Landmarks approves three-story glass addition to Willem de Kooning’s former Union Square studio

May 15, 2018

Revised rendering via DXA Studio

Last November, the owner of newly-landmarked buildings at 827-831 Broadway, noted for their cast-iron architecture and as the home of artist Willem de Kooning, submitted a proposal for a four-story prismatic glass addition and landscaped roof terrace that architects DXA Studio say was influenced by de Kooning’s work. After sending the plan back to the drawing board twice, the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Monday finally approved the revised design, which reduces the height of the addition to three stories and places it more setback from the street. LPC recommends that DXA use a darker cladding material over 47 East 12th Street to give it a totally matte finish.

According to DXA Studio, the glassy topper’s reflectivity represents two phases of de Kooning’s work: his 1960s rural and pastoral landscapes as seen through the reflection of surrounding plantings and his late 1950s urban landscapes through the building reflections.

“We felt the reflective nature of the glass could serve to capture the kinetic quality of the surroundings, broadcasting back color, textures, and movement, helping us see the world around us in a different way,” Jordan Rogove, a partner at the firm, said in a press release. “The reflection also turns the lens back on New York City, a place forever changed by the immense contributions of the New York School painters making it the capital of the art world for the first time.”

The original Italianate warehouse building that sits under the addition will be fully restored. At 831 Broadway, a new historical wood storefront will be installed and 827 Broadway’s existing wood storefront will be restored.

Other notable residents of the building have included artist Elaine de Kooning, abstract expressionist painters Larry Poons and Paul Jenkins, former Director of the Department of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, William S. Rubin and abstract expressionist artist Jules Olitski.


All renderings via DXA Studio 

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