Nouvel’s vision machine

22 Feb 2010

Tower on Hudson River nears completion

Designed as a direct descendent of French architect Jean Nouvel’s Parisian landmark Arab World Institute building, his new 23-storey residential tower overlooking the Hudson River is nearing completion. Previously known as 100 11th, the tower has now been named Nouvel Chelsea in admiration of the architect’s prestige but the architect himself has called it his ‘vision machine’.

Nouvel’s own input in the luxury condominium block has been felt to the very last detail, from bathroom fixtures to the clever light enhancing technique of adding an extra layer of nearly imperceptible transparent gloss under the windows to boost incoming sunlight. Almost 1700 individually sized colourless glass panes are set at unique angles and torques to create a glimmering pixilated façade and frame some of the most spectacular views in the city, making each of the 72 residences distinctive from the next. Some windows reach as much as16 ft tall or 37 ft across.

Split into one, two and three bedroom apartments and five penthouses, prices for the exclusive development ranged from $1.6 million to $22 million when construction commenced on site in March 2007, timed in conjunction with the Arab World Institute building’s 20th anniversary. Originally expected to be fit for occupancy by the end of 2008, however, the building is still undergoing its final preparations.

The lobby, which contains customized millwork desks designed by Nouvel, also provides access to the apartments’ gardens and private gym, spa and 70 ft mirror canopied pool, one of the largest in Manhattan.

At ground level Nouvel has devised a mullioned glass screen rising seven stories high encasing a maturely planted atrium named The Loggia which can be enjoyed exclusively by the residents on these seven floors via apartment terraces, some open, some closed to the atrium.

While designed as an exclusive development, its uncompromisingly unique exterior joins that of Frank Gehry’s recent headquarters for the InterActive Corporation, making 19th Street and Westside junction a hive of architectural promise for passers-by to ponder.

The tower was designed by Atelier Jean Nouvel with Beyer Blinder Belle.

Key Facts

United States
Residential Commercial Retail

Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team