Republic of Turkey, Perkins Eastman Unveil Design for New NYC Consulate Tower

Designs for the Turkevi Center, a 32-story consulate tower to be constructed in Manhattan's Turtle Bay neighborhood, call for an all-glass facade, among other prominent features.

By Gail Kalinoski

A rendering of the new Turkevi Center, New York
A rendering of the new Turkevi Center, New York

Construction on the Turkevi Center, a 32-story consulate and mission tower for the Republic of Turkey, will begin later this year in Manhattan’s Turtle Bay, a Midtown East neighborhood near the United Nations.

The 200,000-square-foot glass tower will be located at 821 United Nations Plaza at the corner of First Avenue and East 46th Street, known in New York City as “Consulate Row” because of its large number of foreign missions and other diplomatic offices. In the planning stages since late 2012, the building is expected to be completed in 2018, according to Perkins Eastman, the New York-based international design and architecture firm that is designing the tower. The current 12-story Turkish Center and other nearby buildings will be demolished for the new structure. The construction schedule supplied by the Consulate last year calls for construction to start in July 2016 and be completed by November 2018.

The firm released renderings of its design of the building that will stand 32 stories over First Avenue. The glass tower’s curving façade was inspired by the Turkish crescent. It will feature loggias along the upper floors on the south and east sides and be stacked atop a podium wrapped in perforated metal paneling. The podium’s roof will have a public terrace with views of the East River and Downtown Manhattan.

“When it’s completed, the Turkevi Center will be a true cultural beacon for the Republic of Turkey and its visiting citizens, as well as a grand addition to the New York skyline,” Perkins Eastman Principal Jonathan Stark said in a prepared statement.

The building, which is targeting LEED Silver certification, will have residences along with government and diplomatic uses. It will include a passport and visa branch office, lounges, kitchen, reception area, conference rooms, multi-purpose prayer room, fitness center, auditorium and underground parking garage.

Joining Stark on the design team are Perkins Eastman Principal Michael Lew, Design Principal Gilles Le Gorrec and Senior Associate Tadeusz (T) Rajwer. Ercüment Gümrük of Dizayn Grup in Istanbul is the Turkish design consultant.

In December 2012, Cresa, a leading tenant representation firm, was selected as the project manager for the development.

Levent Bilgen, Turkish Consul General in New York, said at the time that the Cresa team had “demonstrated a unique collaborative culture and understanding of Turkey’s long-term goal to create an iconic diplomatic presence in New York City.”