“Approximately 1,700 different windowpanes comprise the most highly-engineered, complex, and visually arresting curtain wall ever constructed in New York City.” So boasts the Corcoran listing for Jean Nouvel’s much hyped 11th Avenue development, which blog Curbed calls “the biggest thing to hit West Chelsea since Bungalow 8.”
If only architectural pioneer Walter Gropius knew that this is what his curtain wall would come to.
Contemporary art curator and consultant Allan Schwartzman is the latest in a slew of high-power, high-gloss names to invest in 100 11th Avenue—fashion photographer Mario Testino and Blackstone chief financial officer Laurence Tosi both put down deposits for apartments when the tower was still unfinished—but Mr. Schwartzman is one of the first to publicly close on an apartment. He bought apartment 12A for $3.78 million, according to a city deed filed Dec. 12.
“I think he is one of the most interesting living architects, and it’s one of the most interesting buildings erected in New York in decades,” Mr. Schwartzman, a founding member and curator of the New Museum, gushed to The Observer of Mr. Nouvel. “I think it is just beautiful and I am very excited to live there.”
When asked if this real estate deal was an art investment like those he advises his clients toward, Mr. Schwartzman clarified, “No, this is not an art investment; it is my home.”
The 72 residences, ranging in size from one- to four-bedrooms, are all equipped with “true floor-to-ceiling windows.” And Mr. Nouvel’s vision extends beyond the multifaceted facade to details such as the custom-designed terrazzo kitchen islands and touch-sensitive bathroom fixtures designed by the architect for Jado. Mr. Schwartzman conceded that he will “do a little bit of work in the apartment” but hopes to move in “in a couple of months.”
He will not lack for building amenities, which range from a 24-hour concierge service to a 70-foot indoor/outdoor lap pool to a “concealed” ATM machine.
It seems Mr. Schwartzman’s professional modus operandi spills over to personal real estate. “Those collecting today, regardless of their degree of wealth or their budget, want to be more thoughtful about the decisions they make,” he told Art & Auction magazine earlier this year.
The 100 11th Avenue deal echoes that belief. “I’ve been looking for a number of years for a new place to live,” Mr. Schwartzman told The Observer, “and I’m really happy with what I’ve found!”
And is the curator—whose contemporary art writings have appeared everywhere from The New Yorker and The New York Times to Artforum and Art & Auction—friendly with any of the other A-listers rumored to be plucking property in the luxury condo? “No! Why, who have you heard!?” The Observer admitted that most of the names thrown around were merely prospective buyers, to which Mr. Schwartzman replied, “Oh, well, prospective buyers, but they’re just blah blah. I’ve heard names like that thrown around, too. But it’s buyers who are important!”
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