Tower Growing at Cooper Square

Now rising on one of the most prominent undeveloped sites in Manhattan is a 20-story luxury residential condominium building, designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects.  Created for The Related Companies, it will occupy the long vacant parking lot site at Astor Place and mark a major, historic gateway to lower Manhattan, Greenwich Village and the East Village.

The building’s two-story base, which maintains the historic street facades of Lafayette Street, Astor Place and Cooper Place, will offer 13,000 s/f of retail and gallery space and provide the lobby for an 18-story luxury condominium tower.  Conforming to zoning requirements, the base will offer a pedestrian street wall on three sides, giving definition to the large, open, triangular space it fronts.  According to Gwathmey Siegel principal Charles Gwathmey, “the sculpted tower will introduce a distinct object, in counterpoint to the surrounding masonry context.” Ismael Leyva Architects is the executive architect for the project.

The 140,000 s/f building, named Astor Place, will rise at the intersection of Fourth Avenue, Lafayette Street and Astor Place – a striking 21st century form among the 19th century landmark buildings which are its neighbors.  Rather than have the tower abut the buildings behind it, the architects have introduced a 4,500 s/f landscaped plaza, which reinforces the object quality of the tower and provides a visual link between Lafayette Street and Cooper Square.

The tower is actually a vertical sequence of serpentine and rectilinear forms that rise out of one another.  A glass curtain wall forms the skin of the curvilinear portions, with a rectilinear portion clad with a grid of zinc and glass and the base composed of limestone and glass.

Astor Place will offer 40 apartments, ranging in size from one to three bedrooms, with the curved window wall offering panoramic views of Manhattan.

The 4,500 s/f plaza, open to the public from Cooper Square, will accommodate public seating alongside a raised landscaped buffer, providing a visual separation from the residential tower entry on Lafayette Street.  It will also provide a visual terminus to the Seventh Street view corridor and a spatial extension to Cooper Park.  The project will enhance one of the significant open spaces in the Greenwich Village area.  

PUBLISHED IN:  Real Estate Weekly DATE:  August 25, 2004

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Astor Place Tower rises at Cooper Square

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