Whew, 2007 was a wild one, wasn't it? To honor the insanity that crept into all matters neighborhoodish and real estatey, we present the Fourth Annual Curbed Awards. This year, the awards will be presented in small batches through Monday. Today, we tackle the year in architecture.
Fingers of the Year
Awarded to those buildings that seem to, uh, stand out from their surroundings.
3) Architect Robert Scarano's Luminous is not the only finger in its immediate Williamsburg surroundings, so why does it crack the list? Um hello it's called Luminous and the damn thing is dark as sin. And the Lexus thing was also a nice touch. Heh, touch. Get it?!
2) The Palazzo Chupi in the West Village is not usually regarded as a finger building, but it's even better: a big pink finger. Shocker jokes aside, Julian Schnabel's eff you to neighborhood preservationists would have been ranked higher if that whole Bono thing was sorted out.
1) Now that the long, long legal fight over the Original Finger Building is over (even though opponents say it's not), Robert Scarano's Williamsburg OG must get its due. Years of controversy, and what's the end result? A big, extended finger.
The Robert Scarano Award
Awarded annually to Robert Scarano for achievements in the realm of architectural abomination. Scarano has two Fingers of the Year, but his impact is felt so much, er, deeper. Investigations into his practices continued in '07, which could be the reason for the sudden name change. Whatever he's calling himself nowadays, we expect big things from Scarano in '08, as evidenced by his recent ventures outside of Brooklyn?puking all over the Russian & Turkish Baths in the East Village, and unveiling a special surprise on the Bowery.
Really Cool Thing You'll Probably Never See Award
Dapper Washingtonian Steven Holl made headlines with his Towering S and Hudson Yards designs for Extell, but he also actually got something built this year! Holl's talents are fully on display at NYU's Department of Philosophy on Washington Place, a landmarked 1890 building that Holl and his team gut-renovated and tricked out. Cool! And you'll probably never see it! Unless you're cruising for Kant-reading co-eds, which we are legally required to say we don't do but winkwinknudgenudge.
The Give Up the Goods Already! Award
3) It's no secret that 40 Bond architects Herzog and de Meuron are planning a huge apartment building on Leonard Street in Tribeca, but for some reason, the renderings are still in lock down. We've heard verbal descriptions of the design, but words do it no justice! The latest is that pictures will be revealed this spring, and the thing is insane.
2) Word that Daniel Libeskind was designing a 74-story apartment building to sit on top of 1 Madison Avenue hit like a ton of bricks. Then we kept hearing this "earliest concept phase" BS from Elad Properties and others. Guys, c'mon, there's a napkin sketch of this thing somewhere.
1) Perhaps the biggest starchitect in the world has designed one of the biggest apartment buildings in the city, and yet, it's kept more hidden than a deformed stepchild. Work may have begun on Frank Gehry's 75-story Beekman Tower in Lower Manhattan, and we know pretty much every detail about it, but all we have is this slideshow of denials from Forest City Ratner: