The Real Deal New York

Starchitects, interior designers collaborate on luxury condos

December 27, 2013 05:05PM

The practice of tapping a “starchitect” and a well-known interior designer to craft luxury condominium projects — a new approach only 10 years ago — is now an essential component of successful marketing in New York City.

“If you look at the most high-profile, high-priced projects, you will see that everyone has a named architect or a named interior designer, and often both,” Susan de França, president and CEO of Douglas Elliman Development Marketing, told the New York Times.

Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron is credited with a chunk of the success of Alexico Group and Hines’ 56 Leonard in Tribeca. Zaha Hadid’s attachment to Related Companies’ 520 West 28th Street is drawing eyeballs and checkbooks. And Robert A.M. Stern’s Superior Ink in the West Village and 15 Central Park West drew bigger price tags than their neighbors, thanks in part to his cachet.

Such big names can cost developers 30 to 40 percent more and tack an additional 10 to 20 percent in construction costs, but the return comes in the sale prices.

“It is difficult to quantify with an exact measure, but I would say there is a 30 to 50 percent premium if a project is completed by a starchitect,” de França said.

And while the pre-crash days featured starchitects working on building exteriors, the newer approach involves a collaboration between the architect and the designer on interior and exterior design.

For example, marketing materials at the Sterling Mason at 71 Laight Street noted both the husband-and-wife interior design team Gachot and architect Morris Adjmi. William Sofield, who designed fashion boutiques for Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Harry Winston, tackled both the interior and exterior at Brodsky Development’s 135 East 79th Street[NYT]Julie Strickland