Vaunted British architect David Chipperfield returned to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday to present his firm’s updated plan for an apartment building on a quaint West Village street. The appearance marked Chipperfield’s third in front of the agency for 11-19 Jane Street. In keeping with their previous decisions, YIMBY reports, the commission sent Chipperfield off to revise the project yet again. He will likely appear with an updated plan for the apartment building in the Greenwich Village Historic District in a few months.
To Chipperfield’s credit, his firm has done some serious work on revising the building since it last showed in front of the commission in July. At the time, the architect essentially argued that he thought the design was appropriate and in character for the street—to say the community at large doesn’t agree is putting it lightly— but the design unveiled on Tuesday shows that Chipperfield has finally heeded feedback.
The facade material for the six-story building has been changed from a light precast concrete to a Roman brick with a similarly-colored concrete that makes the building look less like a miniature of Chipperfield’s Midtown condo The Bryant and more a fit for the sleepy West Village.
The windows and window pattern have also been changed up. Originally, Chipperfield proposed stainless steel-rimmed windows and balustrades that would give the building a more edgy look. Under Tuesday’s plans, the windows are more sunken into the building and include sliders, a detail Chipperfield referred to as “elegant.” An audible chuckle noted by YIMBY implies that the room’s audience doesn’t agree.
The last of the major changes to the proposal is its height, which has been dropped by ten feet from 95 feet to 85 feet, give or take a few inches. Chipperfield sold the design to the commission saying it had a “slightly more domestic feel” but the commissioners didn’t agree. Commissioner Dana Chapin said the building had a “hotel quality” and the ever-quotable Commissioner Devonshire called the proposal a “Mardi Gras on the Hudson” saying that it embraced a particular blandness, and not in a good way.
In the end, the commissioners decided to take no action and send Chipperfield back to the drawing board.