Last night, every French person in Manhattan?as well as every real estate bigwig not on Fifth Avenue or in Downtown Brooklyn?filed into 100 Eleventh Avenue for an evening of cocktails and art with Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel. By now Nouvel's West Chelsea world of windows, aka the Vision Machine, needs no introduction, so what are our thoughts?
The building is still very much a work in progress. Guests first ascended up to an eighth-floor unit (the elevators offer fleeting glimpses north into Midtown through windows in the elevator shaft), where some sort of subtle art installation thingy was going on, and the Architect in Black was holding court. The apartment felt a bit cramped due to the partygoers and film crews (taping for, among other things, CBS Sunday Morning), and for those seeking loft-like vibes, the long entrance galleries that many commenters have dissected kind of derail any immediate open-space gratification. The best views were into the IAC Buidling across the street. Work harder, drones!
Then it was up to Penthouse A on the 23rd floor, which got our pulse racing. High ceilings, good flow, a loggia for a taste of the outdoors, epic views and a staircase up to a gigantic wind-whipped private roof deck. And here's the secret: The real fun comes not from the famed curvy window wall, but rather the big holes punched out of the other, non-glassy sides of the building. It seems like every toilet comes with Empire State Building views. C'est magnifique! Want a taste without the commitment? A penthouse that closed for $16.2 million is now back on the market as a rental for $49,000 per month. Pardon the quality of the pictures (the place was dark and crowded and the rooms shaped in ways making them tough to photograph), but have a look at some scenes from last night.
· 100 Eleventh Avenue [nouvelchelsea.com]
· 100 Eleventh Avenue coverage [Curbed]