The Church Missions House, a historic, Renaissance revival building located at 281 Park Avenue South in New York City, will soon be the new home of Fotografiska. The Stockholm-based photography museum is scheduled to open an outpost in New York in spring 2019. The organization has chosen New York–based CetraRuddy to lead the design makeover and restoration of the landmarked space. Other collaborators on the project include Roman and Williams, which will design an avant-garde restaurant and bar on the second floor, Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, which will preserve and restore the stained-glass windows and limestone and granite facade of the building, and Linq, a tech firm that will design a multi-sensory experience for visitors using flavor, scent, and art. Fotografiska, which views sustainability as a core part of its philosophy, strives to use the power of photography to leave a significant impact on the world. “By following our vision of inspiring a more conscious world, we aim to raise the level of awareness and question what we eat, drink, and take for granted—nudging society towards more sustainable habits,” states Fotografiska on its website. The six-story Church Missions House building will further enhance the cultural significance of Fotografiska and the surrounding Gramercy neighborhood. Built toward the end of the 19th century, the extravagant facade embodies an era in which New York City became a center for art, architecture, and creativity, and it has housed numerous offices and non-profit organizations in the years since. The building is also recognized for its role in the Anna Delvey story, where in 2017, the New York City socialite was arrested on six charges of grand larceny for trying to swindle her way into owning the building by scamming wealthy business acquaintances and hotels. The building’s Italianate style is evident in its arched windows, elegant columns, and decorative enrichments—including elaborate cornices and balustrades. Although the building is located in the midst of lofty skyscrapers and bustling city blocks, it conjures images of the elegant Italian villas of the Renaissance, while at the same time providing the city with valuable restaurant, gallery, and exhibition space. As swaths of Midtown Manhattan continue to disintegrate beneath the rapidly expanding, corporate-run metropolis, the landmark building at 281 Park Avenue is becoming more prominent than ever before. “We have been looking for the right New York location for a while, and the Park Avenue South space is a great opportunity for us to finally start to change the world in the spirit of Fotografiska,” said Geoffrey Newman, project manager and shareholder of Fotografiska New York, in a recent press release.
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The development team behind Rivington House has tapped New York's CetraRuddy to convert the former Lower East Side nursing home for people with HIV and AIDS into luxury condos. In the wide world of New York City real estate, this wouldn't be much of a story, but readers may remember that Rivington House was scandal central in 2016, when it was revealed that the city lifted the property's deed restriction to allow private developers to flip the 45 Rivington Street building for a handsome profit. The deed restriction mandated the structure's use as a nursing home, but after developer the Allure Group paid the city $16 million to get it removed, it turned around and sold the building to Slate Property Group for a cool $116 million. While State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman investigated the sale, a partial stop-work order was placed on the property, local news site The Lo-Down reported. A settlement reached last month requires the Allure Group to open a new healthcare facility on the Lower East Side and donate $1.25 million to neighborhood nonprofits, in addition to paying penalties. Before it was sold, Rivington House had the capacity to house 219 people living with HIV and AIDS; 60 of those beds will be relocated to Gouverneur Health, the nearby public hospital. A spokesperson for City Council member Margaret Chin, whose district includes Rivington House, told The Lo-Down that Chin is actively opposing the conversion. The controversy over the Rivington House sale led to land use reforms at the city level that subject deed restriction modifications or removals to extensive community review. Councilmember Chin was the bill's main sponsor. There are no drawings on file for the $17 million project yet, and a spokesperson for CetraRuddy declined to provide more information about the development.
Downtown's tallest residential building has a new face. Renderings from the initial reveal two years ago depicted a normie glass stalagmite, but now the 1,115-foot-tall skyscraper in Manhattan's Financial District has a filigreed bronze exterior that references the city's art deco cloudbusters. With its expressive exterior detailing and floating floor plates, the CetraRuddy-designed supertall at 45 Broad Street shares a litter with Rafael Viñoly's 432 Park, as well as SHoP's 9 DeKalb Avenue in downtown Brooklyn and Morris Adjmi's Nomad tower, both of which were inspired by classic New York skyscrapers (there's a little Mark Foster Gage–y flair for good measure, too). Although the enhanced exterior renderings were released in October, this week YIMBY revealed new images of the mechanical floors that will double as observation decks. There will be a wind break on the 43rd floor, with another 16 stories below, and both of these spaces will have 32-foot floor-to-ceiling heights. A mass damper crowns the tower on its 64th floor, stabilizing more than 407,000 square feet of residential space over 206 units. On the lower floors, 62,000 square feet of commercial space and an almost 94,000-square-foot school round out the program. Construction is expected to wrap in spring 2021.
Tomorrow elected officials are breaking ground on a Staten Island office building with a bocce court, giant rooftop farm, a nearby vineyard, and a social enterprise restaurant that will serve Italian food and donate all of its proceeds to charity. Developed by The Nicotra Group and designed by CetraRuddy, the eight-story structure is part of Staten Island's Teleport Campus in Bloomfield, not far from the Arthur Kill on the Island's west shore. Compared to the rest of New York City, "designing for Staten Island means there's more space to work with," said Eugene Flotteron, a partner at CetraRuddy and a borough native. Right now, there are two low-slung 1970s office buildings on the nine-acre campus, directly adjacent to the new structure, which will contain mostly office and medial facilities. Structually, there was room for the south side to slope sharply towards the ground, minimizing solar heat gain, and a north side that's angled more gradually up to draw in the rays. On the ground floor, a white overhang will shade the main walkway and line the building on four sides. Up above, a 40,000-square-foot rooftop garden will provide herbs and produce for the in-house restaurant, and grab-and-go greens from the rooftop will be for sale, too. Limited public transit options make ample surface parking a necessity, thought the structure is aiming for LEED Silver certification. CetraRuddy is collaborating with a local firm, Being Here Landscape Architecture & Environmental Design, on the rooftop and ground floor landscaping. The 336,000-square-foot office building's program reflects the developer's heritage as well as the heritage of more than a third of Staten Island residents with Italian ancestry. The restaurant, Pienza, Pizza, Pasta and Porchetta, is named for Pienza, a Tuscan town that The Nicotra Group founder Richard Nicotra and his wife visit every year. Among other amenities, visitors will have access to bocce courts outside and a vineyard that Nicotra is building with specialists from California's Napa Valley. While the design doesn't have a direct antecedent in Italian or Roman architecture, Flotteron said finishes and materials like the Italian marble in the double-height lobby, as well as a potential collaboration with an Italian curtain wall company, will reflect the country's influence. Foundation work is set to begin in the next few months, and the project should be complete in fall 2018.
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When creating the gatehouse to the CetraRuddy-designed One Madison Park on 23rd Street, BKSK partners and architects Harry Kendall and Joan Krevlin begged the question, “How do you design something that is as much about being a gateway as it as about being a building unto itself?” The task was to create a five-story building to house the entry lobby and two duplexes. The two firms worked as a team: BKSK was brought in by Related, who purchased the building after it was fully complete, with CetraRuddy acting as the architect of record and production architect for the residence. Kendall and Krevlin ultimately imagined the entry structure as a giant front door. “22nd Street is a beautifully scaled block that has lovely stone and terra-cotta buildings. We wanted to do two things—design a building that actually felt as much like a gateway as a building, and we wanted to do something that was respectful of the nicely textured and well-scaled block.” The team began to consider a contemporary material that would allow for such a combination and considered it a good opportunity to use terra-cotta because of its malleability. “We looked at the block and the body material of most of its buildings,” said Krevlin, the partner-in-charge on the project. “We were pulling out the more decorative elements and having that act as the whole facade.” Krevlin and Kendall wanted some shimmer and reflectivity to the material to catch the morning and Western light and knew that terra-cotta could be glazed to their specifications. The custom fins, manufactured by Boston Valley Terra Cotta, are comprised of three pieces: The pointed piece is extruded and has a joint with two other flat elements. The fins are then hung on an aluminum substrate that cantilevers off the building and attaches to the slabs so that they float in front of the glass. The fins were intentionally staggered to give the building rhythm, and a custom bronze and glass storefront with sliding glass doors sits behind them.
The Meatpacking District will soon to be the home of a new 18-story office building designed by New York–based architecture and interior design firm CetraRuddy. Due to changes in market conditions, the client requested that CetraRuddy transform their initial hotel design into an office building with over 144,000 rentable square feet of space. Located at 412 West 15th Street, the project also features the renovation of two adjacent buildings at 413-435 West 14th Street. These structures add an additional 110,000 rentable square feet of space to the project. Ensuring a connection between the new building and the adjacent 413 West 14th Street was a major goal in the design process, said John Cetra of CetraRuddy. A yard—not visible in the renderings—runs the entire length of the new building and will connect it and the neighboring structure on the ground level. The existing structure, a pre-1910 “rational, no nonsense” building, was built as three stories with a fourth story later added. To build atop it, Cetra found inspiration in the nearby High Line's exposed steel structure. The new construction is similarly designed to create “an elegant structure,” he explained, with metal cladding and open floors exposed by glazing. The new building's steel frame was designed to reveal its cross-bracing. (While the firm thought masonry was more appropriate for a hotel, they switched to steel when it became an office tower.) Decorative metal panels cover the project's elevator and stair shafts. The new structure will have a relatively small floor plate but offers expansive views and plenty of natural light. Cetra said that his team worked “[to design] the superstructure and systems within the space so that it wasn’t necessary to suspend the ceiling within the spaces.” The building has a distinct context: the office tower on West 15th Street falls just outside of the Gansevoort Historic District but the existing building on West 14th Street is within its boundaries. The new building features more contemporary styling while the West 14th Street structure aims to fit into the existing environment. In regards to sustainability, all of the roofs for this project will be blue roofs, retaining stormwater. The building will also boast rooftop conference rooms and terraces. Cetra noted the open, flexible design for the ground floor retail space will allow customization for whichever tenant rents it. An open lobby with floor-to-ceiling glass and high ceilings aims to create a “gallery-like experience.” Terrazzo floors and black and stainless steel and darker metals fit well with the neighborhood, said Charles Thomson, the project's manager. A luminous canopy outside the new building’s entrance differentiates the office tenant's entrance from the retail storefront. The building is currently under construction with the beginning of tenant fit-out scheduled for some time mid- to late-2017.
The Upper West Side is about to get its tallest tower yet, and it's a real devil. New renderings show a 666-foot-tall tower (51 floors) in a neighborhood whose abundance of historic districts and individual landmarks typically precludes development of this size. New York–based Elkus Manfredi is designing the exterior, while CetraRuddy is doing the interiors. The latter firm is currently working on a number of projects in the tristate area, including a woven basket–inspired luxury tower on the Upper East Side, and the renovation of the art deco New Jersey Bell Headquarters Building in Newark, New Jersey. The 400,000 square feet of space will be divided into 112 units, each averaging over 3,000 square feet, YIMBY reports. Originally the site hosted a synagogue, but the property, on Amsterdam Avenue at West 70th Street, was acquired by SJP Properties in 2015 for a cool $275 million. The tower's stepped setbacks are reminiscent of the skyscrapers built during the early days of New York City's zoning code, whose light and air mandates prompted skyscrapers to step demurely back from the street. Like those 1920s towers, this one tapers at the top and sports a multi-pronged crown. 200 Amsterdam Avenue is by no means the too-tall kid in the neighborhood. Just down the block, 150 Amsterdam Avenue stands a solid 470 feet, while the old-New-York San Remo, on Central Park West between West 74th and 75th streets, stands 400 feet tall, and newly-built 160 West 62nd Street rises to 598 feet. The construction timeline for 200 Amsterdam has yet to be revealed, but demolition of the synagogue is already underway.
New renderings confirm that CetraRuddy's new tower, at the border of Manhattan's Upper East Side and Midtown East, is a total basket case. The images of 200 East 59th Street released in November featured the latticed main entrance, and the wraparound roof decks with spiral staircases, but these are the first images to depict the full tower. 200 East 59th Street is developed by Macklowe Properties, the same entity behind Viñoly's 432 Park Avenue, but this tower is downright diminutive compared to its nearby cousin. It's set to rise 490 feet (35 stories), with 67 units over 99,848 square feet, YIMBY reports. The ceilings will be 14 feet tall, on average, although renderings seem to show the ceilings becoming progressively higher as the floors rise. The base of the tower will host almost 15,000 square feet of retail, and is clad in a shiny facade that takes inspiration from a woven basket. The ground floor looks awfully similar to Shigeru Ban Architects' Aspen Art Museum, a contemporary art space for the ritzy Colorado ski town that was completed in 2014 (and reviewed by AN here). The woven wood panel facade encircles 33,000 square feet of galleries; art sits cozily inside like a hatchlings in an artificial nest. The video below gives a full tour of the museum, for further comparison: https://vimeo.com/165649176 But, since CetraRuddy is a homegrown firm, maybe the luxury tower's true inspiration was the "Big Basket" out in Newark, Ohio that's now threatened with demolition? Regardless of inspiration, CetraRuddy's new Manhattan structure will cost approximately $278 million to build (think of how many crafty woven baskets you could buy for that!). Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2017.
New York architecture, planning and interior design firm CetraRuddy are set to transform the New Jersey Bell Headquarters Building tower in Newark. Built in 1929, the historic tower was designed by prolific Manhattan architect, Ralph Walker. The 436,000-square-foot tower, which sits on 540 Broad Street in Newark, will be repurposed to accommodate 260 apartments and 60,000 square feet of office and retail space. Existing tenants like Verizon, whose headquarters are located in the building, are due to remain. CetraRuddy, run by husband and wife John Cetra and Nancy J. Ruddy, has a strong pedigree in conversion projects. The firm are no stranger to Walker's designs, having worked on the Walker and Stella Towers in Manhattan previously. As with those project, CetraRuddy will maintain much of the detailing and 1920s decorum found on and inside the building. "This is an incredible landmark of this city and a national treasure, and we are delighted to help bring it new life," said Cetra in a press release. "For Newark, this visionary project brings new vibrancy and economic vitality to Newark’s downtown center, while also preserving its renowned historic character." In 2005, the building's art deco facade and lobby was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rising 20 stories (275 feet) the sandstone and buff brick facade features colonnades and motifs by sculptor Edward McCartan. At night, the facade and upper levels are illuminated to reveal McCartan's detailing.
The latest addition to the Manhattan skyscraper-scape is a 65 story condominium at 45 Broad Street. The tower, designed by New York's CetraRuddy, will have 300,000 square feet of floor area. The Real Deal reports that the buyers purchased the parcel for $86 million. It's not yet known how tall the building will be, but it could reach up to 900 feet. CetraRuddy is well-practiced in the art of the tall, skinny skyscraper. The firm's projects include the cellular, 625 foot tower at 242 West 53rd Street, announced March of this year, as well as 107 West 57th Street, completed last year. That building rises 51 stories (688 feet) on a comparatively small 43 by 100 foot lot. Moed de Armas & Shannon Architects (New York) designed a mixed-use, 62 story tower (pictured below) for the site in 2006. The 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers, however, crushed those plans. The site has sat vacant ever since. Construction on the new 45 Broad Street is expected to be complete by 2019.
The latest glassy residential tower to rise on Manhattan's West Midtown comes courtesy of Cetra Ruddy. Curbed spotted renderings of the 625-foot-tall condo tower that is slated to rise on the site of the Roseland Ballroom, a beloved New York City concert venue that shuttered in April. The glass structure is encased in a geometric grid that provides texture and some visual identity to the facade. Protruding, rounded balconies give the building a more fluid form. "[T]he building’s massing responds to various site and zoning constraints, revealing inventive solutions that maximize the residential adaptability of the building through increased floor area, direct outdoor access and amplified views," CetraRuddy said on its website. "Shaping of the form reflects changes in unit mixes, with larger units occupying the top of the building and smaller units occupying the bottom. Building amenities, located within the podium, take on a vertical hierarchy by locating the various amenities from short to tall around the tower, resulting in a series of cascading layers on the roofs above each space." Curbed reported that permits for the building have been filed with the Department of Buildings, but have not yet been approved. And drone footage of demolition work at the Roseland Ballroom site: http://youtu.be/xfbmm5AEgLE
Developers use cutting-edge technology to restore Ralph Walker crown.When JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group purchased the 1927 Ralph Walker high-rise in Manhattan’s Hell's Kitchen neighborhood in order to transform it into the Stella Tower condominiums, they realized that something was not quite right about the roofline. "The building had a very odd, plain parapet of mismatched brick," recalled JDS founder Michael Stern. "We were curious about why it had this funny detail that didn't belong to the building." The developers tracked down old photographs of the property and were pleasantly surprised by what they saw: an intricate Art Deco thin dome crown. "We were very intrigued by putting the glory back on top of the building," said Stern. They proceeded to do just that, deploying a combination of archival research and modern-day technology to recreate a remarkable early-twentieth-century ornament. The developers, who had previously worked together on 111 West 57th Street and Walker Tower, another Ralph Walker renovation, began with what Stern calls "archeology" or "surgical demolition" of the crown area. The excavation revealed that the entire base of the crown remained behind the bricks added by Verizon, the building's previous owner. They also tracked down original drawings of the building, which showed the shape of the crown and some of its dimensions. "We didn't have shop drawings—we didn't have a road map," said Stern. "My team had to basically reverse engineer the crown using the drawings as a guide." They also leaned on 3D scans of the base to fill in the missing dimensions, and constructed a 3D model of the crown in SolidWorks. The SolidWorks model helped the developers answer important questions, like how many new pieces should be cast, how they would be installed, and what support would be required. JDS Construction, who led the reconstruction effort working with CetraRuddy architects, called on Corinthian Cast Stone to fabricate the new pieces. Corinthian cast a total of 48 pieces for the upper half of the crown in colored concrete. To support the new work, JDS designed a complex steel structure for the inside of the crown. They assembled the entire structure offsite before disassembling it and lifting it to the top of Stella Tower using a custom pulley and lever system. Eight craftsmen installed the precast pieces one at a time over the course of approximately five weeks. Each precast piece was clipped to the steel structure, then mortared to its mates. The design and fabrication process, which began with the decision three years ago to reproduce the crown, culminated this September. "The crown is so spectacular," said Stern. "It's better than the invention of the wheel." Besides his pride in the crown in and of itself, Stern sees the Stella Tower project as a chance to restore Ralph Walker's place in the architectural canon. In addition to recreating the crown, JDS and Property Markets Group recast every piece of cast stone and replaced every window and every mismatched brick on the building's exterior. "We've fixed some of the wrongs history has done to the building," he noted. "This was a great telecom building by one of the fathers of New York architecture, but over the years his buildings have been lost in the landscape. With Walker Tower and Stella Tower, we're trying to bring attention back to his legacy."