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Morris Adjmi’s Wonky Noho Office Building Fails to Impress LPC

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The LPC has sent Adjmi back to the drawing board

A little sliver of block between Bond and Great Jones streets along Lafayette Street has been poised to give way to an office building since at least 2009. But spats with celebrity neighbor and artist Chuck Close over how the planned development will affect light in his nearby studio, and over the design of the building, situated in the Noho Historic District Extension and therefore under the rule of LPC, have kept the site vacant.

Architect Morris Adjmi’s proposal for a new office building at 363 Lafayette Street appeared in front of the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday hoping to turn the property’s fate around, but to no avail; the Landmarks Preservation Commission was torn over the building’s design, with some commissioners finding it problematic while others considered it contextual for the neighborhood (It would be, after all, across the street from Adjmi’s glassy high-end rental building.) Ultimately, the commission decided to take no action.

Adjmi’s designed a 10-story office building for the lot—nearly twice as tall as BKSK’s proposed six-story building back in 2009—that could be built as-of-right. According to New York YIMBY, the building would have a ground-floor showroom and community facility space on the second floor. The building will rise to only one story on the southern portion of the block, with five two-story sections with setbacks rising on the northern side of the lot.

Although Community Board 2 gave its support to the project with the request that Adjmi narrow the windows, add more texture on the south facade, and add a green roof, the Landmarks Preservation Commission wasn’t having it. Adjmi will appear again in front of the LPC with a revised design in the future.