparsely occupied, and international travel has largely been discouraged. To that end, prices at Selene have been adjusted accordingly with remaining inventory, ranging from one-bedrooms to gracious full-floors, priced from $1.875 million. Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing is now leading the sales and marketing efforts and newly-furnished model residences are slated to be unveiled this spring. The building is open for immediate occupancy.

"Selene is a contemporary landmark with visionary architecture by Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster. The building offers an unprecedented opportunity, all thoughtfully considered for today’s modern luxury buyer. Bespoke design, tailored amenities, and iconic vistas – all within a block of Park Avenue and available now for immediate occupancy” – Robin Schneiderman, Managing Director of Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing

Lobby (Credit: Williams New York)
(Credit: Williams New York)
Selene's seemingly endless list of amenities includes a 24-hour doorman and concierge service, a wellness center, spa, a 60-foot swimming pool, yoga and Pilates rooms, a library, and multiple lounges. Residents can enjoy direct elevator access to the Michelin-starred restaurant Le Jardinier, designed by the award-winning architect and interior designer Joseph Dirand.
Midtown's world-renown cultural institutions within walking distance include MoMA, St. Patrick's, and Rockefeller Center. The building is a short walk to Fifth and Madison avenue shopping as well as to Central Park. In every direction – from snacking at Ess-A-Bagel and Whole Foods Market to shopping at Bloomingdales, Bergdorf Goodman, and on Madison Avenue – quality is a neighborhood affair.

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