Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, the mind behind the airy Metal Shutter Houses near the High Line, will present a plan for set of wide open duplex penthouses at the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday. The proposal for 361 Broadway, a grand stack of neo-Grecian cast iron that's recently been fully restored by the creative crew at Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, is for a two-story addition atop the existing six-story James White Building. Inside, above the street, it'll be all duplexes, all the time, with every unit sporting a private staircase spanning two floors of super-luxe living.
The interior of the 1882 building will be restructured to add an additional full floor inside, bringing the ultimate total to nine stories, all reconfigured to hold 14 residential units with retail at the street level. The new plan from developer Jourdan Krauss, executed by Ban's American partner, architect Dean Maltz, was presented last month to the Landmarks Committee of Community Board 1. Even that finicky crew, infamous for opposing two-story penthouse additions in Tribeca, was won over by the Ban plan. But their glee didn't stop them from submitting a recommendation to lower the proposed height by a few feet.
A Vierendeel truss is the structural basis for the two four-bedroom, four-bath penthouses. Each rooftop aerie shows Ban's signature movable walls of glass around the exterior. Inside, both residences show massive master bedroom suites, with the east penthouse displaying a sliding wall of interior glass overlooking the double-height living room. That corner penthouse is surrounded by a wraparound terrace above Broadway, offering wide open views of the most hated newcomer in the neighborhood. The second penthouse will have its own wraparound terrace, running above Franklin Street, and a more secluded patio, backed by a wall of greenery to supply some privacy from the neighbors next door.
The exterior of the penthouses at 361 Broadway is planned as a framework of white metal in a modern mode, a broad box punched with rows of windows, all holding wide panes of glass rising from floor to ceiling. An existing air shaft, tucked away at the southwest corner of the site, will get a green screen of foliage rising high and facing onto the new glass-walled lobby entrance along Franklin Street. Those proposed plantings draw inspiration from tendrils of decorative foliage found wrapping around the original cast iron columns. All together, this is a far cry from the humble little house of shoes that Shigeru Ban recently unlaced in Soho. Will the LPC be won over by this latest block of Tribeca starchitecture? Only time will tell.
· Restoration - 361 Broadway [Jan Hird Pokorny Associates]
· Tribeca Landmark Ready for Highly Visible Addition [Curbed]
· Shigeru Ban coverage [Curbed]