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Thread: The Centurion - 33 West 56th Street - Condo - by I. M. Pei

  1. #1
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Default The Centurion - 33 West 56th Street - Condo - by I. M. Pei

    July 1, 2007
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    Pei Designs a Condo in Midtown
    By C. J. HUGHES


    A Stone Cascade Rendering of a new condo going up at 33 West 56th Street, designed by I. M. Pei, whose credits include the glass pyramid at the Louvre.

    THE architect Richard Meier has designed a few. So has Jean Nouvel. Even Philip Johnson managed to add one to the New York skyline, albeit posthumously.

    Now I. M. Pei gets to design one too — a luxury Manhattan condominium building.

    Mr. Pei, whose architectural credits include the glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Javits Convention Center and Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan, is the architect for the Centurion, at 33 West 56th Street.

    Mr. Pei has designed the building, a 17-story high-rise, to taper upward from a squared base through a series of gradual curves to a narrow top. He said that the setbacks were required — under the neighborhood’s zoning, only the lowest 85 feet of the outside wall can be flush with the property line on the front of the building — but he decided that the structure did not have to resemble a sharply tiered wedding cake.

    “The face will have more distinction with a cascade of stone, rather than steps,” he said. “You don’t have to be big to be beautiful.”

    The Centurion’s 48 condo apartments will range in size from one to four bedrooms and 750 to 3,400 square feet. There will be three penthouses. Prices are expected to go from $1.9 million to $10 million, said Robbie Antonio, managing director of Antonio Development, the co-developer with Stillman Development International. Both are based in Manhattan.

    Construction began in March and occupancy is expected in December 2008. Sales have begun at Stillman’s offices, at 505 Park Avenue, at 59th Street; a formal sales office has not yet opened.

    The setback rule allows 13 of the units to have terraces. The interiors, designed by SLCE Architects of Manhattan, feature 31 layouts, with teak floors and glass countertops. Five units will have 17-foot ceilings.

    The building’s exterior will be clad in Burgundy limestone, which has a yellower hue than the grayish Indiana limestone found in many New York buildings. The design calls for a wide lobby with a rear wall that overlooks a private courtyard and a waterfall. There are to be no street-level stores.

    The Centurion is Mr. Pei’s first residential project in Manhattan in many decades. One of his last was the 1966 Silver Towers complex (also known as University Plaza) of New York University, at Bleecker Street and La Guardia Place.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/01/re...ref=realestate

  2. #2
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    Wow. I love the design of the slopes. It looks so elegant and its being clad with limestone. This is almost a sure hit.

  3. #3

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    It is a very nice building and it makes the loss of the 4 beautiful townhouses on the site less painful. This is midtown Manhattan and zoning should really allow a bigger building though.

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    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Wait just a minute...

    What is going on that ground floor there? Is that a couple of horrible garage entrances that I see?

    Give me back those townhouses!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    Wait just a minute...

    What is going on that ground floor there? Is that a couple of horrible garage entrances that I see?

    Give me back those townhouses!!
    Hmm, I think you have caught on to something. I did not catch it at first glance but it does seem you are correct, although its one garage entry and another lobby entry. What a shame that they have to ruin it with such a boring base.

  6. #6

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    Sure its designed by IM Pei but the design is down-right awful. The treatments look excellent but the massing is just wrong, the "X" made by the extended windows kills the verticality and confuses the split tower design, nothing is tied together, just a collection of look at me design ploys. The top especially leaves a whole lot to be desired. Basically it looks like something I'd expect to see in Flushing, complete with the garage entrances dominating base.

  7. #7

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    From genteel townhouses to a garage entrance... crap. No thought to the public, just to the handful multi-millionares who will be living there (living there a few months out of the year...).

    Otherwise?

    It's on the wrong block... but IMHO this is a very fine looking building.

  8. #8
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    It's difficult to get excited over these small buildings.

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    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Nice upper portion, but the base.....

    nullifies all of my enthusiasm. Two gaping maws at the bottom? For Christ's sake!!

  10. #10

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    Not sure what I think of it. I kind of agree with Stern that it looks Flushing-esque.
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  11. #11
    In the long run... londonlawyer's Avatar
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    It's a beautiful tower, but it's still absolute BS that the townhouses were razed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stern View Post
    the massing is just wrong, the "X" made by the extended windows kills the verticality and confuses the split tower design, nothing is tied together, just a collection of look at me design ploys.
    Oh, I dunno. From the adjacent sidewalk, those "extended windows" will resolve themselves quite nicely into miniature towers of Gotham. Could be worse.

    I don't like the garage entrance either, but where else can you put it?

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    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    How about not having a parking garage to begin with?

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    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Exactly ^^^ parking garages are so 20th Century

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    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    How about not having a parking garage to begin with?
    Well ... OK.

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