A new round of renderings for the 42-storey 685 First Avenue development has been released to coincide with the start of construction, depicting a refined elegance courtesy of East River Partners and Richard Meier & Partners Architects. A leader in clean Modernist design, the 140-metre (460-foot) tower will be the practice's tallest in New York City.

The river-fronting elevation of 685 First Avenue, image via Richard Meier & Partners Architects

The first 27 floors of the highrise will contain 448 rental apartments followed by 148 condominiums for a total of 556 units. These two residential programs will be clearly defined by a recess in the facade between the 27th and 28th floors, breaking up the tower's minimalistic form and wide expanses of glass curtain wall. Two columns of balconies on the west elevation help define the edges of the building.

The west elevation of 685 First Avenue, image via Richard Meier & Partners Architects

Two retail spaces of a combined 10,000 square feet accentuate the ground floor to provide an eccentric and essential public face to the building, while the typical suite of luxury amenities on the level above anchor the private conveniences residents will enjoy. These include a 70-foot lap pool, fitness centre, children's playroom, game room, dining room, and lounge.

The simple shape of the tower draws parallels to the United Nations Building, image via Richard Meier & Partners Architects

Views of landmark Manhattan skyscrapers like the Chrysler Building are made possible via floor-to-ceiling windows, while a light palette of hues reinforces the serenity of the interiors. The all-black glass tower will provide a greater degree of privacy for residents, as opposed to the transparent and translucent glazing systems often employed in residential developments across the city.

Expansive windows are framed by black mullions, image via Richard Meier & Partners Architects

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