The Real Deal New York

In luxury condos, bathroom privacy is evaporating

Buyers are demanding views even in the most intimate of spaces

November 16, 2014 10:00AM

A bathroom with a view in 432 Park

A bathroom with a view in 432 Park (Credit: DBOX for CIM Group & Macklowe Properties)

More and more developers of luxury condo buildings are ditching the private Edwardian comforts of the bathroom for the Apple store on Fifth Avenue model, i.e., a see-through glass box.

“Everyone wants a window,” Vickey Barron, a broker at Douglas Elliman and director of sales at Walker Tower, told the New York Times. “But now it has to be ­a Window. Now what most people wanted in their living rooms, they want in their bathrooms. They’ll say, ‘What? No view?’”

And although the new profusion of floor-to-ceiling bathroom windows has left some worried about feeling exposed, you won’t exactly find these luxury egg-shaped bathtubs and showers on the ground floor.

“Some people don’t mind showing a little, and some don’t mind showing a lot,” said Gary Handel, the principal of Handel Architects. “They are totally comfortable in their bodies.”

For instance at 432 Park, there is little chance of being spied by more than a bird. But even if you are not the tallest building in town, these naturally lit en suits focus on “unobstructed views” – meaning no one else is blocking or enjoying your view.

“Like everything else, the rich can buy more [privacy],” Winifred Gallagher, an author who has written about the behavioral and psychological science of place, told the Times.

“In the city, privacy is about shielding yourself from all the stimuli. Most of us can’t drop the shield entirely even when we’re in our own homes, because the city is right outside. But if you’re high enough, you can waltz around pretending you’re in the garden of Versailles.” [NYT]Christopher Cameron

  • David

    Time to get out the high flying drones with cameras. All in the name of art of course.

  • NYC Penthouses

    This concept works in apartments like he penthouse at 432 Park when you look down at the Empire state! Elsewhere this is not going to end well. I recommend the photoelectric windows…you can have open floor to ceiling windows but when you want privacy, you hit a button and it becomes a one way mirror…no one from outside can see in and you can still see out.

  • NYC Penthouses

    They are very expensive but worth it when this is a must have

  • Tyrannosaurus Rex

    The people buying these new super luxury apartments are just using them to park money and will not live in them very much anyway, so privacy is a non-issue.

  • Yea, that’s true.

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