Posts Tagged ‘Richard Meier’


Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Living_Room_4x6Posted by Leonard Steinberg on January 25th, 2014

Many developers are in a quandary: what is the ‘next’ design direction and how do you deliver this without taking on too much risk. In the last few years we have seen new adjectives emerge in the different styles of finish-out……here are some:

1)    Richard Meier-esque: The king of minimalist modernism inspired a wave of all white, sleek no-hardware kitchens and clinical bathrooms juxtaposed against walls of glass.

2)   Roman and Williams-esque: These ex-theatre-set designers created a look that is the polar opposite of modern minimalism. While some have described their look as historical recreation, looking at some of their work such as at the Standard Hotel their clever mix of recent historical references with a modern twist has inspired an entire movement. The volume of knock-offs is diluting this look a bit, and some may argue that Thomas O’ Brien invented it.

3)   Williamsburgy: Some developers and their mediocre designers (not to mention their inept advisors and marketing teams)simply have no design sensibility whatsoever, let alone a creative bone in their bodies. We all know that hideous, pseudo-modern, cheaply constructed Williamsburg condominium look that’s a mild notch above Home Depot. Look! The kitchen has a Sub Zero!

4)   Zaha-Hadid-Space-Ship-esque:  This look was first seen at 166 Perry Street, where there is a strong prospect of running into Mr. Spock in the lobby. Space-ship design works in some buildings, but done inexpensively can look very throw-away. This look can be risky as it is polarizing, yet there is a young audience out there that loves this look and swears by it.

5)  Boutique-W-Hotel-esque: Here residential buildings often land up looking like middle-of-the-road boutique hotels, so international in style that they literally could be anywhere in the world. Oddly, this look can be very satisfying to a wide group of people, and it is used very widely often in larger buildings in an attempt to create intimacy. It is safe. But its beginning to look a tad boring. And much of it does not age well.

Recently new building apartment finishes have soared in quality, fueled by Walker Tower, where Shaun Osher pushed the developer hard in a tough market knowing quality would resonate. Some of the design choices I thought were wrong, but the market loved them and paid up handsomely for them. The Marquand at 11 East 68th Street took this level of finish-out to an even higher level, and its level of sophistication has in my opinion remained un-challenged.

So where do we go from here? How much design can a developer install without dictating too much? What are the next trends for 2014? I have a few ideas, so we will re-visit the subject this time next year and reflect.


Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Posted by Leonard Steinberg on February 19th, 2013

PERRY STREET, the ultra-cool, chic + sleek, Thomas Juul Hansen-designed West Village Jean Georges restaurant, re-opened tonight after undergoing extensive renovations and repairs as a result of SANDY, the hurricane that caused flooding in lower Manhattan in late 2012. The place looked exceptional and the food was pitch-perfect. The crowd was as good as it gets full of locals and New York regulars who have established a special bond with this landmark located in the middle Richard Meier designed tower that set the tone for the West Village real estate renaissance.


Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Posted by Leonard Steinberg on December 6th, 2011

The opening of the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art in Bentonville Arkansas reminded me of the power a strong art museum has in attracting the crowds…. The Whitney Museum currently attracts 300,000 visitors annually to its uptown location. When the new Whitney opens on the West Side in the Meatpacking District, those 300,000 visitors will walk through the neighborhood…thats about 25,000 per months or over 800 new visitors a day. Is the area prepared for this? Certainly this will become a major tourist attraction, combining shopping in the Meatpacking District, a visit to the Whitney, followed by a stroll up the Highline Park to visit more of the contemporary galleries in West Chelsea. Maybe pop into the new Pier 57 too?

While what has happened on the West side to date is pretty revolutionary (The Highline, Hudson Parks, The Standard, Americano and Dream Hotels, the A-grade residential buildings such as 100, 200 Eleventh Avenue, the three Richard Meier Towers, The Superior Ink bulding, the 300+ art galleries), I feel what is coming over the next two to three years will make the West side of Manhattan, from Greenwich Village to northern West Chelsea truly the PLATINUM MILE, surpassing anyone’s expectations. It will represent a quality of life never seen before in Manhattan with a unique mix of culture, parks and architectural splendor this city has never known.


Thursday, August 5th, 2010

In this morning’s Wall Street Journal, the next stage in the saga of the building HUDSON BLUE at 423 West Street is reported:

This building, located a few doors down from the 3 Richard Meier Towers, home to celebrities Calvin Klein and Hugh Jackman, somewhat emulating their glass and white steel facade, has been a building in limbo for several years. The Wall Street Journal reports it as a textbook case of the aftermath of the explosive credit years…..we beg to differ: “A building in this location, with A-grade views and significant comparable sales steps away should have been a success: it did after all come to the market at a time when everything was selling,” says Leonard Steinberg, managing director of Douglas Elliman and head of the LUXURYLOFT team. ” The reason this did not succeed was that the design, the quality of construction and the timing were all off….badly off.  For this building to succeed in the market place, I believe the entire interior needs to be gutted and re-built.”


Friday, July 16th, 2010

Richard Meier’s Model Museum in Long Island City is a small gallery devoted to the architect’s ongoing love of the physical process of architecture. The 3,600 sq ft warehouse space is dominated by a vast model of the Getty Center in Los Angeles, still one of the architect’s most celebrated and sizeable commissions. Rather than offload the creative output of his model-making studio – overseen by Michael Gruber – the architect has created this small private museum for a whirlwind tour of his oeuvre in miniature. Richard Meier Model Museum, open Fridays by appointment only, contact Richard Meier and Partners to book on (212) 967-6060