Ian Schrager’s legacy of high design shines in marketing material for Herzog & de Meuron’s 160 Leroy Street
Property developer Ian Schrager has supported good architecture in New York City like no other developer. He pioneered distinguished hotel design at a time when "hospitality" design was an afterthought for hoteliers. For instance, in New York, Schrager built the Paramount, the Royalton, and the Morgan hotels. Then he heroically proposed to have Rem Koolhaas and Herzog & de Meuron work together to design a hotel at Cooper Square, but that project, not unsurprisingly, did not happen. Schrager has used many other architects for his various projects, but now Herzog & de Meuron seem to have become his go-to design firm. He has said that he asks them “to capture the details of life in the details of the architecture.” The architects have executed this request in projects like 40 Bond and 215 Chrystie. Now the Swiss architects have designed 160 Leroy Street, a building overlooking the Hudson River, and the developer claims it is influenced by Oscar Niemeyer. Not satisfied to promote the building as other less creative developers have, Schrager asked Herzog & de Meuron to create a small, wooden scale model of the curving facade of 160 Leroy, pictured above. If I were thinking of moving into the building, I would request one of these small sculptures in order to help make up my mind. Not sure, though, that they are really needed in this case as nearly 50 percent of the building is already in contract.