David Chipperfield Architects have recently completed a red-pigmented apartment building on Jane Street in New York City. Named 11-19 Jane Street, the building is a recent addition to a block consisting majorly of 19th and 20th-century buildings. The London-based architecture practice has designed the residential block on Jane Street in the Greenwich Historic District which comprises mainly red brick apartment buildings and townhouses.
Project Location: Jane Street, Greenwich Historic District, New York, USA.
Project Start: 2015
Construction Start: 2017
Gross Floor Area: 3,500m2
Client: Edward J. Minskoff Equities, Inc.
Architect: David Chipperfield Architects, London
Landscape Architect: Wirtz International
Lighting: Arup Ltd.
Photography: James Ewing / JBSA
The red brick structures on Jane Street give it a character of historicity with strong and pervasive color and material palette. This character is expressed by the architects in 11-19 Jane Street by the use of contemporary details and typical colors and materials in the façade. The building also honors the scale of the street by creating an intervening volume between the different sizes of the contextual structures.
The construction of the building began in 2015 with the intent to replace an old parking structure on the block that dated back to the 1920s. The newly constructed six-story building has replaced the garage and now consists of lateral and duplex apartments with basement parking and a penthouse with a private roof garden. “The five stories that can be seen from street level offer a contemporary interpretation of the surrounding brick townhouses, with a distinct articulation of base, middle, and crown,”1 opined the Architects.
The structure is symmetrical as it has recessed entrances on the ground floor for townhouses on either end. There is a central larger double entrance for the apartments and the basement parking garage. The clear distinction between the private entrance and the apartment complex is achieved with lighting and privacy created by translucent residential entry doors. A six-foot-deep entry provides a conventional and comfortable passageway between the private residences and the public domain.
Further, to differentiate between the various types of residential schemes in the facade, David Chipperfield Architects have designed different styles of windows. These set each variant apart in the elevation itself while integrating the whole building as a unit.
The lower two-story townhouses have balconies with French windows for openings, the upper two-story apartments have larger openings separated by concrete mullions, and the penthouse offsets from the street line, with its large framed windows that overlook the private garden. Such distinction in the elevation between the three kinds of residential schemes creates a rhythm for the façade referenced from the vibrant residential architectural style of the West Village.
The residential nature of the building is enunciated by the strong articulation and detail of the window openings. The use of precast lintel and mullion further traditionalize the sizes of masonry openings for a conventional residential image.
A strong and pervasive color palette gives the 11-19 Jane Street an iconic, almost sculptural appearance. A red pigmented concrete wall on the ground floor lends the structure a modern and vibrant feel. The lintels and mullions on the upper floors replicate this pigmented look. The architects used Roman bricks on the upper floors to create a muted variation in the existing color scheme. The Penthouse also reflects the pigmented concrete used on the ground floor. The cornice projecting between the ground floor and the first floor enhances the horizontality of the structure, emboldening the building’s presence on the street.
David Chipperfield Architects have used a material palette that reinforces the dynamic and contemporary look of the structure. Bronze gates, balustrades, and door and window frames create a rich texture complemented with internal timber shutters. In the common areas, the floors are tiled with terrazzo while the interiors of townhouses and apartments are floored with Carrara Marble and natural oak. The bold exteriors of the building are wonderfully contrasted with the pristine white interiors while in tandem with the contemporary theme.
The penthouse is set back from the street line and has a restrained appearance. Its visibility on the front façade is reduced further by lowering the profile of the roof. The space in the recess is occupied by the private garden. The Penthouse has high ceilings and large windows that frame its private roof garden.
Designed by the Belgian landscape architect Peter Wirtz, the roof garden is a remarkable addition to the penthouse experience. The rear garden, also designed by Peter Wirtz, ensures a connection to nature for all apartments in the structure.
11-19 Jane Street, thus, while conforming to the traditional residential character of Greenwich Historic District also creates its own modern and contemporary identity in the urban landscape of New York. David Chipperfield Architects have ingeniously amalgamated history and modernism in this structure with the help of color, material, and volumetric articulation.
The building is iconic not only in its reminiscence of convention but also in the utilization of technique and design.
- David Chipperfield Architects, 11-19 Jane Street New York, 2015-2020, Available at: https://davidchipperfield.com/project/1119-jane-street [Last Accessed: 18/04/2021]
- ArchDaily, “11-19 Jane Street Apartments/ David Chipperfield Architects” (Published: 08/04/2021). Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/959730/11-19-jane-street-apartments-david-chipperfield-architects [Last Accessed: 18/04/2021]
- Higgins and Quasebarth & Partners, “11 – 19 Jane Street LPC Public Meeting, 14 February 2017” Published: 14/02/2017). Available at: https://www.villagepreservation.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/11-Jane-Street%202-14-2017.pdf [Last Accessed: 18/04/2021]
- Van Es, Karl, Avontuura, “David Chipperfield Architects complete pigmented concrete and Roman brick building in New York”, (Published: 09/04/2021). Available at: https://www.avontuura.com/11-19-jane-street-david-chipperfield-architects/ [Last Accessed: 18/04/2021]
- World Architecture Contents, “David Chipperfield Architects completes red pigmented apartment block in New York” (Published: 09/04/2021). Available at: https://worldarchitecture.org/architecture-news/evhep/david-chipperfield-architects-completes-red-pigmented-apartment-block-in-new-york.html [Last Accessed: 18/04/2021]