Gordon Bunshaft and SOM at Nueva York, Lever House

Gordon Bunshaft and SOM at Nueva York, Lever House
Exterior view. Lever House by Gordon Bunshaft and SOM, New York, United States. Photography © Ezra Stoller
The 29th of April of 1952 it was opened in Midtown, Manhattan, the first building in New York with complete glass architectural surroundings, the Lever House. It aspired to amaze a metropolis where the skyscrapers were the prevailing typology, and it achieved it. New York that at that time had constructive systems, in which the architectural surroundings was made of walls drilled by large windows, shown off an elegant skyscraper covered by green-blue glass then. The innovation of placing a gondola to keep the window panes in perfect condition, made the building an attractive sight to the citizens.

The Lever House, located in Midtown Manhattan, denoted a paradigm inside the corporate architecture in the USA when its construction finished in 1952. It was designed by the architect Gordon Bunshaft, partner of the firma Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM). Together with Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building are the most important ones of New York Modern Architecture.

The Project was put in charge by the Lever Brothers Company in order to find a new corporate identity. Bunshaft answered his client’s wishes with a building of prismatic form of 21 storeys with similar tiles, a horizontal podium that is separated from the floor by piles and creates a patio on the ground floor and a terrace on the top. The structure of the building hides behind a squared polished glass façade –a symbol of the corporate rationalism-.

For Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), the Lever House is the fist office building in which the modern materials, the modern construction and the functions of the modernity united in just one being. Immediately after its opening, the building was already an architecture symbol, not only for its image but also for its diverse technologic innovations: firstly, it was one of the first buildings in incorporate a full air condition...read more

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM).
Gordon Bunshaft (principal), Nathaniel O
wings, Charles Luckman and Raymond Loewy.
Floor count
94 m
Construction date
Completed construction
29 april 1952.
National Register of Historic Places (NRPH), EE.UU.
2 october 1983.
390 Park Avenue, Manhattan, New York Cit


Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world, with a 75-year reputation for design excellence and a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since its inception, SOM has been a leader in the research and deve...read more