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152 Elizabeth Street

Between Broome Street & Kenmare Street

81
Carter Horsley
Review by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of CityRealty.com.
 

This very strong minimalist 7-story residential building at 152 Elizabeth Street on the southeast corner of Kenmare Street four blocks east of Lafayette Street in NoLiTa is the first to be designed in New York City by Tadao Ando, who won the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 1995.

It is scheduled for completion in 2016. It will have 7 condominium apartments.  The site was formerly occupied by a four-story garage.

Michael Gambellini of Gabellini Sheppard Associates, is designing the interiors.

Saif Sumaida and Amit Khurana is the developer, which bought the site for $21 million in 2014.  It also recently commissioned Alvaro Siza, and recipient of the Pritzker Prize, to design a 400-foot-tall residential tower at 11th Avenue and 56th Street.

Mr. Ando’s other projects in the United States include the very elegant Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth that has low-rise pavilions in a pond, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis and the visitor and exhibition building at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass.

He also designed the Morimoto Restaurant in Chelsea and the Francois Pinault Collection’s Palazzo Grassi in Venice, the huge Tokyo Skytree, and the very spectacular and memorable Centro Roberto Garza Sada, which is known as the “Gate of Creation” at the University of Monterrey, Mexico, that has a very dramatic stepped overhang over a small entrance on one side and a monumental front entrance resembling Gargantua’s furnace on the other. A November 4, 2013 article by Emmanuelo Petit in The Architecture Review noted that the building’s “large opening beneath the Centro relates its grooved Scarpaeque striation to the characteristic morphology of the majestic mountains that surround the city.”

Other important Ando works is the Poly Grand Theater in Shanghai with five elliptical tunnels penetrating the boxy building’s mass and façade, the Shiba Ryotaro Memorial Museum with its three-story-high curved library shelves, and the very poetric Chichu Art Museum, which is underground and features the work of Walter de Maria, James Turrell and Claude Monet in Naoshima, Japan.

Bottom Line

A stunning and understated work with only seven apartments in NoLiTa that is not a dramatic masterpiece by one of the world’s greatest architects but a very refined and subtle “enclosure” with wonderful detailing, a delightful surprise in this brand new, gee-whiz world of starchitects.

Description

The relatively modest but quite elegant building has a large roof overhang midblock that is a design element Ando used at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Pulitzer Foundation in St. Louis.

Residents will enter the building on Elizabeth Street through a three-step-up, vestibule lined with a water wall with grooved glass panels and the lobby will have a fog and light sculpture that is visible through floor-to-ceiling glass.

The floor-to-ceiling windows are especially nice because they truly reach to the apartment floor where they meet air-conditioning-and-heating ducts flush with the floor.

The building has a very elegant façade with corner windows above the first floor and thin but pronounced gray-painted steel girders as floor-dividers.  The solid sections of the façades are covered in concrete panels with two rows each of indented small circles.

The building, which has been expanded over a former four-story garage, is two blocks south of the very fine Public restaurant on Elizabeth Street.

The building has a 99-foot-wide and 55-foot-high “living green wall” on one of its façades.

In a June 10, 2015 article by Hana R. Alberts at ny.curbed.com, Mr. Ando is quoted as stating that he called this project “a sanctuary” that produces “a very tranquil feeling,” adding that he wanted to make “a very quiet piece of architecture” that “has subtle sensitivity.”

Amenities

The building has a 24-hour doorman, storage units, private automated garage.

Apartments

In some rooms, there are polished concrete columns that have a tactile look almost more appealing than fine marble and give the rooms a noble ambiance rather than an annoying clutter.

Apartments will have 20-inch-wide, 250-year-old Danish oak floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed concrete, an expandable island and countertops of honed Fango stone, Gaggenau kitchen appliances and a dehumidification system.

Apartments on the second and third floors will have backsplashes of translucent glass that offer glimpses of a garden wall.

Hallways will be wood-paneled with movable pocket doors and some apartment walls can be removed.

The triplex penthouse will have a roof deck with a soaking tub and an outdoor kitchen and a spiral staircase of glass, stone and stainless steel and the living room will have a terrace with a reflective pool and two waterfalls that frame a view of the Empire State Building.

Residence Two East is a two-bedroom unit with 2,000 square feet and a 29-foot-long living/dining are next to a long entry foyer and an open kitchen with an island.

 

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