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One Kenmare Square, 210 Lafayette Street

Between Spring Street & Broome Street

78
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.
 

Richard Gluckman of Gluckman Mayner Architects, who achieved fame for designs for high-profile art galleries in Chelsea and retail spaces for designers including Yves Saint Laurent, designed the rippled façade for this project at One Kenmare Square overlooking a small park and the eastern boundary of SoHo.

This 11-story, blue-gray-brick building was developed by Cape Advisors Inc. and Andre Balazs, whose other New York properties include the Mercer Hotel and 40 Mercer Street, a residential project.

The mid-block building, which is also known as 210 Lafayette Street and is one block below Spring Street, has 53 condominium apartments and some retail space.

It was completed in 2005.

Bottom Line

A short distance from one of the city's great Beaux-Arts-style building, the former Police Headquarters Building on Centre Street in Little Italy, this mid-rise building was a non-rectilinear residential pioneer in Lower Manhattan when it was erected in 2005.

Description

The project's website provides the following commentary about the exterior's design:

"The Lafayette Street façade is composed of alternating horizontal bands of brick & glass on an undulating curve that shifts at every floor. The banded brick is reminiscent of the old warehouse buildings that are part of this part of the city. The brick on the front façades is a textured iridescent gray. At different times of day, the brick will appear to change color, from a silvery sheen to purple gray, to black. The rough 'artisan' texture is intended to animate the façade. The continuous aluminum windows are eight feet high. The windows on the street façades are triple-glazed with laminated glass to provide an acoustic separation from the street. A vertical notch in the building's north and south faces splits the building in two. While the front half of the building is rendered in the gray brick described above, the volume of building facing the rear courtyard is rendered in a silvery red brick with a smooth velour finish. The rear/West façade of the Lafayette Street building is composed of a seemingly random mix of punched openings. The pattern however is the result of a formula in which every living room has at least 3 windows and every bedroom has at least two windows."

This project is several blocks south from One Astor Place, a sinuously curved glass apartment tower designed by Gwathmey Siegel Architects about the same time as this project. Because it is a free-standing tower in a more prominent location, comparisons with One Astor Place, however, are unfair.

This "undulating" façade is subtle rather than flamboyant. It is not going to challenge the wild gyrations of Frank Gehry's recent buildings such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, which was, undoubtedly, a distant influence.

Although one might quibble that the brick façade is not as inspiring as one done in stainless steel, it should be noted that design here is more than façade-deep. Here's the website's description of the lobby:

"The entrance to the building...is flanked on either side by piers that are wrapped in textured gray 'Pompeii' lava stone. A canopy clad in anodized aluminum runs the length of the lobby and through the door. The lobby walls and floor are clad in the textured gray 'Pompeii' stone, cut in long, thin planks. The same stone comes in from the outside to the inside of the lobby on the floor and the walls. In the center of this linear space two volumes are shaped from the same material. One is a long and low volume that can function as a bench and the other a tall and wider volume that conceals the mailboxes behind. A twelve-foot-high wave of pale blue resin runs along the length of the north wall - mimicking the same curve at the front façade."

Elevator cabs have rounded corners on all sides and ceiling -"surrounded by a translucent red/orange plastic surface, smooth to the touch," the website tantalizingly noted.

Amenities

The building has a 24-hour doorman/concierge and video surveillance. It will also have storage lockers in the cellar and a fitness center.

Kitchens are equipped with Miele, Thermador, Bosch and Sub Zero appliances with stainless steel finishes and white carrera marble countertops with gray veins. Kitchen cabinets are finished in gray lacquer. All apartments have Bosch washer/dryers. On floors 2 to 8, ceilings of the main spaces of apartments are 10-feet-three-inches high. On floors 9 and 10, ceilings of the main spaces at 10-feet-high. In the penthouse apartments on the 11th floor, the ceilings are 12-feet-high.

Apartments

Apartments range in size from 450-square-foot studios to 1,400-square-foot, two-bedroom units.

Apartment 1BB is a two-bedroom units with a 25-foot-long living/dining room with an open kitchen and an island.  Its rooms have slightly curved walls overlooking the park.

Apartment 5 has a long hall that leads to a 20-foot-long living room with a 10-foot-long kitchen.  It has two bedrooms, one with a small balcony.

The two-bedroom penthouse has a 29-foot-long gallery that leads to a 22-foot-long living/dining room with an open, pass-through kitchen.  There is a small balcony off the master bedroom and the apartment has a lot of terrace space on the roof.

Penthouse 2B is a two-bedroom unit that  has an entry foyer that leads to a 29-foot-long living room with a fireplace and a 23-foot-ong dining area with an open kitchen and island and a 21-foot-long terrace next to a 15-foot-long study.  The living room and two bedrooms have curved window walls overlooking the park.

Team

Balazs also owns the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles and the Raleigh in South Beach, Miami. Craig Wood and Curtis Bashaw are partners in Cape Advisors, a privately held real estate development, investment and management firm whose projects include the Congress Hall Hotel and the Virginia Hotel, both in Cape May, New Jersey, and the residential conversion of the former Electric Circus nightclub site at 19-23 St. Mark's Place in the East Village.

History

The original architect, Jean Nouvel, was replaced by Gluckman, whose other notable projects include the Dia Center for the Arts in New York, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the Mori Art Center in Tokyo and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and Study Center in Santa Fe.

Location

Its location, overlooking a small triangular park, is convenient to Little Italy and very close to the great former Police Headquarters Building that was converted to apartments and to Cafe Roma, which has memorable cannolis.

Kenmare Street turns into Delancey Street at Bowery and Delancey Street runs into the Williamsburg Bridge.

Part of this development includes a six-story building at 51 Crosby Street that has loft-type apartments, one to a floor, while the larger Lafayette Street building has apartments of varying sizes.

This building is across Kenmare Square from the wonderful Storefront for Architecture retail space that was designed by Steven Holl and Vito Acconci in 1993.

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