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

Carter's View

The 13-story luxury condominium apartment building now under construction at 40 Mercer Street in SoHo will have very large sliding glass windows and a large swing in its fitness center.

The building, which occupies the full north blockfront on Grand Street between Mercer Street and Broadway, has been designed by Jean Nouvel, the well-known French architect who designed the Cartier Foundation Building and the four-tower library in Paris and the Lyon Opera House. This is his first project to be completed in New York. He designed a cantilevered low-rise hotel in Brooklyn jutting into the East River just south of the Williamsburg Bridge and a very dramatic multi-building complex in Chelsea along the High Line, but these projects have not yet advanced beyond the planning stage.

SLCE Architects is also working on the project, which is being developed by Andr?alazs, the owner of the Mercer Hotel who is also involved in the condo development known as One Kenmore Square not too far away, Hines, Whitehall Group and EMJ Management.

The 41-unit building, which is expected to open next year, has a five-story base and its setback tower runs parallel to Grand Street. Initial prices for one- to three-bedroom apartments ranged from about $1.9 million to almost $6 million and two penthouse units that will have private pools are priced "upon request."

According to the project's website, the very elegant building's design "marks the most cutting-edge use of glass in a residential building in the United States to date with colored and transparent, filtered and clear glass, and the largest sheets, approximately 7 by 12 feet, ever used on a residential project." The windows are triple-glazed. On lower floors, six-foot-wide sash windows can be lowered to create safety railings and on higher floors the large windows open sideways by means of key-operated motors and the windows have recessed shades to "insure uniformity of appearance from the street."

Some of the apartments will have a sliding wall bookcase that can be moved to enclose or open up spaces.

Apartments have been planned by Mr. Nouvel and Carlo Molteni to use Italian walnut, Tanganika and Wenge woods in the open-design kitchens, leading one website to note "Memo to interior designers: the stainless steel trend is officially so over." The kitchens will have a "glassfront Sub-Zero 650 Series refrigerator," but, it should be noted, that the "counters and backsplash are of heavy gauge stainless steel."

The building will have a garage, a concierge, a garden lobby lounge and a block-through private park and its private club, bath house and gymnasium, designed by Roman and Williams, will have a 50-foot lap pool, a bar and lounge/screening area and a swing.

The project was first designed in 2000 as a hotel. It will have a very modern, glass facade that utilizes red- and blue-tinted glass and it was redesigned at the suggestion of the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission to have the windows and floors of the base relate closely to the scale of neighboring cast-iron buildings.
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Additional Info About the Building

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.