When the renderings first broke, and sites like Triple Mint wrote love letters to the development called 40 Mercer, we were skeptical. Sure, the retractable glass walls were amazing. Nouvel is a wonderful architect, but his designs often teeter toward the garish and gimmick. Would the proof be in the pudding?
We are happy to say that 40 Mercer is now #1 on our Two Dozen Lis, our always-updated list of recent residential buildings by celebrity architects in Manhattan. The building's curtain wall out-details Meier3 in beauty and complexity. The complexity in this case is in the service of giving the glass the correct scale for a Soho loft building, bringing the curtain wall life with color and prismatic glass, and lending a rhythm that is entirely consistent with cast iron building facades. For those looking to champion modern design in an historic district, this is the best example we can find.
The only piece that doesn't fit in to what we know is the blue glass louvered canopy on the top of the building at its eastern end. But given how wonderful the rest of the building is, we have high hopes that this is something new for the area.
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