The lengthy battle over David Chipperfield’s design for 11 Jane Street wasn’t the only interesting item to come from yesterday’s Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing. A proposed enormous single-family home that would rise at 11 Hubert Street also went before the commission, and got an enthusiastic thumbs up.
Architects Maya Lin and William Bialosky, who are collaborating on the project, were both on hand to make the case for the project. In its current form, 11 Hubert Street is home to a garage topped with a two-story addition, and it sits within the Tribeca North Historic District. It was originally built in the 1930s, and went from a warehouse to a storage facility to its most recent iteration. According to the plans on file with the DOB, 55,080 square feet of the lot is zoned for residential use, and the addition would take the existing building from four to six stories, with a height of 64 feet.
Lin and Bialosky’s proposed design for the new building is far more modern: The structure’s facade would be made of of Chelmsford stone (from Massachusetts), stainless steel, perforated metal, and glass. Though it wouldn’t exactly resemble the surrounding buildings, Lin noted that the choice of materials and the design was meant to recall "the functionality of the cast iron and metalwork" that dominates in the neighborhood. The architects also noted that their intention was to give the corner lot a similar scale and proportion as some of the area’s other warehouses.
Despite objections from the Historic Districts Council, which compared the building’s facade to "a block of Swiss cheese," it received near-unanimous praise from the LPC. Commissioner Frederick Bland called it "a wonderful project" that’s "very appropriate" for the neighborhood. Another called it "one of the most interesting new buildings I’ve seen in a long time." Only Commissioner Adi Shamir-Baron objected, asking, "Can something that’s brand new be dated?" But ultimately, the building got its approval and can now move forward.
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