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Blasblog: rem koolhaas on 22nd street

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Has everyone detoxed from New York fashion week yet? I have. Changing gears, instead of looking at menswear I could never afford and dresses I will never wear (not even on Halloween, not even on local drag nights), I decided to check out something even further out of my reach than a crocodile trench or a Ralph Lauren Black Label tuxedo. Namely, the first Manhattan residential building in 20 years from fashion’s favorite architect, Rem Koolhaas, which has started construction on 22nd Street. The shiny silver structure’s most striking feature is its shape: The plot of land it sits on is only 33 feet wide, but since the developers have acquired the air rights to the buildings adjacent to it, the structure “swerves into the theatric space,” as Koolhaas put it. (The architect may have known fashion season was in full swing, because he kept comparing the building to a corset in the way its shape curved in and out.) In the lobby will be a CAA screening room, but above it will be 24 stories of residential space, creating 18 individual units. The project’s budget, Koolhaas said, was a cool $120 million, but when the building is finished, expect the sticker prices to be through-the-roof ridiculous: record-breaking. The penthouse—which in fashion lingo can only be described as couture—comprises four full floors, and on its roof is a pool with a see-through acrylic floor, which looks down into a living room with a fireplace. When asked about the going rate for that particular unit, Koolhaas’ reaction was priceless: laughter.

Photo: Courtesy of Office for Metropolitan Architecture

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