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

Carter's View

The New York City Board of Standards & Appeals yesterday approved a variance for a new 36-unit residential condominium building fronting on Jackson Square at the intersection of Eighth and Greenwich Avenues and 13th Street.

The building, which will be located at 122 Greenwich Avenue, has a five-story-high wing facing the Square and an 11-story-tower at its north end which is near 14th Street.

A revised design for the project was unanimously approved last May by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The variance permits the project to not conform to existing floor area, lot coverage, rear yard, height and setback, inner court, and elevator bulkhead requirements.

Hines Interests and Aby Rosen are the developers and William Pedersen of Kohn Pedersen Fox is the architect for the building that is distinguished by its rippling, multi-faceted clear glass facades with windows of different widths that appear to be randomly placed. Each floor of the building undulates differently in plan.

The building does not extend all the way to 14th Street and so its north wall will be blank, and at the landmark commission's request at its previous hearing on the project Mr. Pedersen has changed its north facade to make it less busy. He has also gently wrapped the glass walls on its west facade at the corners to meet some concerns expression at the last meeting about how the design interfaced with neighboring properties.

Hines Interests is one of the nation's major developers whose skyscrapers have revitalized many urban skylines in the United States.

Mr. Rosen is an owner of the Seagram Building and Lever House on Park Avenue and a developer of a new mixed-use apartment and hotel tower designed by Sir Norman Foster planned to rise behind the Seagram Building at 610 Lexington Avenue. He is seeking permission from the landmarks commission to build a residential condominium tower designed by Foster on the north end of the former Parke-Bernet Building at 980 Madison Avenue.

Mr. Pedersen is the design partner of Kohn Pedersen Fox, one of the world's foremost architectural firms, whose masterworks include 333 Wacker Drive in Chicago, the Shanghai World Financial Center, the Parkhaven Tower in Rotterdam, the Rodin Museum in Seoul, South Korean, Roppongi Hills in Tokyo, and the Westend Strasse 1/DZ Bank Headquarters in Frankfurt.

At the landmarks commission meeting, Commissioner Richard Olcott described the revised design as "a really wonderful and interesting building." Commissioner Jan Pokorny said it was "exciting and bold."

Numerous community and civic groups had opposed the project, arguing that its design is "inappropriate" to the character of the Greenwich Village Historic District and questioning whether the changing nature of new construction in the area is altering the "context" of "historic districts."
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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.