The new Level Hotel planned for 55 Wythe in Williamsburg wasn’t much more than a rendering when it was revealed last month, but one of 6sqft’s intrepid reporters swung by the site recently only to find that construction on the Jetson’s-like building had commenced. Permits for the 320,000 square foot hotel were approved in early April, and according to locals, heavy equipment arrived on the scene a few weeks ago with groundwork now well underway.
Now, further cementing Level’s status as a hotel of the future, the hotel’s developer, Zelig Weiss, closed on an $18.35 million loan from Madison Realty Capital to purchase the site for about $30 million, according to Crain‘s.
More details and photos here
James Biber’s portfolio features plenty of famous and easy-to-recognize works. In New York, the acclaimed architect has made his mark with designs like the Fashion Center kiosk and CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College. Outside of the city, he’s been on board projects that include the Harley-Davidson Museum and Arizona Cardinals Stadium.
These big-name clients are the result of nearly 25 years in the industry, but often it’s the smaller ones that leave the strongest impression. Case in point: Biber calls these three houses in Long Island “a seminal course in building.”
Details on the three buildings here
An overturned ark has washed ashore Socrates Sculpture Park. But don’t worry, Long Island City isn’t the scene of a maritime accident — the upside-down barge is a brand new art installation designed by Philadelphia’s Austin + Mergold.
Dubbed the SuralArk, the hulking vessel — which spans 50-feet-wide and 18-feet-tall — is the 2014 winner of Folly, Socrates Sculpture Park’s annual design competition co-sponsored with the Architectural League of New York. Austin + Mergold beat out 169 other entries from established designers and studios across the country to nab the top honors, giving their ark a summer-long stint at the park.
Get a close-up of the sculpture
The Van Alen Institute has convened its new International Council of architecture, planning, and design leaders in Venice, Italy during the Biennale this month. The inaugural group represents 13 firms from across more than 17 cities and ten countries. Five of these Council members have offices in NYC — Allied Works Architecture, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), Jan Gehl Architects, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, and Snohetta.
More details here
At first glance, there’s nothing particularly unique about the facade of this white brick townhouse, but take a second look and you’ll see that there’s more to the building than meets the eye. Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice that the protruding bay windows aren’t made from ordinary frames, but from sections of stainless steel truck bodies.
The recycled windows are a signature of LOT-EK, the studio that owners Lawrence and Alice Weiner hired to re-do their Greenwich Village townhouse. Founded in 1993 by Columbia University grads Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Liganano, the New York and Naples-based firm has become known for its sustainable approach to construction and architecture, namely the use of upcycled steel containers.
More photos of the inside here
New York has a lot of old buildings. Perhaps surprisingly, many of those buildings are actually houses (yes, like real houses). These remnants of the early Dutch farming days can be spotted throughout the five boroughs, as can churches, apartments and “skyscrapers” from earlier times. We’ve rounded up some of the city’s oldest structures. Test your knowledge and see how many you’re familiar with ahead. And while you’re at it, make plans to visit one of these historic landmarks the next time you’re out and about.
Your blast from the past this way
The Philip Johnson-designed Sony Tower at 550 Madison Avenue, one of the most notable postmodern office towers in New York City, is set to be partially converted to high-end condos, as states planes filed by developer Chetrit Group. It’s not known which of the building’s 37 floors the residential units will occupy, but Chetrit, led by Joseph Chetrit, has said in the past that it will convert the upper floors and either keep the lower floors as offices or turn them into a luxury hotel.
Construction likely won’t begin for at least one to two years since Sony still leases office space. When the developer purchased the building from Sony in 2013 for $1.1 billion at auction, Sony committed to remaining in the offices for around three years until moving to a new space near Madison Square. Chetrit outbid 21 rivals and paid $685 million more for the building than Sony did in 2002.
Find out more about the development here
And it’s official: After going into contract December of last year, Penthouse IV in the illustrious Puck Penthouses at 295 Lafayette has closed for $28 million, according to city records filed yesterday afternoon. The penthouse is the second largest in the penthouse-only building (there are six overall), with more than 5,900 square feet of space, 3BR/5.5BA, and a whopping 2,000 square feet of terraces overlooking a garden.
Four of the Puck’s five other penthouses have yet to be listed, but they are anticipated to sell for between $21 million and $60 million. The Puck is one of burgeoning real estate tycoon Jared Kushner‘s many luxury residential undertakings, and this particular project transforms the interior of a landmarked building into what the Puck official site has dubbed as “limited edition” properties.
Images of the puck penthouses this way
At a glance, the quirky notched and jutting façade of the townhouse at 18 West 11th Street in Greenwich Village seems to be the only remarkable thing about the building. But dig a little deeper and the address’s rich history tells the tale of a city brimming with wealth and culture – and once even something a bit sinister.
Justin Korsant of Long Light Capital recently purchased the home for $9.25 million and has plans to reconstruct it. But will the renovation of this building wipe out its incredible past?
Learn about this townhouse’s unique history and new future
Photo by John-Paul Palescandolo
In New York, many of the grand Beaux-Arts masterpieces — Grand Central Terminal, the Queensboro Bridge, the City Hall subway station, Columbia University, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine — have one striking element in common: Guastavino tiles. Spanish architect and builder Rafael Guastavino and his son Rafael Jr. brought with them to New York at the end of the 19th century a Mediterranean design technique from the 14th century for thin-tile structural vaulting. The expertly engineered and architecturally beautiful vaults were lightweight, fireproof, load-bearing, cost-efficient, and able to span large interior areas.
Today there are over 250 Guastavino works in New York City alone, not to mention the 1,000 throughout the U.S. The Museum of the City of New York’s current exhibition, Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile, explores Guastavinos’s spaces in New York and showcases “never-before-seen objects, artifacts, photographs, and documents.” We couldn’t help doing a little Guastavino exploration ourselves, and have put together some of our favorite tiled sites that you can actually visit.
See our picks right this way