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David Chipperfield’s West Village condo gets green light from Landmarks

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The six-story Roman brick building will replace a two-story parking garage

LPC Review Materials

Fourth time’s a charm for David Chipperfield’s six-story Jane Street apartment building, which was finally approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission this afternoon after its fourth round of redesigns. The commissioners’ decision was unanimous, though they did recommend that Chipperfield’s team continue to finesse the building’s appearance, particularly with regard to its window pattern and how its ground floor meshes with the streetscape.

The last time the design for 11 Jane Street appeared in front of the commission, the group took issue with the sliding glass windows the architect had added to the design—Chipperfield said he thought they were elegant but the commissioners, not so much—as well as the building’s height.

Under the new proposal, the windows are a casement style and are accented by a recessed lintel and mullion of the same red brick cast stone that appears at the building’s base. Ward Dennis of preservation consultants Higgins Quasebarth says the addition “helps unify the overall facade in terms of materiality, and give it a stronger residential character," to which the commissioners agreed.

The design team also tweaked the building’s ground floor, finessing the entrances to the seven-residence building’s two townhouses by articulating the ground-floor windows with mullions and emphasizing the entryways with a gate, lighting fixture, and translucent glass door.

In all, the commissioners found the changes appropriate for a new building in the Greenwich Village Historic District. Landmarks chair Meenakshi Srinivasan noted that the design “responded to the concerns” raised in previous meetings, but urged the design team to continue refining their proposal, noting that the ground floor could still use some work. Commissioner Adi Shamir-Brown agreed, saying that the windows on the ground floor could continue to be refined.

Although the commissioners unanimously approved the proposal, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation disapproves, and threw it some serious shade in a statement:

It is disappointing that the Landmarks Preservation Commission chose to approve a design which is so patently inappropriate for the Greenwich Village Historic District and for Jane Street. The design is barely changed from the one roundly criticized by the public and rejected by the Commission in January. It still looks like a chain motel, it’s still too large, and it still sticks out like a sore thumb.

The changes made by the architect since January are the proverbial rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic. This design might look at home next to the off-ramp of I-95, but it does not make sense on this historic side street. We hoped for better from this architect, and from the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The building will replace a two-story parking garage and is being developed by Minskoff Equities.

To view the full LPC presentation materials, head this way.