Making a mark on Manhattan

Jo Livesey
Wednesday 21 May 2008

Manhattan's Tribeca district set for contemporary condominium tower

Located in the Tribeca Historic Cast Iron District in Downtown Manhattan, Five Franklin Place will be the first major American building by internationally admired Dutch architect Ben van Berkel of UNStudio. The building will rise 20 stories with 55 homes, offering impressive panoramic views of the Hudson River, East River and Manhattan Skyline.

The building will boast a dramatic, highly decorative exterior inspired equally by the applied metal façades of Tribeca’s 19th century cast iron architecture and such contemporary sources as couture fashion, with its dramatic seams and construction techniques. Gleaming black horizontal ribbons of metal will wrap the façades, twisting and torquing into functional elements - balconies, terraces, and sunshades - and framing views from within the building. Van Berkel’s horizontal geometries are integrated into the residences of Five Franklin Place, where space is configured to allow the maximum amount of interpretation by those who live inside and key fixtures are custom-designed and streamlined to emphasize the great horizontal planes of windows that offer views of the city and bring light indoors.

The entrance to Five Franklin Place is located on Franklin Place, one of the most historic andastmospheric passageways of Downtown. Parallel to Broadway and connecting Franklin and WhiteStreets, Franklin Place will be fully restored, planted with vertical landscaping, and graced with lightingconsistent with the 19th century context Five Franklin Place will have three distinct residence types, each with its own unique aesthetic, materials palette and special features. Duplex Loft Residences, City Residences and Sky Penthouses. Interiors at Five Franklin Place will be executed through a unique collaboration with the contract division of renowned Italian design manufacturer B&B Italia, which has engineered and will install an array of highly customized fixtures and features designed by Ben van Berkel for the building.

The project, whose 55 units range in price from $2 million to $16 million, is being developed by New York based business partners David Kislin and Leo Tsimmer. Construction is now underway and should be finished by late 2009.

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