Finishing Ando's First NYC Building

John Hill
29. November 2019
All photographs by John Hill/World-Architects

World-Architects recently toured the inside of 152 Elizabeth, the seven-story residential building most notable as Japanese architect Tadao Ando's first building in New York City. Here we focus on the high-end finishes and details of the interiors designed by Michael Gabellini.

Located in the Nolita neighborhood, 152 Elizabeth was developed by Sumaida + Khurana and Nahla Capital with seven "ultra-luxury" condos designed by Tadao Ando Architect & Associates. New York's Gabellini Sheppard served as executive architect on the project and designed the interiors to be in harmony with Ando's design of the shell and structure. 

World-Architects looked at the full-floor unit on the fourth floor and documented it with the below photographs.

The building sits on the southeast corner (top photo) of Kenmare and Elizabeth Street. The entrance is a simple rectangular portal near the corner on Elizabeth.
Compared to other Tadao Ando projects, 152 Elizabeth has very little exposed concrete. Walls of concrete on the Elizabeth Street side extend four floors above the lobby (and include the fourth floor unit we toured), meaning the top two floors are fully glazed. 
Here we are inside the fourth floor unit and its corner living space with lots of exposure: facing north (right) and west (left). (PDF of the level 4 plan for orientation)
Electronic sheer solar shades by Lutron were installed throughout, making it easy to cut down on direct sunlight or gain some privacy.
One end of the living space has a custom fireplace framed by Pietra Cardosa stone and artisan plaster.
Looking from the living space into the dining room and kitchen, we see the inside face of the concrete wall first glimpsed downstairs on Elizabeth Street. Opposite it is wall with refrigerator, pantry, and other storage faced with eucalyptus wood with integrated pulls.
Another view of the wood wall, this time looking back toward the living space. The island, partially visible at right, is made with honed Fanbo marble and slides to cover the under-mount sink.
This view toward the living space from the kitchen hints at one of the facade details: the operable window near the concrete column at left, also visible in the next photo.
Left: NYC building code requires natural ventilation, and here it is provided with full-height, electronic-controlled panels that move out 4 inches. Right: The beautiful wood floors are Dinesen HeartOak with widths ranging from 14 to 20 inches; this view shows some of the natural cracks that were preserved and locked with butterfly joints.
The eucalyptus wood wall in the kitchen/dining turns the corner into the living space, aligned with the Pietra Cardosa stone floor at the entrance and the acid-washed Black Absolute granite walls of the elevator core. The hallway zigs and zags toward the four bedrooms, ending at the master suite at the far eastern end of the unit.
Dinesen wood lines all sides of the bedroom corridor, where "hidden" panels can close off the master suite from the rest of the unit.
This detail of the base of the wood door (a honeycomb core covered with Dinesen) swinging into one of the bedrooms reveals the extents to which Gabellini and the fabricators went to create nearly seamless surfaces throughout the apartment: 3/8" reveals are consistent at corners and other joints.
A large mirror (visible in the previous photo at left) inside the master suite visually extends the hallway into the distance. Custom lighting, used throughout the fourth floor, is visible here as a horizontal line above the shades and a vertical line behind the mirror.
A view in the opposite direction from the previous photo reveals the Dinesen surfaces extending into the master suite. At left is a Bianco Sivec marble wall and behind it is the master bathroom.
Gabellini Sheppard went all out in the master bathroom, which has honed Bianco Sivec marble floors, walls, and vanity. Undercounter glacier white Corian drawers and built-in medicine cabinets behind the mirrors provide excessive amounts of storage.
Custom hardware is found in special areas, such as the translucent glass door of the master bathroom.
Back in the living room after sunset, the large space takes on a much different character than earlier thanks to the shades and lighting. 
Two details to end on. At left is a James Turrell-esque light cove at a wall in one of the bedrooms. At right is fog and light installation that Gabellini Sheppard designed for the lobby; it acts as a backdrop to the front desk and lines one side of the exterior walkway leading to the parking garage.
Many thanks to Kenny Eybs of Foundations Group, which served as construction manager on 152 Elizabeth, for showing World-Architects inside the Ando/Sheppard building. Foundations is working on another much anticipated development by Sumaida + Khurana that we hope to tour in the near future: Alvaro Siza's 611 West 56th Street.

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