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

  1. #16


    Not bad at all, even though it looks too provincial for that part of town. It's something I'd expect to see in southern Brooklyn or somewhere out in Queens rather than in Midtown Manhattan.

  2. #17
    The Dude Abides
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District


    I knew I recognized that massing from somewhere:

  3. #18


    Good catch pianoman, I had the exact same feeling of deja vu.

  4. #19


    how is this progressing? Is it above ground yet?

  5. #20


    Is this up to at least the first floor yet?

  6. #21

    Exclamation I.M. Pei: Centurion

    There is a rendering posted at this website.

    Pei Designs a Condo in Midtown
    By C. J. HUGHES

    Published: July 1, 2007
    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.

    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.
    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.

  7. #22
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    New York City


    Update from 11-17-2007

  8. #23
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    Shame. The townhouses were prettier and had interest at street level, plus retail instead of garage doors on the sidewalk. I hate this project.
    Pei, go suck an egg.

  9. #24

    Default i agree - its lame

    And unlike McSam (who I defend to the world's outrage) I don't even see the point - its not clear to me there are really significantly more homes in this building than in the townhouses that it replaced.

  10. #25


    What happened to Pei? He lost it.

  11. #26


    I say this is going to be a nice chic little building.

    No retail is perfectly acceptable on a block like this but a garage opening is a shame and should be out-lawed.

    Of course the town houses should NEVER have been touched, but if they had to be replaced by something, limestone and Pei are not so bad.

    How many apartments this building contains means very little. The owners of many of these ultra-luxe buildings only stay in them a few weeks a year anyway. These are not designed to alleviate a housing shortage. LOL.

    The problem here is the people of NYC.

    How would Parisians, Londoners or Romans react to elegant historic buildings in the center of their city being town down? (or for that matter, the building of a McSam?)

    Last edited by Fabrizio; November 18th, 2007 at 05:45 PM.

  12. #27
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    No retail is perfectly acceptable on a block like this
    But there has always been retail along both sides, so what's with the "like this"?
    The street is well traveled by people going east and west who don't want to deal with big, wide, noisy 57th so lots of small restaurants and services line the street.
    It's not just a typical cross street of residences but a vibrant strip with Indian restaurants, Italian places, fast food, everything under the sun, many of the buildings have businesses on 2 Floors not just one. This building breaks it up with a long boring stretch so I maintain that this a non-plus for the neighborhood. The aesthetic value of the limestown fails to compensate for the intricately detailed surfaces of the lost townhouses and the new gaping garage/lobby doors in their place.
    Nonetheless, I'm hoping for the best in the finishing details (maybe the "burgundy limestone" will sway me), and lots of illumination to make up for the lack of any street-brightening retail.
    Last edited by MidtownGuy; November 18th, 2007 at 09:54 PM.

  13. #28
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    So depressing this thread.

  14. #29


    Midtown: you are right that this block contains retail as did all of these blocks off of 5th. Unfortunately the retail is slowly vanishing.

    W53rd off of 5th is a good example. It was once basically the MOMA and town houses with small business like art supply stores and restaurants. The townhouses and retail are mostly gone, but at least the new buildings built there have been rather good (including the MOMA expansions) so despite the changes, it still manages to be a very pleasant block.

    IMO this kind of building is a nice side-street sort of residential building that fits in well. My hope is, even without those houses and the retail, that this block also remains "pleasant". The loss of the small business is unfortunate but IMO it looks like the garage entrance is going to be the real problem.

    But this is the way of the world now... or at least in NYC. People who want to live in a city but with out the inconviences of the city. So they want on-site parking.

    Something about this developement reminds me of the Rockeller Apartments one block over on W54th Street. Built in the 1930's, it also replaced beautiful town houses (at a time when they were, of couse, much less rare).

    It too is smallish... no retail here either... but it is soooo urbane.

    Note the ground floor and how nicely it fits into the block. (Unfortunately time and alterations have not been kind):

    More about the building and it's tenants. A NYTimes must-read :

    (Barbara Walters also lived there for a time)


    And about the building's tiered stacking: it is seen all over the garment district :

    Last edited by Fabrizio; November 19th, 2007 at 08:30 AM.

  15. #30
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    Yes I do like that aspect. Cheers for the tiers, a product of the zoning, otherwise would we have gotten a minimalist vertical wall.

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