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

Carter's View

More details about the dramatic, 20-story residential condominium apartment building planned by Sleepy Hudson LLC at Five Franklin Place and designed by Ben van Berkel of UN Studio have been released.

The mid-block, 55-unit building extends through the block to 371 Broadway between White and Franklin Streets in TriBeCa.

A press release issued today provided the following commentary on the project:

"The building will be wrapped in an optically dazzling, constantly shifting pattern of horizontal black metal bands sewn onto its form the way decorative seams and pleats are sewn onto a luxurious couture garment. A direct homage to the applied metal facade decoration of TriBeCa's celebrated 19th Century cast iron architecture, these gleaming reflective ribbons will grow thinner and thicker, wrapping the entire tower and moving softly around corners to give the whole structure an etched effect and curvilinear softness, while reflecting the evolving light of day, the clouds and the colors of the city in one of the most dramatic compositions attempted in modern Manhattan's recent building boom."

"Thanks to strategic twisting and torquing," it continued, "his facade bands will serve as essential functional elements of the tower as well, transforming into balconies for more than half of the building's residences, terraces for the penthouses at the top, and sunshades that deflect heat and protect all of the structures interiors from excess sunlight....The horizontal and mutable qualities of van Berkel's facade bands have been brought inside and translated into broad horizontal spatial arrangements; carefully placed curved walls that echo the soft corners of the ribbons outside and shift to allow for maximum flexibility in the use of rooms; balconies shaped to loop residents' movements back indoors; and highly-engineered, custom features and fixtures for kitchens and bathrooms designed by van Berkel and fabricated by renowned design manufacturer B&B Italia....Bathrooms, for example, will have circular sliding doors so that baths can become part of bedrooms and share the same views - and to introduce an alternative to the now standardized rectilinear interiors of contemporary condominium architecture in New York City."

The apartments will range in size from about 1,200 to about 3,400 square feet and prices will range from $2 million to $16 million,

The lobby will have sliding doors, 24 hour doorman and a "sparkling violet glass-chip floor," and a "sweeping curved stairwell" to a sub-grade level spa and fitness center with a "daylight flooded, double-height weight room."

On floors 2 through 7, Loft Residences will have 20-foot-high living rooms and "floating upper level mezzaines at the center of the floor plan." On floors 8 through 18, City Residences will have paved terraces on the east and west sides of the building. Three duplex penthouses will have terraces, fireplaces, and cylindrical glass elevators wrapped by a curved, cantilevered floating staircase.

Sleepy Hudson LLC, of which Leo Tsimmer and David Kislin are principals, developed the recently completed High Line 519 residential condominium building at 519 West 23rd Street that was designed by Lindy Roy and is notable for its cloud-like scrim balconies.

UN Studio was founded in 1998 by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos and, according to its website, its projects include the Battersea Weave Office Building in London, the Light*House in Aarhus, Denmark, the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuggart, Germany, the Groninger Forum in Groningen, The Netherlands, the World Business Centre in Busan, South Korea, and the Ciudad del Motor in Alcaniz, Aragon, Spain.

In 1998, van Berkel designed the Mobius House in Het Gooi, The Netherlands, which illustrated his belief, the press release stated, "that orthodoxies exist to be challenged, including the increasingly stale tropes of glass-sheathed, square box Modernism."
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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.