Designer Discount? Enrique Norten Buys in Own Building

Architects make for neurotic, itchy apartment buyers. “I would never live in anything I design,” Peter Eisenman told The Observer last year. “If you were a son of mine, I wouldn’t want you to be an architect because it’s a tough way to be in the world.”

But Enrique Norten, the star Mexican architect who was commissioned three years ago to build a Guggenheim museum in Guadalajara, spent $1,929,000 this month for an apartment at One York Street, the hefty, sharp building he designed in northern Tribeca.

He doesn’t mind living within his own work (he has a place in one of his Mexican buildings, Parque España), although he’s taking down some walls in the apartment, plus changing some finishes and appliances in the bathroom and the kitchen. He didn’t specify if he’s keeping the standard Sub-Zero fridge/wine cooler and the Zuma whirlpool.

He got cagey (but poetic) when asked to describe his apartment. “It’s very difficult to describe in words what it’s about—colors and forms. I’m not an architecture critic.” He said to look at interior renderings on the building’s Web site—which show light, bright, sleek spaces. “I don’t know exactly what that means. You’ll have to excuse me. Those are words that mean different things to different people. But if that’s what comes to your mind, I’m O.K.”

mabelson@observer.com

Designer Discount? Enrique Norten Buys in Own Building