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Thread: 105 Norfolk Street - Blue Condo - by Bernard Tschumi

  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio
    And: I guarantee you that the "gaiety" of this facade (like the Westin Hotel) is going to look sad and forlorn as it ages.
    True enough; just imagine this building dirty and worn.

    Not sure I agree about the assessment of sliver buildings, though. Didn't know they were "outlawed"; haven't there been some built recently?

  2. #17

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    I was wrong to say "outlawed". However they were zoned out of certain areas. Here is a blurb from "The City Review" about one of the worst (this is on Madison) :

    "One of the avenue's most notorious buildings is the sliver apartment tower shown at the right that is known as Morgan's Court, because it is half a block south of the Morgan Library on the avenue. ...............The building, erected by the Perlbinders, was slow to sell its units and its very narrow form was one of several sliver buildings that aroused considerable public ire in the 1980's that resulted in the city rezoning several areas to prevent more such ungainly, awkward projects."

    And I think "ungainly, awkward" is a good way to describe the cantilevered buildings we are now hearing about.

  3. #18

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    OH I love these buildings that say absolutely nothing yet are constantly screaming at the top of their lungs. A perfect match for an ADD-ridden society.

    "Wow, that's flashy! <brain immediately moves on to next proverbial sugar fix> Wow, that's shiny!" (repeat process ad infinitum).

    No rhythm for the eye to dance along with, no signs of human scale, irrational form (well, unless you're the one profiting). Can't wait for this architectural fad to expire.

    Speaking of which, since many places are building structures going for the Times Square style, where will this leave architecture as an art and not a canvas for advertisements? This "style" is almost a bigger affront to historic architecture than banal mid-century stuff.

  4. #19

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    The Villager:

    September 07 - 13, 2005

    Big BLUE on Norfolk has some seeing red

    By Ellen Keohane

    A soon-to-be-built 16-story blue building on Norfolk St. on the Lower East Side is getting mixed reviews from local residents, and many of them are not rosy.

    Aptly called BLUE by developers, the proposed condo building at 105 Norfolk St. will house between 30 and 40 units, some with private outdoor access. According to promotional materials, the 700-to-2,000-square-foot condos will range in price from $700,000 to more than $3 million. The building is scheduled to be completed by late 2006.

    “The height is what bothers me,” said Al Orensanz, of the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts, which is just a couple of blocks from BLUE’s construction site. “It will change forever the skyline of our neighborhood.” Most of the buildings on the block between Delancey and Rivington Sts. are less than half as many stories tall.

    As of Tuesday morning, construction had already begun on the formerly vacant lot at 105 Norfolk St. On scaffolding, which wrapped around the corner of Delancey and Norfolk Sts., was a large sign advertising the new high-rise. In an artist’s rendering of the building, the modern structure appeared to have an exterior of blue-tinted glass with upper floors that extend over an adjacent low-rise building.

    The modern structure is designed by Bernard Tschumi and SLCE Architects. Both firms, which have offices in Manhattan, would not comment on the building’s design. Neither would On the Level Enterprises Inc., the building’s developer. In addition, the public-relations representative for the property said she would not release any additional information about BLUE until next week.

    Orensanz first learned about the proposed building, like many others, by walking by the advertisement. “[It] seems extremely sleek,” he said. “The color is all right — I don’t have a problem with the color blue.”

    Others feel less positive about the choice of color. “It’s not going to fit in at all,” said Earl Holloway, 32, an administrator for the School of Visual Arts who lives across the street from the site. “It will look like one of those big toilet bowl cubes that turn toilet water blue,” he said.

    “What the neighborhood needs is more affordable apartments here, not high-end condos,” said Antonia Garcia, 56, who paused to talk on the sidewalk near the construction site. Now staying with a friend in Baruch Houses, public housing, Garcia said she was priced out of her Lower East Side home. “The rents are too high,” she said.

    Some see the new building as a positive change in the neighborhood. “Five years ago this used to be a dangerous neighborhood. You used to be afraid to walk around here,” said Frank Gonzalez, a 34-year-old contractor working at a new bar/lounge called Backdoor opening on the same block.

    It’s much safer now, Gonzalez said. At the same time, he’d hate to see the Lower East Side turn into another expensive Manhattan neighborhood. “I hope the neighborhood stays the same,” he said, “not like Soho, where it’s too expensive to live.”

  5. #20
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Here is more from the New York Times:


    Seeing the Blues on the Lower East Side



    A rendering of a 16-story condo clad in blue glass now under construction
    at 105 Norfolk Street, near Delancey Street.



    By NADINE BROZAN
    Published: September 11, 2005


    HE has a portfolio of high-profile buildings to his credit, but Bernard Tschumi, the internationally known architect and former dean of the Columbia University architecture school, had never designed a residential structure. So when two developers approached him to create a condominium in New York City, he did not hesitate.

    The result was a curved and angular 16-story condo clad in sapphire-blue glass that is under construction at 105 Norfolk Street, near the corner of Delancey Street.

    "They came to me one day and said they had heard my name from other architects," Mr. Tschumi said during a recent meeting with Angelo Cosentini and John Carson, his two development partners. "My reputation is in culture and large projects, and I was really interested in residential." (Mr. Tschumi's previous work includes the New Acropolis Museum going up in Athens and Alfred Lerner Hall at Columbia, his only other project in New York City.)

    But, he continued, "I had always heard that doing it was a formula requiring no real architecture and that it comes with a lot of constraints like the zoning codes."

    Undaunted, he asked himself: "Couldn't I do something interesting, and didn't the constraints make for rich possibilities?"

    The building is rising on what was once a 50-by-100-foot parking lot for Ratner's, the legendary kosher dairy restaurant that closed in 2002. (Ratner's is now a Sleepy's mattress store.) The site, which Mr. Cosentini and Mr. Carson acquired in February, was augmented by the purchase of air rights from three adjacent commercial buildings. They will add one story to the building next door, and the roof on that addition will serve as a deck for the condominium residents. Mr. Tschumi was particularly drawn to the neighborhood.

    "You still have different generations on the Lower East Side," he said. "There are many old people who still live there, but it is also hot and trendy, colorful and varied, and I wanted the building to reflect that. I have to use a word I hate to describe it: 'contextual.' But it is very contextual."

    Whether his concept evokes the Lower East Side familiar to so many people remains to be seen. The building is almost totally clad in small panes of blue glass of varying intensity and translucence meant to resemble pixels, and a shape that combines a convex profile with cantilevers and angles.

    But there is no question that it will be distinctive, for its color, which will range from light to dark and change with the angle of the sun, as well as for its shape.

    The interiors will be serene, a contrast to both the bustle of the immigrant neighborhood of the past and the chic of the present. The lobby, for example, with stone flooring, will be suffused with light beamed through a glass wall. "We consider light to be a material," Mr. Tschumi said.

    The apartments will vary from floor to floor, with some living room windows angling inward, others projecting outward. The units will have open spaces combining living, dining and kitchen areas. Master bathrooms will have windows in the showers, tile floors with pebbles encapsulated in resin, black countertops and glass tile walls. Kitchens will have quartz countertops and white lacquer cabinets, and the ones in the more expensive units - two floor-throughs and a duplex penthouse - will have Boffi cabinets and countertops.

    In contrast to comparable buildings, the architect and developers are planning little in the way of communal amenities. Though there will be storage units and refrigerator space for grocery deliveries, there will be no fitness center or party rooms. "The neighborhood provides plenty of party rooms," Mr. Cosentini said.

    Units, ranging in size from 780 to 2,400 square feet, will be mostly one- and two-bedrooms.

    "How many 4,000-square-foot apartments does Manhattan need?" Mr. Cosentini asked. But he is not averse to the idea that buyers might want to combine units. Prices are expected to range from $750,000 to $3.5 million.


    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

  6. #21

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    This building is a great companion to the recently completed boutique hotel nearby.

  7. #22
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krulltime
    Units, ranging in size from 780 to 2,400 square feet, will be mostly one- and two-bedrooms.

    "How many 4,000-square-foot apartments does Manhattan need?" Mr. Cosentini asked. But he is not averse to the idea that buyers might want to combine units. Prices are expected to range from $750,000 to $3.5 million.
    The real question is how many $1,000 per sq. / ft. condos does Manhattan need?

  8. #23
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    This building is a great companion to the recently completed boutique hotel nearby.

    I agree. It looks to be a nice neighbor.

  9. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    This building is a great companion to the recently completed boutique hotel nearby.
    Yup, another shot in the arm for a rapidly improving neighborhood. I can see Tschumi's point about the building being contextual.

    It's contextual culturally, since it's a little whacky, like the neighborhood; and it's contextual visually, since it's fine-grained, busy and a little disheveled --like the neighborhood.

    All in all: thumbs up.



    PS It functions in its context much as Gwathmey's blue glass gadfly does at Astor Place.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    The real question is how many $1,000 per sq. / ft. condos does Manhattan need?
    You're reading my mind.

  11. #26
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    ^ The price is contextual -- same as everywhere else in downtown NYC.

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    ^ The price is contextual...
    Lol!

  13. #28
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    From http://cityrealty.com:

    Lower East Side tower will have full-time doorman and bamboo floors 12-SEP-05

    Apartments at "Blue," the 16-story residential condominium building now under construction at 105 Norfolk Street will range in price from $745,000 to $3,950,000.

    Norfolk Hudson LLP announced today that the building, which will have 32 apartments, will have a full-time doorman, reportedly the first residential building on the Lower East Side to have such a feature, as well as apartments with bamboo floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, individual storage units, and residential communal outdoor space on the second and fifth floors.

    The building, whose distinctive façade of different shades of blue was described by the developers as resembling "a perfectly cut azure gemstone," has been designed by Bernard Tschumi, who was dean of architecture at Columbia University from 1988 to 2003.

    It is on the site of the former parking lot belonging to Ratner’s, the famous kosher restaurant, and its sales office at 100 Norfolk Street occupies Ratner’s former restaurant kitchen that was briefly occupied by Lansky’s Lounge, a night club named after Meyer Lansky, before and after the restaurant’s closing last January.

    The $17 million building is a project of Angelo Cosentini and John Carson, who completed The Atalanta at 25 North Moore Street, and Hudson Realty Capital LLC., a real estate fund led by Richard Ortiz.

    The building’s one-and two-bedroom apartments and duplex penthouse range in size from 759 to 2,494 square feet. Some apartments will have terraces and the building will have a walk-in cooler for private grocery deliveries. "What we’ve tried to do with Blue is build a world-class architectural icon, a signature one-of-a-kind building that is emblematic, both externally and internally, of the lower East Side’s spirit of reinvention and experimentation," Mr. Cosentini stated in a press release.

    The building, which will be one of the tallest on the Lower East Side, is expected to be completed in the fall of 2006.

    The Norfolk Street project is separated by a one-story building that houses a nightclub from another striking new condominium project, the “Switch” building at 109 Norfolk Street, a 7-story building now under construction designed by Narchitects where the floors zig-zag and forth with gentle angles creating a lively façade and a new twist on bay windows. It is just to the south of the very pleasant, red-brick Asian Americans for Equality Community Center at 111 Norfolk Street designed by Victor M. Morales, a building that was completed last year.

  14. #29

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    Call me an optimist, but I think this building might look better in person than in the renderings. I am going to wait to see this thing in person before I make a final judgement - I was pleasantly suprised with Astor Place. On the other hand, I don't think I would live here...

  15. #30

    Default Bowhoosh

    While entertaining a friend of mine last night and discussed the contextual nature of the building...we concluded that it this building dresses up the neighborhood splendidly.
    Last edited by NYatKNIGHT; September 15th, 2005 at 09:19 AM.

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