Tribeca’s $10 Million “Half Bean” Sculpture Almost Ready for Showing
By: Serach Nissim
Tribeca’s long awaited “half bean” sculpture is almost complete and will soon be ready for public viewing.
As reported by the NY Post, the stainless steel oversized work at the corner of Church Street may be complete by the end of the summer. “We are working really hard to make that happen,” said Mike O’Toole, an engineer who is with the Dash 7 Design firm in Brooklyn. The sculpture is being created by Anish Kapoor, a British-Indian artist who is famous for creating The Bean”, a Cloud Gate in Chicago’s downtown Millennium Park.
Plans for Tribeca’s 19-foot structure began back in 2008, with construction beginning in 2019 but halting due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The slow progress led it to be nicknamed, “half bean”, with others saying it looks like a squashed balloon for now. The sculpture will be placed at the entrance to 56 Leonard St., the 57-story tower known as the Jenga building, in a corner of the second-floor overhang. The silvery sculpture will be a mini version of Chicago’s “The Bean”, which is 33-feet tall and has turned into a major tourist attraction.
That structure, opened in 2004, is a free-standing version, and visitors can walk under it at the public park. Tribeca’s structure, which is still unnamed, will only be visible from the posh condo tower. The 85-ton sculpture is made of stainless steel plates supported by rods and beams inside of it. The parts have been ready since October and workers are currently smoothing out the ripples before the sculpture will get its a final polishing, O’Toole said.
Residents and spectators can’t wait to see the end result. “I love the one in Chicago,” said Molly Forr. “I mean, in an urban sense I like how (this) holds in the corner. I think that the reflections on it are kind of cool.” Another local, Grant Lewis, who works at a close by Starbucks, said he was worried having the sculpture set into the building wouldn’t give people a view of the whole sculpture. “If it was to be like a photo attraction, anything like that, you will kind of want to maybe walk around and see your reflection on all sides,” Lewis said. “So only being able to see it from one side, people might think they aren’t getting the full experience.”
Per the Post, the work was commissioned by the Alexico Group, which has developed the building. The sculpture reportedly cost more than $10 million. The 821-foot-tall residential building, opened in 2017, designed by the Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, to look like “houses stacked in the sky”. It is the tallest structure in Tribeca.
It offers 145 condominium residences, including two to five bedrooms all with private outdoor spaces, priced between US$3.5 million and US$50 million. According to Izak Senbahar of Alexico Group developers, the building was 92 percent sold after marketing for just seven months. Notably, in 2013, a penthouse in the tower went into contract for US$47 million, branding it the most pricey home ever sold below Midtown Manhattan. Famed residents at the tower include singer Frank Ocean. Last year, comedian Keegan Michael-Key sold his two-bedroom home there for $5 million.