The latest news on New York architecture.

  • 'Breathtaking' PHs For Cast Iron Tribeca Building, Revealed!

    Hana R. Alberts reports for Curbed. When it was approved two years ago, Japanese architect Shigeru Ban's plan for contemporary twin duplex penthouses atop a 132-year-old cast-iron beauty in Tribeca was deemed "magical" and "breathtaking." Now two full renderings have been revealed, via the Times. The white metal addition, pictured above, will sport "a Vierendeel truss (named for the Belgian civil engineer who devised it), a cantilever that allows for glass exterior doors to be completely opened, creating an uninterrupted expanse between the interiors and the surrounding terraces." Developer Jourdan Krauss, president of Knightsbridge Properties, bought the cast iron building at 361 Broadway in 2002, waited for tenants' leases to expire in 2008, and then underwent a three-year façade fix-up, restoring some 4,000 ornamental pieces. The condo conversion, as it happens, fits neatly in line with the mini-boom occurring along lower Broadway. Then came plans for the addition as well as a total reconfiguration of the interior. The lower floors will house 11 duplex apartments (from a 2,850-square-foot 3BR to a 4,890-square-foot 5BR); all have double-height living rooms with ceilings of 17 to 25 feet. As for the penthouses, one will have four bedrooms and total 3,800 square feet, while the other will be five bedrooms and 4,560 square feet. Both will have ample outdoor space. Asking price estimates for those? "High $12 millions to $15 million," Krauss told the Times. Sales will begin next month. Ban, he of West Chelsea's out-of-the-box Metal Shutter Houses, is also responsible for the interiors, set to feature "white lacquer desks in the studies, floor-to-ceiling white lacquer cabinetry, and die-cast aluminum door levers. Amenities in the building will include a garden courtyard with 40-foot-tall bamboo trees; a water room with sauna and steam room; an exercise room; and a game room." Needless to say, it'll be pretty exciting to tour these spaces when they're complete.  

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  • Covertly Touring The Apthorp's Roof. A Landmarks Battleground

    Hana R. Alberts reports for Curbed. The battle over the proposed rooftop addition for Upper West Side grande dame the Apthorp has been rollicking thus far. At a September community board meeting, residents, neighbors, and preservation groups spoke out against it, leading CB7 to issue a resounding "no" to Area Property Partners' penthouse plan. Then the proposal moved on to Landmarks, where starchitects including Robert A.M. Stern. A. Eugene Kohn, Michael Graves, and David Childs sent in supportive statements - also against the addition. The meeting ran so long that most of the commissioners had left by the time the public had finished delivering testimony, and now the issue is back on the LPC's agenda (warning: PDF!) for tomorrow. It's the last item listed on the schedule, meaning commissioners expect this one to take awhile. IMG_0250 IMG_0283 Curbed took a tour of the existing rooftop, which is semi-off limits due to structural concerns. A central issue in this debate is whether adding the four penthouse units—currently represented by the scaffolding erected up there (which used to be covered by orange netting so that folks could see its approximate visual impact)—degrades the landmark in any way. Two main detractions have been that it will impair the symmetry of the Apthorp's vaunted courtyard, which is also landmarked, and that it will close in the loggias, or pergolas (different folks have called them different things). These covered areas, punctuated with arches on both sides, would be incorporated into the (presumably pricey) apartments, and many have held that these symmetrical passageways are integral to the building's 1909 Italian Renaissance design. Check out this wealth of (admittedly amateur) photos of the rooftop and mocked-up scaffolding up close for the first time ever. Refresh your memory with the renderings, then place your bets on what Landmarks will say tomorrow in the comments section below.  

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