The first New York City building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando has fully risen, and the structure could perhaps join the city’s growing roster of impeccably-crafted buildings designed by Japanese architects. Ando’s project is a new condominium building located at 152 Elizabeth Street in the downtown neighborhood of Nolita / Little Italy and has topped off at seven stories. Within a year the building will welcome residents into its seven 2- to 5-bedroom homes that range from 1,900 to more than 5,000 square feet.
The celebrated architect landed the commission from development startup Sumaida + Khurana, which picked up the site for $21 million in 2014. This venture will also be their first in the city and the firm tapped Ando to create a thoughtful architectural statement that embraces the industrial character of its neighborhood. In a recent press release, Amit Khurana, founding partner of Sumaida + Khurana says, “The project represents a commitment to creating unique architectural value and setting a new benchmark for quality in residential development."
While the final appearance of the building is not yet decipherable, renderings and press materials show Ando’s minimalistic touch employed through the project’s raw elements of poured-in-place concrete, galvanized steel and glass. If God is in the details, then 152 Elizabeth may be the righteous residential sibling of the Seagram Building. Steel I-beam profiles wrap spandrel areas, and perfectly-proportioned floor-to-ceiling windows are outlined in slim mullion frames. Along the project’s southern lot-line, there will be a green wall designed by landscaping firm M. Paul Friedberg and Partners. It will comprise seasonal vines selected for a mix of textures and colors that will evolve organically through the seasons.
For the interiors, Ando is working with FAIA award-winning architect and designer Michael Gabellini of Gabellini Sheppard Associates. The understated building is crafted to calm the senses of its residents, “To create the architecture of quiet,” says Gabellini. Residents will enter along Elizabeth Street and will decompress from the city by way of a vestibule lined by a naturally backlit water wall and a fog and light installation in the lobby.
Gabellini sought to enhance the sense of openness in each home, “emphasizing the fluidity of spaces between the indoors and the outdoors, while still allowing for moments of privacy and separation.” Kitchen islands will be expandable and bathrooms are conceived as “spa chambers” and feature Japanese-style soaking tubs.
As an inhabitable work of art, units are priced at the top of the market. Sales are being handled by Compass and the currently available homes are Unit #2E, a 2-bed/2.5-bath with an ask of $5.75M; and Unit #4, a 4-bed/4.5-bath priced at $14.8M. While small in area, Nolita has grown to become one of most sought-after neighborhoods downtown, with an average condo closing price per square foot nearly double the Manhattan average.
The triplex penthouse, yet to hit the market, will offer 3,200 square feet of outdoor space that will include a private roof deck with a soaking tub, an outdoor kitchen, and a lounge area. The deck will also feature a reflecting pool and outdoor water features to frame a view of the Empire State Building.
The project will join several other recent New York projects penned by Japanese designers. They include Shigeru Ban’s two-condo buildings: Metal Shutter House in West Chelsea and Cast Iron House in Tribeca; Fumihiko Maki’s 150 World Trade Center and 51 Astor Place; SANAA’s New Museum on the Bowery and Yoshio Taniguchi Museum of Modern Art expansion.