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611 West 56th Street, Amit Khurana and 152 Elizabeth Street 611 West 56th Street, Amit Khurana and 152 Elizabeth Street
In June of last year, 6sqft interviewed Amit Khurana about Sumaida + Khurana’s Nolita 152 Elizabeth condominium building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando with interiors by Michael Gabellini of Gabellini Sheppard Associates. Although other developers have tried to pursue Ando, this was his first commission in New York City. Khurana described the great lengths they went to in order to build a relationship with Ando and convince him to come design in Manhattan.
Last week, the development firm announced that they have closed on a $155 million construction loan, in partnership with LENY, for the development of 611 West 56th Street, the luxury condominium designed by another Pritzker Prize-winning architect, the Portuguese Alvaro Siza. Like Ando, this is Siza's first building in the New York, and even further, in the United States.

We recently interviewed Khurana about how this project compares to 152 Elizabeth.
611 West 56th Street Renderings of 152 Elizabeth Street and 611 West 56th Street; Credit: Noe & Associates with The Boundary
This is your second project in a row with an architect who has not built in NYC before. How is it similar or dissimilar this time?
This project is quite similar. Like Ando, Siza is one of the great masters of architecture. What appealed to us about his work and what he is known for is his purity of design. It is essential to Siza’s work and creates very elegant, and in a way, very simple pieces of architecture that are really unique. This is what he is known for.

Siza is also known for being a great collaborator. He is a total gentleman, which is rare for an architect who is so well known. He is very gentle and very committed to collaboration.
152-Elizabeth-Street-04 152 Elizabeth Street beginning to wrap up construction (CityRealty)
For the 152 Elizabeth project, you recounted the process of going to Japan and courting Ando. Did you have to court Siza?
It wasn’t dissimilar. We called him a few times and at first, he didn’t really take it seriously. Architects never know if it’s real until you actually go and make the trip. So that’s what I did. Again, it’s part of creating that rapport with a great architect. You need to develop the relationship with them in person. That’s very important. Similarly, I made trips to Portugal and then he really committed to the project.

We’re all about creating great buildings and great projects. Saif and I are very fortunate to have a great team and great partners, like LENY, who we are working with and who are very active in New York.
611-West-56th-Street Looking north up Eleventh Avenue with the site of 611 West 56th Street in-demolition on the left-hand side. The site is now cleared. (CityRealty)
You expressed the importance of the location/physical site of 152 Elizabeth. What was important to you about this new site?
This is a unique location. This is an area where there has been a lot of transformation and change recently, which allows for something that is very much on its own. It’s singular and in a way relative to everything going on there. The context of the area is really developing which allows us to create something that has a great contrast to other neighboring buildings.
You are working with the interior designer Michael Gabellini again. What is his creative direction this time around?
Again, our goals on this project were similar to 152 Elizabeth. Michael’s partner, Kim, made the second trip with us to Portugal. She was very involved in the process. Siza has a connection with Michael and Kim that was very much complimentary in terms of their personalities and their work. The aesthetic direction is very much about the purity of design. It will be monolithic in terms of how it will read. Like a stone monolith, it is going to be very simple and very much about detailing and execution. Our building is a lean tower. The materiality and the simplicity of the design will be a great counterpoint to their building, in size and color. It is going to be a very significant contrast to our neighbors next door.
152 Elizabeth Street Living room rendering of 152 Elizabeth Street
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Contributing Writer Michelle Sinclair Colman Michelle writes children's books and also writes articles about architecture, design and real estate. Those two passions came together in Michelle's first children's book, "Urban Babies Wear Black." Michelle has a Master's degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and a Master's degree in the Cities Program from the London School of Economics.