Sir David Adjaye To Open His First Building in Manhattan—and It's Dazzling

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The celebrated architect has big plans for NYC.

David Adjaye is one of the most celebrated architects in the world. The 51-year-old, a knight in the court of Queen Elizabeth II and one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, has built iconic structures like the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. and the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo. Now, he’s finally making his mark in New York City. Developed by real estate company Lightstone, Adjaye’s latest project, an 800-foot, 66-story tower called 130 William in Lower Manhattan, was revealed Tuesday.


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It’s a big step into the Big Apple for Adjaye. Not only is it his first building in Manhattan, but his first high-rise ever. And it is poised to become an integral, contemporary part of the downtown skyline. The building, planned with local firm Hill West Architects, has a strikingly relaxed, vintage look for a New York skyscraper—usually glass façade monsters that reflect the sleek commercial sheen of downtown in their windows. According to Adjaye, 130 William’s hand-cast fascia is an ode to downtown’s history of industrial loft buildings that have been demolished over the years.


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“In defining the design for 130 William, I not only sought to celebrate New York City’s heritage of masonry architecture, referencing the historical architecture once pervasive upon one of the city’s earliest streets,” said Adjaye in a statement provided by the project’s publicist. “However, and more importantly, 130 William has been crafted to focus on the new possibilities of urban, vertical living.”


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Adjaye is also involved in the design of the interiors of the 244 residences, each with luxurious oversize arched windows, wide-plank white oak flooring, custom burnished bronze fixtures, Gaggenau appliances and Pedini cabinetry in lavish open-plan kitchens, and bathrooms embellished with Tuscan marble. In the commons, the building’s amenities sound almost too good to be true: a health club with an infinity pool, an IMAX theater, a golf simulator, a private restaurant, a pet spa, and an observatory roof deck.


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In addition to all that, Adjaye is designing a public plaza park that will encircle 130 William so residents can stroll through it on their way in and out of the building.

Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group will be handling sales of the units in the building, set to be completed in 2020, with prices running from approximately $650,000 for a studio to $5.4 million for a four-bedroom apartment.