The Magical Views from One Madison

First, consider its precedents:

There’s the nearby 1902 Flatiron Building by Daniel Burnham and the 1905 Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower by Napoleon Labrun – not to mention Madison Square Park with its 1881 statue of Admiral David Farragut by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, mounted on a base by Stanford White.

Then there’s the iconic Shake Shack, designed in 2004 in a collaboration between SITE and Pentagram, and about to undergo renovation.

Yes: the tower at One Madison Square, at 60 stories tall, overlooks all this – and more.

Rescued from bankruptcy by Related in 2012, the building is now home to Rupert Murdoch (in its three-story penthouse) as well as Tom Brady and Giselle Bundchen (on its 47th floor). Alas, most of the rest of the building is sold out.

“It’s an interesting project – a tower on 23rd at the foot of Madison Avenue that looks right up the avenue,” says architect Andre Kikoski. “It’s a pretty wonderful location, with great views in all directions.”

Kikoski’s firm was commissioned a couple of years back to redesign a 1,500 square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath apartment on the 32nd floor. The client, an international art collector, wanted to create a museum-like interior for his paintings and sculptures, hiring a consultant to maximize lighting to frame artwork and views.

Kikoski complemented it all with understated elegance in design, and a luxurious material palette that competes with neither views nor art. There’s statuary bronze, Burmese teak, and floors of either wide-plank European oak or Brazilian marble. Furnishings are from Promemoria, Cecotti, and Giorgetti,  in a neutral palette of Loro Piana and Donghia hides and fabrics. It all works together, quietly and efficiently, in a joint effort between client and architect.

“To collaborate with an art collector is about as good as it gets,” this architect says.

Among the works in the apartment are a photograph by American photographer Marilyn Minter, a sculpture by New York artist Rob Wynne and another piece by Iranian artist Shirin Neshat. They’re all placed in a way that draws attention to each, but still respects the apartment’s remarkable vistas.

“It’s about views of the city, and light, and looking across the Hudson all the way down to Freedom Tower without distractions,” he says. “And because it’s a corner apartment, it’s entrancing and magical.”

And surely, the precedents that came before it help make that so.

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