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The Flowerbox Building, 40 Bond (Iwan Baan), and New York by Gehry (DBOX) The Flowerbox Building, 40 Bond (Iwan Baan), and New York by Gehry (DBOX)
Let's face it, at the tail-end of New York City's decade-long surge in real estate, building designs were getting a bit crass, repetitive, and/or unimaginative. The city streets have been depressingly filled with glass-skinned monoliths, factory-inspired facades, and formulaic/market-driven designs that shied away from creating spaces that uplifted both their inhabitants and their surroundings.

The coming months will surely be painful for not just New York, but the entire world. While we all will surely come out changed on the other end, one constant is that people will still need a place to live. The appeal of cities may be diminished as a result of the virus, but they will nevertheless remain great places for social interaction, culture, and laboratories for innovation. The next time around, builders and buyers should aim to create a city we want to love and not just invest in.

Back in January, we looked at innovative completed projects that feature interior bells and whistles that may fly or flop in the coming years. Here, to mark a belated April Fools Day, we simply take a look at recent residential development that uplift their surroundings and could put a smile on your face at even the grimmest of times.

145 Central Park West
5 availabilities from $3M - $22.8M

259 East 7th Street
No current availabilities

Cultivate the concrete jungle! We all know the benefits of plants and seeing green. Finished in 2007, The Flowerbox Building at 259 East 7th Street in the East Village is one of the most attractive new low-rise buildings in the city and on one of the neighborhood's most beautiful blocks. Eighteen-inch-deep planters run the width of the lower floors, adding a bounty of lushness to the hard-edged metropolis.

Paul Rudolph House Paul Rudolph House at 23 Beekman Place (via Sotheby's Real Estate)

360 West 11th Street
No current availabilities

Palazzo Chupi Palazzo Chupi captured by Punxsutawneyphil via Wikipedia
Propped up upon an old industrial warehouse, Palazzo Chupi's dusty rose facade punctuated asymmetrically by Venetian-style windows and balustrades, is a work of art unlikely to ever be replicated.

Iwan Baan for Herzog and de Meuron for Ian Schrager
This look-at-me condo is full of interesting pieces and seems unconcerned about being considered serious architecture. Its graffiti gates and luminous green-glass-tube facade makes one of Manhattan's most noteworthy streets even more interesting.

"40 Bond Street is the best of all buildings on the best of all blocks in the best of all cities!"

515 West 18th Street
No current availabilities

Lantern House Credit: Heatherwick Studio/Related Companies

56-Leonard-Street-03 56 Leonard (Credit Iwan Baan)

16 Chittenden Avenue
No current availabilities

625 West 57th Street
1 two-bedroom for $5,995/month

photo : Simon Garcia |

American Copper Buildings Credit: Glas Tr??sch AG

Woolworth Residences Woolworth Residences via Witkoff Group

180 West 58th Street
1 one-bedroom for $1.4M

(CORE Real Estate)

520-West-28th-Street-zaha-hadid Credit: Hufton Crow for Related Companies

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