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Carter's View

The 21-story residential condominium tower designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel and Beyer Blinder Belle at 100 Eleventh Avenue across 19th Street from the new IAC/Interactive Corporation Building designed by Frank O. Gehry was scheduled for completion in the fall of 2008 and was described by Mr. Nouvel as a "vision machine."

It was an "instant landmark" as soon as renderings were released in the spring of 2007.

The project claims to "feature the most highly-engineered and technologically advanced curtain wall ever constructed in New York City - a gently curving, glittering mosaic of nearly 1,700 different-sized panes of colorless glass, each set at a unique angle and torque, sheathing one of the most meticulously customized, high performance residential addresses in the nation."

"The main south curtain wall is comprised of approximately 1,647 completely different colorless windowpanes organized within enormous steel-framed 'megapanels' that range from 11 to 16 feet tall and as wide as 37 feet across. Each windowpane inside these megapanels is titled at a different angle and in a different direction - up, down, in, out - bearing a slightly different degree of transparency," according to a press release for the project that maintained that the design "is inspired in part by the renowned stained-glass window cycles of the 13th Century Gothic cathedral of Saint-Chapelle in Paris."

The press release also stated that "The building's dazzling Mondrian-like window pattern will frame splendid views from within the tower while producing an exterior texture that serves as a poetic analog for the vibrancy, density and changeability of New York."

The building has a seven-story street wall "of mullioned glass 15 feet from the building's facade to reflect fleeting images of life beyond the building while creating a semi-enclosed atrium unprecedented in New York City" and "within the atrium, suspended gardens of ornamental vegetation and trees will appear to float in mid-air; private indoor and outdoor terraces will extend from residences; and an open-air dining patio for the lobby restaurant."

The north and east facades of the building are clad in black brick that are meant to harken "West Chelsea's industrial architecture" and have windows of different sizes. The north facade expresses "motion within: Elevator shafts will contain random LED lighting and full-scale punched windows, so that passengers in glass-walled cabs can see city vistas."

The developers are West Chelsea Development Partners LLC, a venture of Alf Naman Real Estate Advisors and Cape Advisors, of which Craig D. Wood is a principal.

Nouvel is the architect of 40 Mercer Street, which is nearing completion in SoHo and is notable for its large sliding windows, and of the Arab World Institute and the new Quai Branly Museum, both in Paris.

The building, which is just to the south of a juvenile detention center, has 72 apartments that range in size from 890 to 4,675 square feet and prices initially ranged from $1,600,000 to $22,000,000.

All apartments have south and west views and mechanized shade systems.

The north and south facades, in contrast, will be clad in black brick with different size punched windows and the north facade will have elevator shafts with random LED lighting and full-scale punched windows so that passengers in glass-walled cabs and see city vistas.

The building will has a 24-hour doorman, a daytime concierge and 24-hour off-site concierge service, a lobby restaurant, a garden, an ATM, a private screening room, storage rooms, a 70-foot-long swimming pool and a gym. Ceiling heights range from 10 feet 1 inch to 11 feet 1.5 inches and the penthouse ceilings range from 12 to 16 feet.
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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.
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