While searching for something else at WNY, I found The destruction of 3 beautiful townhouses on West 56th?, which is a prequel to the construction of the Centurion.
Although I like the Centurion, those townhouses were beautiful and should have been saved.
OPENHOUSENEWYORK PRESENTS: 8TH ANNUAL WEEKEND CELEBRATION OF ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN // Launch Party – Friday, October 8th 7:00 – 9:00 pm at The Centurion
openhousenewyork (OHNY) presents the 8th Annual OHNY Weekend, a five borough–wide celebration of architecture and design. OHNY Weekend, which is becoming a New York City tradition, engages the public in the built environment by offering free access to hundreds of sites that exemplify New York City’s diverse architectural, design, engineering, and cultural heritage.
“This year,” says Renee Schacht, executive director of OHNY, “we will be touring places and opening doors to sites that span the history of New York – from Staten Island’s Conference House, the only pre-Revolution manor house still standing to contemporary public and private spaces including The Centurion, a midtown Manhattan residential building designed by Pei Partnership Architects with I.M. Pei.”
FULL ARTICLE at brachablog
This building is really bright.
The Chambers Hotel, built a few years ago, is a better looking building.
Peis Partner in Manhattan
By DANA RUBINSTEIN
Pritzker award-winning architect I.M. Pei, and his son, Li Chung Pei, have designed an apartment house in Manhattan that, while devoid of any grand, theatrical gestures, embodies an unfussy, functional, and elegant ethos that elevates it well above the schlocky residential construction now omnipresent in New York City.
The building, at 33 W. 56th St., is called, somewhat bewilderingly,"The Centurion" ("a centurion" commanded a "century" of soldiers in ancient Rome). This building, on the other hand, commands multimillion-dollar prices from a wealthy international clientele.
The Centurion is clad entirely in Chamesson limestone from Burgundy, France. That gives the 19-story tower an integrity absent in similarly positioned developments that seek to project grandeur, all while hiding behind precast, value-engineered exteriors.
"They debated whether or not to have brick walls on the east and west sides of the building and possibly even the north side of the building, and we persuaded them that it should be limestone," says Li Chung Pei, principal at Pei Partnership Architects, the firm he founded with his brother. His father, I.M. Pei, perhaps most famous for his glass pyramid at the Louvre, used a similar rock, French Magny limestone, to clothe the Four Seasons Hotel on 57th Street, completed in 1993.
The Centurion's second striking feature is its setbacks. Unlike most New York apartment buildings of a certain height, whose setbacks sit at 90-degree angles, creating that famous wedding-cake appearance, this building's setbacks are sloped, which draws the visitor's eye upward. However, given the narrowness of the street, most New Yorkers won't view the 100-foot-wide building head-on. Rather, they'll view it from the side, with those sloping, off-beat, obtuse-angled setbacks giving the building a syncopated feel.
Perhaps most striking is the building's high-ceilinged lobby, all Magny du Louvre limestone, marble, and blond anigre wood, with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall in back overlooking a water garden. Strategically placed couches and a limestone bench allow visitors to relax and regard the hypnotically peaceful perspective before them.
The 47 units are notable not for their finishes, designed by SLCE Architects, which are of the standard-issue luxury ilk, but rather a similar sense of serenity, achieved by the units' layouts, with their high ceilings, terraces, gardens, and ample spaces.
"We need to kind of harken back a little bit more to that quality of living and that generosity of space," says Mr. Pei, referring to pre-war buildings. "Throwing away space is very, very nice."
Since sales began in 2009, more than 50% of the units have sold, with recorded sales ranging from $1.9 million to more than $10 million. Ninety percent of the buyers are foreigners, with buyers from Singapore, Luxembourg, Korea, Senegal, and Brazil among other locales.
This is the younger Pei's first ground-up luxury condo in New York, but it might not be his last. Mr. Pei said he's working on another Manhattan residential project, though he declined to reveal details.
Do I already see gray water streaks working their way down the facade?
Lovely looking building: soot and all.
Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn by Cesar Pelli:
Limestone defines Brooklyn Courthouse
... Befitting the building’s prominence in the area, the main tower of the courthouse stands 14 stories in height, and it is clad in Chamesson limestone. The stone was supplied by Sogepierre, a stone production company affiliated with the Francepierre Group of companies based in Les Ulis Cedex, France. “All of the exterior limestone cladding is the Chamesson Bench 7,” explained Benoit Chevallier of Francepierre. “The Chamesson quarry is located in France, in the Burgundy region in a village by the name of Chamesson situated south of Chatillon sur Seine, north of Dijon. The quarry is located on the slope of the Seine River.”
The Chamesson limestone was selected for its consistent structure and light beige color, according to Chevallier, who added that the stone contract was carried out through J.A. Jones Construction Group, the general contractor for the project ...
La Pierre Chamesson Banc 7
Chamesson limestone was used by IM Pei to clad the new Museum of Islamic Art in Doha ...
... Built of fine materials, such as cream-coloured Magny and Chamesson limestone from France, Jet Mist granite from the United States and stainless steel from Germany, as well as architectural concrete from Qatar ...