Archtober Building of the Day #2
250 Bowery, New York, NY
Morris Adjmi Architects and AA Studio
Winner of a 2014 AIA New York Chapter Merit Award, 250 Bowery is the latest insertion into the parade of Pritzker Prize–winners on the Bowery. Morris Adjmi Architects Project Architect Mohammed Rajab led our group of enthusiasts and developers from Canada—yes, friends, you can use Archtober to suss out your competition—through a private duplex luxury condo currently on the market.
New York City is the world capital of real estate, and here’s one of the reasons why. With a very sophisticated facade of nine square window grids, overlaid by a composite secondary system—a pattern of clad columns and spandrels in quadrants, adding up again to a larger scale nine square—the visible upper facade is both industrial in feeling and sophisticated in scale, texture, and geometry. It fits right in, while at the same time offering a scalar bump reflecting the new institutional geography of the Bowery. Dominating the views from within the units is SANAA’s New Museum and Foster + Partners’ Sperone Westwater Gallery. Great design sells.
In preparation for today’s outing, I took a look at the special language of residential real estate. We have a “sleek, gleaming, sundrenched home beckoning with robust casement windows” (they are actually hopper windows), and a “scintillating silhouette.” I’m here to tell you that it’s a very handsome building, but it’s boxy—and I mean boxy, with its nuanced play of multiple grids on the facade. There is a complement of tenant outdoor space, with nice downtown views and a motorized opener on the trash door in the common hallway. “Look – no hands” recycling!
The transformation of the Bowery continues. The International Center of Photography is moving down there, too. When CBGB’s can become a John Varvatos store, and the former flophouses of Skid Row can fetch upwards of $2,500 per square foot, you see change every day. The birth and rebirth of a constantly evolving city is hastened by the presence of such high quality design leading the way.
Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA, is the Managing Director of the Center for Architecture and the festival director for Archtober: Architecture and Design Month NYC. She was previously a partner at Butler Rogers Baskett, and from 1989-2005 at Swanke Hayden Connell. After graduating from Princeton (AB 1975, M.Arch 1979) she worked for Philip Johnson, held faculty appointments at the University of Virginia, NJIT, and her alma mater. email@example.com