Fashionable Living

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“I think it is a departure from the ordinary developer buildings that are hailed as luxury,” said architect Annabelle Selldorf. “I feel strongly that this is going to be an exceptional residential building in lower Manhattan.”

Today at noon, roughly 40 topping out party-goers donned hardhats and braved the windy rooftop of the new Urban Glass House, the last residential commission of the late Philip Johnson. Architect Alan Ritchie was on hand, along with developer Charles Blaichman, who has profited nicely from a previous high-end, modern condo project—the first two Richard Meier buildings.

And like the the Perry Street fishbowl, marketing is king. For the Urban Glass House there have already been giant billboards, and promotional materials stressing the connection to Johnson’s iconic home in New Canaan.

“He was the one who supported calling this The Urban Glass House. What he was thinking about—I venture to speculate—was not so much that it is identical to the Glass House in Connecticut, but he was referring to the light and space and air that he afforded this building, introducing these floor to ceiling glass partitions.”

After the coffee and sandwiches, everyone left the event with a hardcover promotional book that included a short Johnson biography and, of course, full-color interior shots of the building’s super-sleek amenities. And even if you can’t afford your own modernist residence (prices expected to run from $1.6 to $10 million), the gift bags emblazoned with close-ups of the architects still makes quite the fashion statement.

-Michael Calderone