The Billionaires’ Row tower takes inspiration from the past for its design
One of Manhattan’s most intriguing developments is finally coming into focus: 111 West 57th Street, the slender supertall designed by SHoP Architects, has finally launched sales, six years after plans for the building were first announced.
“This building could really only be a New York building,” Michael Stern, the head of JDS Development, said during a press preview for the project. Both the developers—JDS, along with Property Markets Group and Spruce Capital Partners—and the design team of SHoP and Studio Scofield made that point throughout the presentation.
But what does that mean, exactly? SHoP principal Gregg Pasquarelli told Curbed that the firm attempted to answer that question—“What makes a New York building a New York building?”—throughout the design process. He looked to the architectural drawings of Hugh Ferriss (whose work provided the template for building design under the landmark 1916 zoning law) for inspiration.
Ultimately, that led to the structure’s modern wedding cake style, with a series of setbacks as it soars to its pinnacle; the facade is elegant, and composed of terra cotta and bronze rather than the reflective glass found on its neighbor, One57. “It has a classical feeling to it, but it’s not nostalgic,” Pasquarelli said.
Inside, the building will have only a handful of apartment—46 in all—which will be available to a rarified few, with prices starting at $18 million and going up to $57 million. There will also be a 5,000-square-foot “landmark penthouse” in the Steinway building, going for $20 million. The interiors are tasteful and muted, and take inspiration from the building itself; door handles are fabricated in the shape of the tower, while kitchen cabinets are curved, echoing the terra cotta panels on the facade.
Amenities in the building include a private porte cochere, a 82-foot pool, a fitness center, dining room, and “highly experienced concierge professionals attending to residents’ every need” (of course).
Still, the fact that those details will only be seen by the building’s wealthy residents wasn’t lost on the team. “We said this very clearly to each other: 60 extraordinarily wealthy people are going to own these apartments, but 8 million of us have to look at it every day,” Pasquarelli explained. “I said to Michael [Stern], you need to spend at least as much on that facade as you do on the interiors; it’s our responsibility to give something back to the city.” Stern echoed that sentiment in his remarks during the preview, calling the building and its classical facade “a gift back to the city.”
Construction on the building is moving right along: It’s expected to top out at the beginning of 2019, with move-ins happening by the end of that year. Douglas Elliman is handling sales, and listings are due to go live within a few weeks.