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Norman Foster's New West Chelsea Building Is Storm-Ready

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Even as the debate over the redesign of the New York Public Library has raged on, starchitect Norman Foster (who'd planned to replace the stacks with an airy atrium) has kept busy. In addition to 50 UN Plaza, Foster's firm, Foster + Partners, has designed 551 West 21st Street, a new condo building that will hit the market next month and open in 2015. The Journal has an article about the building's storm-preparedness, which also reveals the basic deets on building size and pricing. And those are? The building will have 44 apartments, most priced between $5.75 million and $17.5 million, except for the penthouses, which will be $35 million and up. There will be three of those penthouses, and one of 'em will have the option of a private rooftop pool. The ground floor will house the 303 Gallery, a contemporary art gallery that sat on the site previously and was flooded during Hurricane Sandy.

Hurricane Sandy has, in fact, significantly affected the site's design. Instead of a glass curtain wall that was originally planned for the building, the first five or six feet of the facade will have a waterproof concrete wall (covered with something a little more ornamental so as not to hurt the eyes of passersby) and what developer Scott Resnick describes as "essentially a bathtub around the perimeter" of the building. The roof will have an emergency generator. And the building entrances will have portable metal barriers that can be put in place before storms. WTM, a German firm that also helped the Whitney Museum with post-storm construction changes, consulted with Resnick on the project. Above, the first rendering we've seen of the project. Got more? You know what to do.
· After Sandy, Storm-Proofing Condos is No Luxury [WSJ]
· Norman Foster coverage [Curbed]

551 W 21st St

551 West 21st Street, Manhattan, NY 10011