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New Tribeca Lofts Look a Lot Like Old Tribeca Lofts

Triplemint, long one of the most thoughtful blog commentators about design and architecture, returns from an overlong hiatus with a post about the new buildings rising in Tribeca at 414-415 Washington Street. The designs by architect Joseph Pell Lombardi (above) for the twin six-story buildings (15 and 26 units, respectively) are highly contextual in nature, evoking the loading-dock Tribeca of yore. While noting that these designs are done "competently and faithfully," 3xM wonders about the dangers of contextual design and the bastardizations thereof:

The truth is the Landmarks Commission and community boards are not composed of design professionals, and there will always be this barrier to new architecture. What we really dislike are designs that seek a brainless compromise between the two points of view and end up being neither fish nor foul. We're thinking of a midblock rental building now rising in the Flatiron district on 18th Street that is just awful. The developers threw a bone to the landmarks committee in the form of oddly colored bricks, but no one on the committee seemed to notice the tinted windows. This process produces mediocre muddle. A totally new and contemporary piece of architecture (again in scale with its neighbors) would have been much preferable to what's going up there now.So, who's got a digital pic of that "mediocre muddle" they'd like to send along? Sounds right up our alley.
· Tribeca Lofts at 414-415 Washington Street [Triplemint]
· 414-415 Washington Street Loft Buildings [Joseph Pell Lombardi]