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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)
 
 

Carter's View

Ignoring opposition from Community Board 2 and the Historic Districts Council, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved with minor modifications an application for a certificate of appropriateness this morning for a new building in NoHo with an indented ground floor, a curved facade of perforated corrugated metal and another facade of hammered concrete.

The project in question is a 6-story residential condominium building at 8-12 Bond Street on the northwest corner at Lafayette Street.

The project, which will have 15 apartments, each with about 1,500 square feet, is being designed by TRA Studio, of which Robert Traboscia and Caterina Roiatti are the principles, for developers Fred Shehery and Ben Soleimani.

This is the latest of several projects on Bond Street that are transforming it into one of the city's most interesting. To the east, a 9-story new condo building is nearing completion at 25 Bond Street and Ian Schrager and Aby Rosen are developing a condo building at 40 Bond Street with a green-glass facade and a "graffiti-inspired" gate designed by Herzog & Meuron.

Community Board 2 had voted against the granting of the certificate, noting that its "horizontality" was "too aggressive," and the Historic Districts Council issued a statement at the hearing also in opposition, stating that while it found "the overall massing and the general modern language of this plan to be acceptable," it was concerned about "the extraordinary amount of transparency in the design, which" its committee "found to be discontinuous and jarring in relation to this streetscape, and that the introduction of transparent metal finishes intensified this transparency. The Committee further objected to the cut out corners, which provide for balconies, and the cut out entrance at the corner on the ground floor?.They also had great difficulty with the introduction of the curve to the design, which they felt was too assertive and would cause this building to compete with the architecture of this district. And on the Lafayette Street facade, the Committee objected to the ground floor set back, which makes the building appear to float above the storefronts."

The building, which is also known as 358-364 Lafayette Street, will have a rear light court and a light alley on its north facade.

The architects have noted that the "neighborhood presents a complex texture, with extremely varied characteristics, typologies, materials and scale."

"This,' they continued," is very apparent on Bond Street, where classic cast-iron buildings co-exist with Greek Revival buildings and on Lafayette Street where some historical buildings present monumental facades, while others are actually not facades at all but building side walls with a few openings. In some way the characteristics of the area allow for a contemporary building to e inserted without have to mimic the surrounding buildings, or even without having to be totally contrasting just to accord different coupon. This particular block 'kicks' out from the grid, bending towards the east. This is a rare occurrence in the grid of Manhattan; thus it became the spring board to the design strategy. The building on Lafayette Streets is a 6-story structure, keeping with the surrounding building scale. The structure does not present a facade per se on Lafayette Street. It's more a wall which peels off following the lot lines, opening to reveal the window wall behind. The Lafayette facade appears to slide over the structure. On Bond Street a small building appears in scale with the Greek Revival buildings. To accentuate the connection between the regularity of the grid on Bond Street and the geometry of the lot on Lafayette Streets, balconies or outlooks are inserted to link the facades and the recognize the structure's habitability."

The project requires a use variance from the Board of Standards & Appeals.
Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.
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