Following recent rumors of troubled waters at the Ben van Berkel-designed, Kanye-approved Five Franklin Place in Tribecaish, we dispatched a Curbed recon team on a little fact finding mission. Results were conclusive: Sleepy Hudson developer Leo Tsimmer assured us that construction is humming along -- three out of twenty floors have been poured, and the project is set to finish on time. Sales hover at 20 percent, or 11 of 55 units, which range from a rather ostentatious million-dollar, 486-square-foot studio to a $16 million penthouse. Tsimmer did re-confirm that Corcoran Sunshine is no longer involved in the project, citing good common sense as reason for scaling back flashy advertising efforts during these bleak times.
Dutch starchitect Ben van Berkel's curtain of big, black, and bendy steel stripes greet visitors in the lobby, forming a life-sized model of the building's facade-to-be; beyond that, it's rockets to the moon. The ginormous, mechanized model of FFP held our fascination with its glowing, technicolor core that changed colors as Mr. Tsimmer gleefully raised and lowered it with the flick of a switch. More bells and whistles in the sales room: slick video presentations, a booming soundtrack, and a slick, hardcover FFP catalog -- and its very own custom-designed water bottles.
On to the model room: It's Space Odyssey 2009, people. van Berkel's firm, UNStudio, designed the amorphous kitchens and bathrooms; all were fabricated and installed by B&B Italia, as were the custom closet systems and other sundry cool features. White dominates the scene in the model unit -- white lacquer, white tile, white polycarbonate, white everything. Custom steel gadgets galore, recessed lighting throughout. Note the revolving door that, when rotated just so, exposes the master bathroom to the entire unit, and vice-versa. Freeze frame!
· Five Franklin Place [Official Site]
· Five Franklin Place Coverage [Curbed]