The units in 505 West 19th Street, celebrated Danish designer Thomas Juul-Hansen's first ground-up residential project, could accurately be described as minimal. But they are not, as he explained during a tour of the building's sales office last week, minimal for minimalism's sake. Rather, the aesthetic is born out of a desire to create modern luxury apartments that won't have gone out of style a few years down the road. "The ultimate goal," Juul-Hansen told us, "is timelessness." As such, the materials that he chose to use — oak flooring, granite countertops, bronze borders on the cabinetry, and, on the outside, limestone cut to look like brick — all have a certain enduring quality that, the designer and his team hope, will cement the project's status as a top-tier luxury building for decades to come.
Also helping in that regard is the fact that the two buildings will border the High Line, with one on either side and a shared lobby underneath. This allows for one unique feature — a lobby skylight displaying the underside of the High Line with subtle lighting — but also comes with its challenges, chief among them ensuring the privacy of the units that have windows that are level with the elevated park. To take care of that problem, Juul-Hansen designed the buildings with angled windows, which will serve the dual function of stopping people outside the apartments from staring in, and allowing people inside the apartments to have views that stretch down the High Line, as opposed to across to the other building. The windows, it should also be noted, are huge — Juul-Hansen think that there is a chance they could be the largest fully operable windows in the city.