I was cataloging my image library of older projects and came across this proposal for a night club on top of what is now the MetLife Building but what was then know as the Pan-Am Building (and it is still probably to most New Yorkers). I was only 25 at the time and had plenty of energy and idealism. My partner Simon Ungers and I along with Todd Zwigard created this spherical building which for it’s time was pretty advanced. It proposed to use passive solar energy via a double exterior shell (one of the early double all structures I think). As a footnote these are not computer drawings but hand drawn and colored. There were three drawings in the presentation but I have lost the interior view somehow. A colored print of it is in the collection of the German Architectural Museum in Frankfurt tough.
The story behind this project is a rather interesting one. Back in the summer of 1980 we met a young and brash guy with the idea of creating a night club on top opt the PanAm Building. We were introduced to him by a friend, the daughter of Bob Lutz the future chairman of Chrysler Corp. and GM. We would not have taken such idea so seriously had it not come through such a connection. Besides the heliport was just closed because of the helicopter crash two years before and the city was trying to revitalize 42nd Street and there was talk of even allowing gambling in NYC. Give these conditions the project didn’t seem so far fetch and besides we thought it would be heck of a fun creating an outrageous structure. We sure had fun that summer and fall working till wee hours in our small Ithaca office.