Andre Kikoski, Lenny Kravitz Collaborate in NoLita

General / People / Places / March 15, 2017

Maybe it’s not yet a starchitects’ row like the High Line – but the neighborhood around 75 Kenmare does possess its own pedigree.

Designed by Andre Kikoski, this seven-story structure sits on the edge of SoHo, the East Village, Chinatown and NoLita. It was created complement an adjacent building by Tadao Ando and the facade of Storefront for Art & Architecture by Vito Acconci.

“The owner of the property came to us and said: ‘We have this particular site in a wonderful location at the intersection of some of New York’s most authentic, hippest neighborhoods,'” Kikoski says. “They wanted people to appreciate this building whether they’re living in an apartment here, or just passing by.

He came to the right architect. Kikoski’s known for his work at the Guggenheim’s Wright restaurant, as well as some very sophisticated residential work in Manhattan. Here, he viewed his mission as an opportunity to start a conversation.

“There’s dialog between time, individuals and architecture – and it’s a very public conversation,” he says. “That’s what makes a city great or makes anything great – in Rome, it goes across millennia.”

For starters, he looked to NoLita’s very rich heritage of masonry. Then he thought about Ando’s commitment to concrete. And he synthesized the two.

His solution: vertical concrete panels cast with three channels, ranging from one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half inches wide, that define the street wall. The pattern is staggered randomly to create a stunning play of dimension, shade and shadow.

“There are 35-foot-tall concrete panels with one tiny joint – and vertical channels, an inch and a half wide and sixty feet in the air,” he says.
Its ground-level windows storefronts, two bays across. Above them are double frames and then triple frames above those, and paired vertical mullions. “There’s a fine texture on the skin and then dancing mullions on the windows,” he says. “The net result is a highly articulated facade that’s beautiful in the morning sun, the evening sun and the daylight in between.”

The exterior skin exudes its own kind of joy and energy – one matched only by the interiors by Lenny Kravitz of Kravitz Design – and that’s bound to spark a new dialog among future neighbors.

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Mike Welton

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