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Tadao Ando's First NYC Building Brings the Natural to Nolita

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All photos by Will Femia.

For an architect whose work is so invested in the natural, Tadao Ando's forthcoming contribution to Nolita might seem out of place. Ando's name is synonymous with tranquility, order, and simplicity in design, and the locations of many of his most well-known works are befitting of quiet aesthetics. But that's not so with the lower Manhattan neighborhood for which the Japanese architect is designing his first standalone New York City building.

But something about the site at the corner of Kenmare and Elizabeth streets drew Ando in and gained his seal of approval. What Ando designed for the corner lot is a seven-story Jewel Box comprised of his signature poured in place concrete, galvanized steel, and glass. For 152 Elizabeth Street, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect (who also just cinched the 2016 Isamu Noguchi award, and not to mention the 1992 Carlsberg Prize, 1996 Preamium Imperiale, and 2002 Kyoto Prize) has partnered with interior design firm Gabellini Sheppard to create seven simple dwellings in the thick of the city.

"Everything is a bit of a contrasting notion," Michael Gabellini told Curbed. "For Ando, the natural environment is the urban environment." In Nolita, Gabellini says, there's an urban grittiness that has yet to be refined to the same degree as other Manhattan neighborhoods (though the star architect's project is, in essence, a paradox: likely one of the first steel and glass flames in the neighborhood to attract the city's many moths.)

Although the building will stand apart from its neighbors, Ando and Gabellini designed it in a way to connect with its surroundings: the building's south enclosure will be a 99-foot by 55-foot living green wall designed by MPFP—the largest in the city. The wall's windows will recede into the facade, allowing the greenery to wrap around and frame the views. In the lobby, one of Ando's signature cutouts will filter light in above a water feature, meant to welcome and pull in the building's residents from the street. At the same time, the apartments floor-to-ceiling windows invite the outside in; some interior walls will be poured in place concrete, a material that's no stranger to the street but, unpolished, more a rarity—especially in multimillion dollar homes.

Sales of the building's seven condos launched in June, accompanied by a sales gallery that sprawls out behind an innocuous metal door on Elizabeth Street. The gallery shows off a kitchen and a master bathroom typical to a two-bedroom, while showcasing the apartments' finishes, like its Dinesen wood floors with butterfly joints made from 250-year-old trees, Biano Sivec marble bathrooms, and patinaed walls. To date, just two of the building's residences—a half-floor 2BR/2.5BA apartment asking $5.75 million and a full-floor 4BR/4.5BA apartment asking $14.8 million—have been released.

· Listings: 152 Elizabeth Street [Compass]
· Behold, Tadao Ando's 'Glass Jewel Box' NYC Condo Building [Curbed]
· Tadao Ando's Nolita 'Jewel Box' Unveils Its Sleek Interiors [Curbed]
· Starchitect Tadao Ando Aims For 'Sensitivity' With Nolita Condos [Curbed]
· All 152 Elizabeth Street coverage [Curbed]

152 Elizabeth Street

152 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012