The ENR-NY award joins a growing list of honors bestowed upon 56 Leonard since its completion in 2016. Recent awards include the SEAoNY (Structural Engineers Association of New York) Excellence in Structural Engineering award and the Concrete Industry Board Award of Merit with Special Recognition-Design.
The features receiving accolades today are what originally attracted Mena to the project.
“Not only did the aesthetics of the project pique my attention, but its inherent structural peculiarities also drew my interest,” he said. “From the very beginning, it was clear that the distinctive nature of each of the homes required the design of one-of-a-kind floor plates for each story, in addition to numerous cantilevered protrusions. It was also evident the structural design would require ingenuity, creativity and dedication of specialized resources.”
The building, which was near full occupancy just seven months after it opened, has taken its place among the most iconic structures in the New York City skyline.
“This was an outstanding opportunity to devise an innovative and creative structural system for buildings, in which stacked floor plates fluctuate substantially from story to story,” Marcus said. “The fact that we were able to devise and implement a design methodology for ‘stacked’ residences of varied geometry will surely open new possibilities for buildings with similar aesthetics.”
“The project was uniquely challenging and, ultimately, uniquely satisfying,” Mena added. “The absence of typical floors in the building provided the opportunity for a continual, intense, and focused interaction between the design architect, the architect of record and the WSP team throughout the myriad of components required by the project. This has been an excellent experience for my team members and me.”
Will there ever be another building like 56 Leonard?
“As long as there is a human desire for progress and far-reaching innovation in design, and as long as visionaries are given the opportunity to create bold new monumental structures sculpted against the sky, buildings like 56 Leonard will challenge the resourcefulness of the engineer,” Mena said. “Although 56 Leonard will surely hold its particularly unique place in the history of iconic skyscraper design, it clearly ‘ups the ante’ for the next great structural challenge.”