September 25, 2014

Memo From New York: New Builds

New York is a city that continues to build higher and higher. Late last year, 1 World Trade Center was officiallyif not controversiallydeclared the tallest building in the United States by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Now, just a stone’s throw from that tower, plans call for a 1,356-foot-tall condo building at 125 Greenwich Street. The 77-story building will top off 12 feet shy of 1 World Trade Center’s roof.

But 125 Greenwich is only the latest in a series of supertall, ultra-thin residential properties in Manhattan. French Pritzker Prize-winning Christian de Portzamparc recently completed One57, a condo tower which rises over 1,000 feet above Central Park. Another Pritzker laureate, Sir Norman Foster, has designed a 61-story luxury tower at 610 Lexington Avenue. Not to be outdone, Rafael Viñoly’s 432 Park Avenue, currently on the rise, will be the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere at 1,398 feet.

Tall buildings are going up in other parts of the city as well. Local firm Ismael Leyva Architects has two66 Rockwell and 309 Gold Streetrising in downtown Brooklyn. And while that borough is getting used to seeing skyscrapers dot the landscape, brownstones and other low-rise housing still form the nexus of its neighborhoods. Chris McVoy, also senior partner at Steven Holl Architects, designed a wood- and glass-clad garden pavilion with his own firm, O’Neill McVoy Architects. McVoy and Beth O’Neill, his wife and partner, worked to contrast the heavy masonry of a brownstone in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

French ready-to-wear and luxury leather brand Céline has just introduced its second New York flagship downtown in SoHo, where German manufacturer Rolf Benz launched its U.S. flagship showroom in partnership with Studio Anise earlier this year. Shopping is, of course, a popular pasttime in New York. A slew of new showrooms have opened across Manhattan in recent months, including a first for lighting designer David Weeks downtown, and new flagships for Arclinea kitchens and Natuzzi furniture in Midtown. Office furniture heavyweight Haworth has renovated its 30,000-square-foot-showroom designed by Perkins+Will near Grand Central Terminal, while LEPERE relocated to the New York Design Center. The NYDC also welcomed newcomer Dune to its roster of tenants, and Liora Manné opened her own jewel of a showroom in the Decoration & Design Building.

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