Legendary self-taught Japanese architect Tadao Ando is changing the residential fabric of Manhattan with his first project in New York City. The project is a concrete condominium exemplifying the thesis of his previous monumental buildings, and is located at 152 Elizabeth Street. This 32,000-square foot, 7-story, 7-residence structure will be Ando’s first residential building in Manhattan, and is expected to be complete in 2016. Prices for one of the 7 apartments at 152 Elizabeth Street are expected to start around $6 million, with the penthouse unit expecting to be over $35 million. Price is not a concern in this concrete jungle, however; The New York Times has reported that there has already been over 200 purchase inquires from local residents who are willing to pay the price to live in a truly unique and masterful structure. Ando has been glorified for creating spaces that stress sensory experiences and create lasting memories, and has won several distinguished awards including the AIA Gold Medal, the Gold Medal of Architecture, and the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
Although 152 Elizabeth Street is considered a small-scale project compared to many other current Manhattan developments, Tadao Ando's structure is currently one of the most closely-watched projects in New York City.
"One of the building's signature design features is found in its vestibule, a floor-to ceiling water wall with grooved glass panels that are naturally backlit by diffused natural light. Residents and visitors immediately experience the tension between light and shadow, with light piercing through slits in the walls, animating the room's architectural concrete surfaces." - Tadao Ando
Tadao Ando is known for his primary use of concrete and his emphasis on nothingness in order to stress beauty, simplicity, and nature.
As a self-taught Architect, Ando is extremely influenced by his Japanese upbringing and religion. His work is often likened to the religious term Zen, meaning the inner focus on simplicity rather than outward appearances. Ando primarily uses concrete, one of the most common materials of the 21st Century, but implements the material in a simple and holistic style which differentiates him from all other contemporary architects.