FOR THIS JUST TOPPED OUT CONDOMINIUM PROJECT IN LOWER MANHATTAN, DESIGNER AND BUILDER SOUGHT A DYNAMIC SYNERGY BETWEEN NOLITA’S ARCHITECTURAL PAST AND IMPROVISATIONAL MODERNISM… WITH A HINT OF ROCK ‘N ROLL
BY MATT SCANLON
In May, Andre Kikoski Architect, builders The Rinaldi Group, LLC, and developers DHA Capital LLC (along with partners AMS Acquisitions and First Atlantic Real Estate) celebrated the topping out of 75 Kenmare, a new 84,000 square foot condominium building in Manhattan that features interior layouts by Kravitz Design, Lenny Kravitz’s namesake firm. The building and its exterior, designed by Kikoski, introduced a unique cast concrete facade that, he explained, helps transform the architectural fabric of one of lower Manhattan’s most style defining neighborhoods.
“I sought to make a striking contemporary statement to complement Nolita,” said Kikoski of the facade, “…one that is integrated, layered, and offers a cohesive experience of architecture and its context.” To do so, one of Kikoski’s self imposed assignments was to study ways in which hand laid brick was (and is) used to create expression and detail in iconic and/or historic buildings, as well as ways that masonry generally brings pattern, texture, and rhythm to Nolita and its five adjacent neighborhoods. Kravitz Design, helmed by the 54 year old rocker and founded in 2003, was in a unique position to contribute additional historical awareness.
Kravitz, born in the city and a resident here, detailed to the New York Times that he wanted to “blend a sense of the area’s scruffy art fueled past with the lavish finishes that have become de rigueur for luxury Manhattan apartments.”
“Perched as this site is at the convergence of SoHo, NoHo, the Lower East Side, Little Italy, and Chinatown,” said Kikoski, “our design challenge was to create an architectural connection to weave these five intersecting neighborhoods and create a true sense of place in the city.”
The result is a witty and for the area novel design solution that feels contemporary but embraces the historic character of a community that found identity separation from Little Italy in the 1980s, when young urban professionals began populating the area from Broome Street in the south to Houston in the north, forcing out many older residents and traditional Italian restaurants in the process.
Kikoski’s exterior is an exercise in vertical cast concrete and proportioned windows in chamfered metal frames. The concrete features three narrow channels of varying widths, each rising 65 feet above the street. With each channel set in its own plane, and randomly staggered with respect to the other two, the result offers a “contemporary composition of color and patina that is animated by a play of shade and shadow,” as the architect explained.
Once complete, the building will house 38 one to four bedroom homes ranging in price from approximately $1.6 million to over $8 million. This is the tenth project for DHA Capital, which was founded by Dan Hollander in 2011. Other company projects include the Lower East Side boutique condominium 50 Clinton, the conversion of 12 East 13th Street in Greenwich Village into a luxury condo building, and a 280 unit luxury rental development at 535 West 43rd Street in Hell’s Kitchen.
Kikoski’s firm is both Manhattan and London based, and was named among Interior Design’s Power Grid 100 list of “architects changing the landscape of New York City,” as well as The Architects Newspaper’s “Top 50 Interior Architects.” The firm has worked with The Guggenheim Museum, The Related Companies at Hudson Yards, The Kohler Companies, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Swarovski Crystal, among other corporate entities and brands.
A New Jersey based general contractor and construction management firm, The Rinaldi Group, founded in 2003 by Anthony T. Rinaldi, has a completed project list that includes the Fairfield Inn by Marriott on Manhattan’s Fletcher Street, with in process builds at 120 Water Street, 12 East 48th Street, and the twin 20 story mixed use HAP8 project at 215 225 West 28th Street (all likewise in Manhattan).
One challenge of the Kenmare build is the site’s close proximity to the subway, so Rinaldi’s firm implemented what it termed a “top down, bottomup” style of Support of Excavation (SOE) foundation work a construction method offering advantages that include reducing impact on neighboring roadways and properties. “It also allows a deeper foundation to be constructed without the cost, time, and disruption of a traditional heel block raker and tie back system,” Rinaldi’s project description reads. “At 75 Kenmare, the cellar and deep sub cellar also provide a location for an automated parking system,” with company CEO Anthony Rinaldi adding that it was the latest example of the firm “consistently creating cost effective ways to overcome the complexities and challenges of urban construction.”
In creating the interiors, Kravitz combined, as he put it, “equal parts rock ‘n roll and coveted modern sensibilities.” Generous natural light is emphasized by white oak floors and bronze hued window mullions. Kitchens offer custom matte white lacquer cabinetry, Gaggenau appliances (including an elm clad refrigerator), marble countertops, and a breakfast bar. The master bedroom, likewise finished with white oak, is further accentuated by a master bath, for which walls and floors were outfitted in titanium travertine and French vanilla marble. There’s also a glass shower, satin nickel fixtures, heated marble floors, and a custom home floating vanity finished with a Bianco Drama marble countertop and matching sinks.
And, in a nod to master suites of old, Kravitz has reintroduced powder rooms to the new project, which feature additional floating vanities and illuminated nickel framed mirrors. A second bath presents a honed Pompeii Basalt floor and Bianco Drama marble walls, countertop, and sink.
75 Kenmare Street, Manhattan / 75kenmare.com
Sales Gallery (by appointment only) at 584 Broadway, Suite 1210 / 212.221.7550
Andre Kikoski Architect, PLLC
180 Varick Street, Suite 1316, Manhattan / 212.627.0240 / akarch.com
The Rinaldi Group, LLC
One Harmon Meadow Boulevard, 1st Floor, Secaucus, NJ / 201.601.4065/ rinaldinyc.com