Pritzker Prize-winning architect Álvaro Siza has made his mark in major cities across Europe, with varied commissions that include swimming pools, apartment complexes, university buildings, and structures for the Olympics and various international expos.
But the Portuguese architect had not designed a building in New York City, where so many starchitects have made their mark—until now, that is. This month will see the launch of sales at 611 West 56th Street, which is not only Siza’s NYC debut, but also his first residential high-rise in the United States.
“I didn’t expect to have the opportunity to build in Manhattan,” Siza, who is 86 years old, told the New York Times. “Now, at my age, I thought I had lost the opportunity. I was very happy to be invited and thought, ‘Well, let’s see if I still have energy for this project.’”
When he won the Pritzker in 1992, the jury noted that his buildings “have a deceptive simplicity about them,” and the tower rising on 56th Street is no different. It will stand 37 stories tall, and the facade will be made of Perla Bianca limestone, with very little adornment. A four-story crown, also made entirely of limestone, will sit atop the building, a detail that Siza says was inspired by the crowns of the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings (in spirit, if not in design).
The building is being developed by Sumaida + Khurana and LENY, who previously commissioned Pritzker-winner Tadao Ando for a Soho condo. Like that building, the Siza-designed tower will have interiors by Gabellini Sheppard Associates, with custom lighting and millwork, and more natural stones, used throughout the apartments. Each one will have floor-to-ceiling windows and high ceilings, and many will come with their own private elevator vestibules.
The bulk of the 80 apartments apartments will be one-, two- and three-bedrooms, but there will also be some larger maisonettes and penthouses. Pricing will begin at $1.26 million for a one-bedroom and go up from there; the larger apartments will start at $11 million. Amenities will be predictably posh, and include a yoga studio, media room, and a landscaped garden with a sculpture designed by Siza himself.
And there is one, extra-exclusive perk for one high-rolling future resident: A penthouse will have “a private terrace beneath a notch cut into the crown of the building, at a price that has yet to be announced,” according to the Times.
The whole thing is expected to be ready for residents next year.