A taste of Denmark on the UWS: Architecture review

Thomas Juul-Hansen's design for Naftali's 210 West 77th shows a deft use of materials -- but lacks pop

New York /
Jan.January 08, 2015 05:40 PM

The redevelopment of the Upper West Side continues at a brisk pace, with the latest installment arriving at 210 West 77th Street, Between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway.

This new residential building, which is being developed by the Naftali Group, will take the place of an ugly Hertz rental garage that is still standing. The structure is slated to rise 18 stories and contain 25 units priced between $4.9 million and $12 million.

The project’s architect is Thomas Juul-Hansen, a young Danish designer. Juul-Hansen’s design style is somewhat similar to an even younger Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels, who is completing a massive project on the Far West Side, at 57th Street and the Hudson River. But whereas Ingels is far more radical in his forms, torking a pyramid and then gouging a big chunk out of its center, Juul-Hansen is more conservative and decorous.

Renderings of the structure show that the façade on the 77th Street building consists of a series of plates that shift across its surface, two bays wide to the west and one bay wide to the east, with two far thinner lines interposed between them. At the base is a slightly inset entrance, which almost looks too pedestrian for a tall Manhattan residential building.

Indeed, its plant-covered wall and its wooden doors and windows seem more in keeping with a private house. Between the 12th and the 15th floors, each of the surface plates is recessed in a set-back, rising from west to east.

Although I freely admit that I probably would never have drawn this connection if I didn’t know that Juul-Hansen was Danish, his placing of wooden accents around his windows and setting them in a context of brownish stone at the edges of the façade reflects a certain Nordic sensitivity to materials. That aesthetic goes back to the earliest days of the Bauhaus and architects like Alvaar Alto.

To judge from the renderings, the details of the building will be more prepossessing than the façade as a whole. But the overall design does not attain the presence of this architect’s paired residential structures at 505 West 19th Street, near the High Line. Those buildings deserve a column to themselves.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Naftali purchase pits neighbor against neighbor
Naftali building clear-out pits neighbor against neighbor
Naftali building clear-out pits neighbor against neighbor
215 West 84th Street and Naftali Group CEO Miki Naftali (Google Maps, Getty)
After $71M building purchase, Naftali tells tenants to scram
After $71M building purchase, Naftali tells tenants to scram
215 West 84th Street and Miki Naftali (Google Maps, Getty)
Naftali Group picks up UWS apartments for $71M
Naftali Group picks up UWS apartments for $71M
Miki Naftali and the corner of Madison and East 86th Street. (Getty, Google Maps)
Naftali Group nabs $102M loan for UES condo project
Naftali Group nabs $102M loan for UES condo project
Mickey Rabina and renderings of his 452,132 square foot building. (Getty, Rabina, Ceruzzi Properties)
The 10 biggest new project filings in NYC
The 10 biggest new project filings in NYC
Miki Naftali of Naftali Group and 470 Kent Avenue (Getty; Google Maps)
Naftali Group files plans for 400-unit towers in Williamsburg
Naftali Group files plans for 400-unit towers in Williamsburg
Miki Naftali
Is urban living dead? “I don’t buy it,” says Miki Naftali
Is urban living dead? “I don’t buy it,” says Miki Naftali
470 Kent Avenue and Naftali Group’s Miki Naftali (Credit: Google Maps, Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Naftali closes on large Williamsburg development site for $100M
Naftali closes on large Williamsburg development site for $100M
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...