Unique and dramatic observatory experience opens in New York

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There are observation decks to view the panorama of a city around the world, several of which are already positioned in New York. But none can quite match the experience of observing this city from SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, the 65,000-square-foot, four-level space that opens October 21.st with tickets on sale today.

Finding the entrance feels like uncovering a secret: it’s tucked away in a remote hallway connected to Grand Central Station. After passing through a hallway animated by video screens, visitors walk 1,000 feet by elevator in 42 seconds, opening onto Air, a two-level space designed by artist Kenzo Digital, CEO of Kenzo Digital Immersive, with multiple refractions, sounds and mirror images. When I walked through a preview a few weeks ago, I felt like I was in the center of a diamond with cascading prisms. The artist describes it as follows: “Air is a living, breathing entity, expressed through its multisensory use of sound, lighting and production design. It’s a story that evolves with each successive space, taking visitors deeper and deeper into the experience until they come to be a part of it, inviting visitors of all ages to revel in the wonder. collective. By its infinite juxtapositions of shapes, Air forces you to live in the present moment: calm, aware and free.

And that’s just the inside. With its location in midtown Manhattan, the observatory offers views south towards the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center beyond, a close-up of the nearby Chrysler Building, over rivers and upscale neighborhoods towards Central. Park. For those who wish to interact even more closely with the view, the LEVITATION open-top boxes on the upper level, 1,063 feet above Madison Avenue, are completely transparent glass perches, including floors, exhilarating if not for the height.

Also exhilarating and certainly not for the height is a ride on ASCENT the all-glass elevator, floor included, on the side of the building to a vantage point 1,200 feet above the street, the vantage point. higher than the city center. It’s a bird’s-eye view in the most literal sense, a feeling of being one with the sky.

At the foot of this elevator, 100 feet lower, the SUMMIT TERRACE that surrounds the south and west sides of the building also offers spectacular exterior views, up to 60 miles on a clear day. There is also some greenery, giving a Central Park feel to the interior space, as well as APRES, a cafe with a light menu and cocktail program created by Union Square Events from famous New York restaurateur Danny Meyer and operating both indoors and on the terrace. “Our team is proud to add an extra flavor to this exciting new destination that will put a resounding exclamation mark on the rebirth of New York City,” said Meyer, Founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group.

When it opens, the various platforms will show off the colors of fall and clear skies, but given its full exposure to the landscape and the elements, it’s easy to imagine coming back here to watch the thunderstorms crackle around the skyscrapers. -sky or in winter, blizzards cover the city. “It will be difficult for people to visit only once,” said Marc Holliday, president and CEO of SL Green Realty Corp, the real estate investment trust behind the project. Considering the overall experience, he might just be right.

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