Inside the penthouses of 8 Spruce Street, the fact that the building was designed by Frank Gehry seems incidental. At 850-feet-high, the weirdly angled windows and sleek finishes blend into the exquisite (and exquisitely dull) good taste of thousands of other high-end apartments around the city. It is the view that dominates.
A set of rooms, in the end, can only have so many permutations, but the view from a tower that rises 76 stories above lower Manhattan—its developers say that it is the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere—is unique, the trump card that New York by Gehry is counting on to collect $60,000 a month for the largest penthouse and $45,000 a month for the two smaller ones.
“For this type of renter, it’s kind of understood that it has to have a good layout. But layouts are subjective,” said Clifford Finn, the president of New Development Marketing at Citi Habitats, the agent for the building. “There’s no question that anyone would walk in here and not like these views.”
Once, living in a building with celebrity residents or prewar pedigree was the goal of every nouveau riche New Yorker. Trump International, anyone? Yes, please, 740 Park.
Now upwardly mobile denizens of our great city have slightly different aspirations: starchitect developments; that is, buildings designed by jet-setting, Pritzker-prize winning architectural wizards, typically of the old guard variety. While some have suggested that the starchitect craze is the result of pure unadulterated vanity, it turns out that buildings have made a pretty penny since they began to sprout up a decade ago, Crain’s reports.
Last year, John Beckmann and some designers at his firm Axis Mundi decided they were fed up with the proposal for Jean Nouvel’s MoMA Tower. “Hines and MoMA have been jamming this down everyone’s throat,” Mr. Beckmann told the Architect’s Newspaper at the time. His solution: Design his own version of the tower, an Read More
Unless you’re an architect, you’ve probably never heard of the Architectural Billings Index. Every month the American Institute of Architects sends out a survey to its members about how much they’re billing.
Some economists say it can be one of the more effective ways to measure recovery, because it measures commercial construction before it even Read More
Wall Street Plaza is a 33-floor building at 88 Pine Street that rises up beside the East River in Lower Manhattan. Famed architecture firm Pei Cobb Freed and Partners designed the tower in the late 1960s, and the building now houses the firm’s offices. The owners say that this fact-that it boasts the signature I.M. Read More
This week’s Observer profiles Nicholas S.G. Stern, son of the legendary Robert A.M., dean of Yale’s architecture school and the hand behind such recent cityscape notables as 15 Central Park West and the Brompton on East 85th Street. Mr. Stern the Younger has stepped out on his own in dramatic fashion, starting an architecture Read More
On the master floor of Nicholas S. G. Stern’s West Village townhouse, the bed comforter was wrinkled. “Sorry–bachelor existence,” he said, immediately neatening the already neat bedclothes. “My wife would be–well, my father would be mortified. My wife would understand.”
Mr. Stern’s father, the renowned architect and Yale School of Architecture dean Robert A. Read More
The American Institute of Architects new Guide to New York City has named Renzo Piano’s New York Times tower at 620 Eighth Avenue the ugliest building in the city, according to the Daily News.
The Times faced stiff competition on the list of uglies from the likes of the T.G.I. Friday’s on Fifth Read More
Nicolai Ouroussoff makes an interesting point in his review of Richard Meier’s design for a mixed-income project called Teachers Village in Newark. Starchitects, it seems, are starting to once again design for the little people:
Teachers Village is not only the most impressive of several new initiatives in Newark, but also the most dramatic Read More