Tribeca, one of New York’s most prestigious neighborhoods, has a striking new residential building. 30 Warren is the first U.S. project that French architects François Leininger, Line Fontana, and David Fagart have completed as a trio after more than a decade at Atelier Jean Nouvel. Located on the corner of Church and Warren Streets, just a few blocks from the One World Trade, the Woolworth Building, and City Hall, the building occupies a charming part of Tribeca characterized by historic cast iron buildings, shops, and restaurants like the Odeon and Frenchette. Departures got an exclusive first look.
“We thought about being in the middle of this urban clearing overlooking these icons and we thought about this concept of an inverted belvedere, meaning the building would have to be conceived to display this incredible landscape, but unlike a belvedere where you’re at the highest point looking down and this high position protects you, here it’s kind of the opposite,” Leininger told Departures. “Everyone’s looking down on these smaller buildings, so we really needed to find the right balance between openness and displaying these incredible buildings all around.”
They did so by eschewing the sort of monolithic steel and glass boxes you often see in New York. Instead, they incorporated setbacks and floating balconies that make the most of the views from the different sides of the building.
Upon first glance, you’ll immediately notice the dramatic color of the façade, which is clad in concrete panels cast in corrugated cardboard molds that imbue them with a ribbed texture almost like corduroy. Leininger and his partners oriented the ribbing on contrasting 45-degree angles, a trick used to vary the color that the building appears, ranging from light gray to almost black, depending on the angle at which the sun strikes the façade. “We surveyed the color of all the existing buildings, all the neighbors across the two streets that we were at the corner of and we found a sort of compliment,” Leininger said. “We wanted this color to almost feel like the exact color that was missing in the palette of the street and so we came up with this very interesting dark gray.”
The emphasis on materiality and the desire to situate the residences in context continues inside. The lobby features the same ribbed concrete panels found on the building’s exterior. Inside the 23 residences, which range from one-bedroom apartments to three full-floor penthouses, large windows frame the views, ten-foot ceilings create bright, airy spaces, and a custom ladder pattern for the oak flooring gives a sense of scale and directionality. Leininger and his partners wanted the layouts of the apartments to be flexible, so residents can easily reconfigure their homes as their needs change. “The layout is very unusual and the way it’s organized creates all different kinds of options for people to take the apartment and reimagine it,” Leininger said.
Elegant living and dining spaces flow into the fully-equipped kitchens, which feature custom white lacquer cabinetry made in the Hudson Valley, ribbed glass details that allude to the façade, polished marble countertops, Miele appliances, and saddle leather and brass detailing. The bathrooms were designed as tranquil havens, with white marble tile wall cladding and floors, custom white lacquer and oak vanities, bespoke medicine cabinets with oak frames, and glass-enclosed showers or tubs.
There’s no doubt that the three expansive penthouses are the building’s crown jewels. Each one spans an entire city block and has private elevator access, outdoor entertaining areas, 360-degree views, and 10.5-foot ceilings in the living area. One of them has already been sold, but there’s currently one available for $6,495,000.
“Tribeca has a lot of architectural history—the cast iron buildings are all around us,” Leininger explained. “That’s the heritage we had to deal with, and on the other hand, there’s a lot of modern architecture—steel and glass. So we wanted to find a sweet spot.” Mission accomplished.