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News Roundup: Ando Condo and Nouveau Nouvel

By Fred A. Bernstein
March 7, 2014
Ando
Photo © Tadao Ando Architect & Associates
Tadao will design a 32,000-square-foot, seven-story condo building in New York City.

Tadao Ando, the Pritzker Prize-winner and one-time boxer, has always had to pull his punches in Manhattan. His work so far has been limited to a SoHo apartment for a Japanese sports star and parts of the West Chelsea restaurant Morimoto. Now he will be a little more visible in the city, with a seven-story, 32,000-square foot condo building at 152 Elizabeth Street, at Kenmare Street. (Gabellini Sheppard Associates is the architect of record for the project.) Ando is best known for the magic he wrests from poured-in-place concrete, but, given high-end condo owners' desires for sweeping views, the building will also have plenty of glass. Ando’s building, just east of the Storefront for Art and Architecture, will replace a non-descript, red-brick parking garage in a booming section of NoLIta. Developers  Saif Sumaida and Amit Khurana , who acquired the site for $21 million, hope to break ground later this year.

Tadao Ando New York City condo
© Google 2014
A seven-story condo building by Tadao Ando will replace a building at 152 Elizabeth Street (far left) in Manhattan.
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Jean Nouvel has also had a tough time in Manhattan, thanks to both realtors and rising waters. In 2010, the developers of 100 11th Avenue, Nouvel’s condo building overlooking the Hudson River, brought in Jennifer Post, a prominent interior designer, to redo the building’s lobby, which realtors said was so "cold" (architecturally) that it was discouraging potential buyers. Then, in 2012, superstorm Sandy destroyed the building’s ground floor spaces. With insurance money in hand—one of the few good things to come from Sandy—the condo association has asked Nouvel to redo the lobby, a commission the architect says he was happy to accept. The new lobby, as well as a redesigned pool and gym, will be installed as soon as post-Sandy infrastructure upgrades, designed by Beyer Blinder Belle (also the architect of record for the Nouvel projects), are completed.

If Nouvel will be lobbying again, the same can't be said of every one-time government official. Several of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s top aides—including planning commissioner Amanda Burden and transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn—are part of nonprofit consulting firm Bloomberg Associates. But others have chosen to impart their knowledge the old-fashioned way, as teachers. Alexandros Washburn, who was the city’s chief urban designer, is working across the Hudson River at the Stevens Institute of Technology, where he is the founding director of the Center for Coastal Resilience and Urban Xcellence. Its catchy acronym is CRUX. And David Burney, who ran the city’s Department of Design and Construction, is at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he is helping to create a masters program called Urban Placemaking and Management, which he says “will be the first in the country focusing exclusively on public space.”

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