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Friday, October 12, 2007

40 Bond Rumination #1

This is the first in a series of posts on 40 Bond, the residential building in Manhattan's NoHo neighborhood designed by Herzog & de Meuron and developed by Ian Schrager. It is one of the most celebrated new buildings in New York City that I can think of in recent memory, even though it isn't yet complete. It's been on display for a multitude of admirers (including me) for a while, most recently the lobby, ground floor "screen", and the townhouses behind it.

Walking by the other day -- the first time since mid-summer -- what strikes me is that the apparent novelty of the whole thing is in fact a high-end update on numerous ideas that have been implemented in various ways by various people in the past. With an ultra-high budget and an aggressive housing market for the super rich living, and wanting to live in Manhattan, the building is able to appear new, while being ultimately a collage of pre-existing ideas executed in the Swiss duos notably artistic manner. I'll hopefully have a chance to address how, and if this differs from the work of other architects working today.

Briefly, this first rumination offers a comparison of a photo-realistic rendering of one of the 40 Bond townhouses with a photograph from a book I'm reading on the Chicago World's Fair in 1933.

"These are the first townhouses built in New York for generations." - Ian Schrager

The Masonite House by Frazier and Raferty.

Unfortunately, for me the comparison is based more on a first-person view of the ground floor townhouses, which differ from the top view in the orientation of the stair, (more in alignment with the bottom photo). I'll try to snap a photo of one in the next couple of days and add it to this post.

Update 10.14: While I haven't made it by 40 Bond since last week, I did come across a rendering of the ground floor townhouses in the 40 Bond's press section. Pardon the quality, though keep in mind that this sort of view is visible (for the time being, until people move in and put up curtains or blinds) from the sidewalk, through the "graffiti" screen.



  1. Really good post! u r right, 40Bond looks quite nice



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