Posts tagged with "Greenwich Village Historic District":

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LPC blasts David Chipperfield's fancy West Village condo, sends it back to the drawing board

Today the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) blasted David Chipperfield's proposed residential building in the West Village and sent the design back to the drawing board for serious modifications. Developer Edward Minskoff plans to demolish a two-story garage to build a condominium designed by Chipperfield with New York–based Higgins Quasebarth & Partners as local partners. Chipperfield's glass and precast concrete condo would rise five stories with an additional penthouse level set back from the lower floors. In June YIMBY calculated that the 30,676-square-foot building would have seven apartments measuring in at over 4,382 square feet. 327 square feet of commercial space for an underground parking garage would round out the program. Today he defended the (pretty much unchanged) design, noting its "quality" and harmony with neighboring buildings. The LPC wasn't buying it, however. Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan called out the building's height, while other commissioners were just not kosher with demolishing the garage, which dates from 1922. In the presentation materials submitted for today's meeting, diagrams from Chipperfield show the structure's elevation compared to buildings on adjacent blocks. The diagrams show buildings of various height, including many that surpass the three- and four-story height that the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) pegs for the neighborhood's midblocks. The site lies within the Greenwich Village Historic District, so both the demolition and new construction requires approval. The commission last heard the proposal in June, when a decision was tabled in response to 40 pieces of public testimony, all in opposition to the design. Residents called it a "travesty" that would block sun and air. Andrew Berman, the GVSHP's executive director unleashed a torrent of objections, arguing that the height was out-of-scale with three- and four-story midblock buildings, and that the facade more closely resembled cast-iron faces of Noho and Soho buildings, not Greenwich Village. Perhaps most damning was Berman's assessment of the structure's place in the urban fabric:
"[We] must note the devastating cumulative effect which the loss of buildings like 11 Jane Street has on the scale and quality of the Greenwich Village Historic District. Such buildings have simple but handsome early 20th century detail and contribute to the sense of place and variegated scale of the Village. Their modest one and two story stature defers to the historic residential and commercial structures around them, allowing them to remain in the foreground. They are part of the quirk, charm, and surprise that one encounters on Village streets; each a little different from the next, but sharing common overall qualities.”
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Archtober Building of the Day 10> Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle 94 Greenwich Avenue, Manhattan Steven Holl Architects Passersby often stop to peer through the slipped-disk façade of Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle in the West Village, according to Margaret Magnuson, who graciously opened the store to us this morning. Led by Olaf Schmidt and Filipe Taboada of Steven Holl Architects, our group of architecture and scent enthusiasts filtered into the 400-square-foot space. Although it is small, the shop is a jewel box of texture and form, an abstract insertion of a retail volume into a historic building. Two materials dominate the space. Foamed aluminum gives a porous texture to the walls and ceiling, and sleek black walnut shelves house the product. Expertly constructed by craftsman Javier Gomez, the shelves help anchor the slipped-disk motif that appears throughout the store. Because scents break down more quickly in the presence of heat and direct sunlight, a custom-built refrigerated cabinet preserves the integrity of the perfumes that will be sold. Three booths cut into the wall draw air through an internal system so that customers can smell a fragrance without overpowering the space. They offer an immersive and personal olfactory experience. Magnuson explained that rather than using scented cards that we so often see at large department stores, each salesperson has a deep knowledge of the fragrances and an instinct for the trade. Spraying 10 different perfumes onto cards can only be overwhelming; instead, customers might smell two or three in a visit. Then they can retreat to a secret garden in the back to mull over their choice. There’s no hovering or overzealous spritzing here. Because the building is located in the Greenwich Village Historic District, the architects had to submit their design proposal to the Landmarks Preservation Commission before construction could begin. They went through multiple hearings before it was approved, ultimately with the strong support of commissioners. The quality of the space is matched by Frédéric Malle’s vision. According to Magnuson, the company never discontinues a scent; it favors fit – finding the perfect scent for each customer – over novelty or trendiness. Malle cares deeply about functionality and detail, and he selected the architects with intention, giving them free reign over the design with the stipulation that portraits of perfumers who have developed fragrances for the company should hang on the wall, overseeing the operation. Take advantage of tomorrow’s weather with a tour of Pier Two at Brooklyn Bridge Park.