Arts & Entertainment

Kaleidoscopic observation deck opens at Midtown Manhattan skyscraper

By Jorge Fuentelsaz

New York, Oct 21 (EFE).- A kaleidoscopic observation deck opened Thursday on the top floors of New York City’s One Vanderbilt commercial skyscraper, offering a unique experience in which the streets and skyline below are reflected off of an array of mirrored surfaces to create a dizzying and disorienting effect.

Known as Summit One Vanderbilt, the new 6,000-square-meter (65,000-square-foot) entertainment space covers four floors of that 1,401-foot-tall building and is a tourist destination that rivals other Manhattan viewing platforms such as the Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building and “The Edge” at 30 Hudson Yards.

It is highlighted by “Air,” a multi-room art installation designed by Kenzo Digital.

“‘Air’ is based on a recurring dream I’ve been having for 25 years. So it’s something that’s deeply personal and I’ve been thinking about it for 25 years. I’ve been working on it for three years, designing it in actual physical space,” Kenzo Digital, a New York City-based director, freelance creative director and artist, told Efe at the observation deck, known as Summit One Vanderbilt.

“It’s very much built with the intention of connecting people to each other, to their friends, through sheer curiosity and wonder. And it is a place that is meant to inspire people and reconnect them to the natural world,” he added.

Each detail of Summit One Vanderbilt’s immersive experience was planned with care, from a scarcely lit hallway leading to Ascent, an all-glass elevator that transports guests from the building’s Summit Terrace level to a height of more than 1,200 feet (364 meters), to its Levitation sky boxes, whose transparent glass floors provide stunning views of the city below.

The different spaces within the Air art installation include the mirrored wonder world of Transcendence 1, which offers visitors a sense of limitless space, and Affinity, an Instagrammer’s paradise where guests are invited to interact with hundreds of reflective orbs that hover around them.

Kenzo Digital described Air as a “story” in which each person plays the role of protagonist and has their own unique experience.

“Because it’s different every time you come, you will always have a different story,” he said. “So it’ll always be different for you, and it will always feel different every time. And it is very much designed to essentially build this relationship, this emotional, intellectual relationship, with the physical space.”

Summit One Vanderbilt is currently open Thursday through Sunday at a cost for people 13 and older that ranges from $39 for access to Air, Levitation and the Summit Terrace to as much as $83 for nighttime access to all spaces, including Ascent, and a complementary cocktail or non-alcoholic mocktail.

Proof of vaccination against Covid-19 is required for entry.

Due to Transcendence 1’s mirrored environment, visitors are urged not to wear skirts or dresses to avoid any “unwanted exposure.” They are also encouraged to use sunglasses to protect themselves from the glare of the sun bouncing off the glass surfaces.

Eric Adams, a retired police officer and the heavy favorite to become New York City’s next mayor, and Marc Holliday, the chairman and CEO of SL Green Realty Corp., Manhattan’s largest office landlord and the owner and developer of One Vanderbilt, which opened in September 2020, were among those on hand for Thursday’s inauguration. EFE


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