It’s All About the Art
As glass condominium towers continue to push their way into city skylines like sunflowers squeezing up through walled gardens, some homeowners and developers have come to a realization: Floor-to-ceiling glass may provide breathtaking views, but it cuts down on opportunities for displaying art. And because art collectors represent a significant portion of the small pool of people who can afford homes in such buildings, that can be a problem.
“The trajectory of wealth is very basic,” said Leonard Steinberg, a New York broker with the creative job title of chief evangelist at the real estate company Compass. “It starts with going out to expensive restaurants and ordering fancy wine and impressing your guests,” he said, before moving on to luxury cars, homes and investments. “Then what do you do to get status? You buy art.”
To cater to wealthy people amassing Warhols and Murakamis, a number of developers are designing condo towers specifically with art display in mind. At 100 East 53rd Street in Midtown Manhattan, for instance, where apartments start at $2.45 million and run past $9 million, the development company RFR commissioned the architecture firm Foster & Partners to design some units with the vibe, and wall space, of a downtown gallery.
为了迎合收集沃霍尔和村上隆的这些有钱人，一些开发商在设计高层公寓楼时把艺术品展陈格外放在心上。比如在曼哈顿中城的东53街100号，一个245万美元起、最高超过900万美元的公寓项目，发展商RFR聘请了福斯特建筑事务所(Foster & Partners)来设计其中一些户型，要有下城画廊那种韵味和充足的墙面。
“I would love to be recognized as a developer who creates spaces that are really geared for an art collector,” said Aby Rosen, a co-founder and principal of RFR and a prominent art collector himself. “I’m a big advocate. Art does something to you. It connects you with history. It connects you with the desire for culture.”
On a recent tour of the loft-style units, Mr. Steinberg, whose company is handling sales and marketing for the building, pointed to the uninterrupted expanses of concrete walls and also to the polished concrete floors. “It’s the kind that you may see when you go to a Gagosian Gallery or Paul Kasmin gallery,” he said.
斯坦伯格所在的公司承接了这幢公寓楼的营销推广，最近一次带客人参观这些仓库风单位时，他指着绵延的混凝土墙面和磨光的混凝土地面说，“你去高古轩(Gagosian Gallery)或者保罗·卡斯明(Paul Kasmin)画廊看到的就是这种。”
The ceilings are finished with fluted concrete panels separated by slots that allow lighting to be installed and arranged to illuminate particular works. The exterior glass filters ultraviolet rays to help protect precious pieces.
“These spaces have contemporary high-rise benefits, but all the attributes of a downtown loft — without the creaking floors and subway rumble,” Mr. Steinberg said.
To hammer that point home, one of the model units is staged as a gallery rather than a home, with a trove of contemporary works from Mr. Rosen’s collections, including large-scale canvases by Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Jonas Wood, and sculptures by John Chamberlain, Urs Fischer and Jorge Pardo. The building’s focus on art extends to the lobby, too, where residents are greeted by a site-specific work by Rachel Feinstein that depicts New York City icons, including the Empire State Building and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, commissioned specifically for the building.
为了把这个特点强调到极致，其中一套样板间干脆陈设成了一个画廊而不像个家，用上罗森收藏中的一系列当代作品，包括达明·赫斯特(Damien Hirst)、安迪·沃霍尔(Andy Warhol)和乔纳斯·伍德(Jonas Wood)的大尺幅画作，以及约翰·张伯伦(John Chamberlain)、乌尔斯·费舍尔(Urs Fischer)和豪尔赫·帕尔多(Jorge Pardo)的雕塑作品。对艺术的强调也反映到大堂，恭迎住户的是纽约艺术家瑞秋·费因斯坦(Rachel Feinstein)的一件场域特定作品，描绘了纽约市的诸多标志，包括帝国大厦、大都会博物馆，是专为本建筑委托创作。
This art-friendly attitude has attracted buyers like Ingrid Cincala Gilbert, principal of the art consulting firm Cincala Art, who bought one of the building’s more conventional units, with white-oak floors and drywall.
亲善艺术的做派吸引了英格丽·辛卡拉·吉尔伯特(Ingrid Cincala Gilbert)这样的买主，她是艺术投资咨询公司Cincala Art的当家人，买的是楼里一套偏传统的单位，使用了白橡木地板和石膏板墙面。
“The vision that Aby Rosen had for making art an important character in the story of the building was really compelling to me,” Ms. Cincala Gilbert said, noting that many of her clients had art display in mind when buying real estate.
“More and more these days my clients are interested in living with their art, as opposed to having to store it,” she said. “The trouble is sometimes this can be at odds with contemporary architecture, with the emphasis on transparency and expansive areas of exterior glass, and also open floor plans. Sometimes, this can really restrict or remove altogether opportunities for art.”
That may help explain why floor plans for apartments at 160 Leroy Street, which the developer Ian Schrager conceived with the architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, and which are priced from $4.5 million to $50 million, are labeled with room types and also with wall locations where works might be displayed.
这也许就是为什么勒罗伊街160号公寓的楼面图不光展示户型，还标出了哪些墙面可以悬挂艺术品。该公寓由开发商伊恩·施拉格尔(Ian Schrager)与赫尔佐格和德梅隆建筑事务所(Herzog & de Meuron)联手打造，价格从450万到5000万美元不等。
“We thought it would just be an interesting thing, as an assist, to let prospective buyers know where would be great places to hang art,” Mr. Schrager said. “We thought that collecting art would be something that a lot of our buyers would be focused on.”
At 180 East 88th Street, where apartments start at $1.295 million and run past $6 million, the development company DDG is building a 50-story masonry skyscraper with punched windows, which leaves more wall space for art than a building with a glass curtain wall. Units are equipped with picture rails that allow buyers to install art on chains.
“You see museums such as the Met hang art that way,” said Joseph A. McMillan Jr., the chairman and chief executive of DDG. “We have heard buyers say that there’s nowhere to put their art” in glass towers, he noted. “So this really does help serve that.”
“你看大都会那些博物馆就是这么挂画的，”DDG董事长兼首席执行官小约瑟夫·A·麦克米伦(Joseph A. McMillan Jr)说。在玻璃大楼里，“我们听一些顾客说没地方挂他们的画，”他解释说。“所以这个真能帮上忙。”
David Mann, the founder of MR Architecture & Décor, said that creating places to display art was also a priority when his firm designed the condos in a new glass tower at 111 Murray Street, where units are priced from $2.5 million to $40 million.
His firm sought to create wide expanses of interior walls that are not interrupted by doors, he said, so that “there are larger planes that can hold a bigger piece.”
Rather than buy a preconfigured apartment to show off an art collection, many collectors go the custom route and work one-on-one with an architect or interior designer to address their specific needs.
For one collector in Midtown Manhattan, Mr. Mann’s firm recently renovated an apartment where plump sofas by Mario Bellini now float in the middle of the living room. The liberated wall space is devoted to works by Bruce Nauman, Deborah Kass and Donald Judd. In the study, low, wall-mounted bookcases also free up display area.
曼的事务所最近为曼哈顿中城的一位藏家改造了一套公寓，设计大师马里奥·贝利尼(Mario Bellini)的胖乎乎的沙发现在摆到了客厅中央。空出来的墙面给了布鲁斯·瑙曼(Bruce Nauman)、黛博拉·卡斯(Deborah Kass)和唐纳德·贾德(Donald Judd)的作品。书房里，安装在墙上的低矮书架也给艺术品留出了展示空间。
Some projects, Mr. Mann said, are in complete thrall to a collection. “We have clients who have important works where we have actually started the project by isolating where they will go,” he said, “and then building the rooms around them.”
For one such collector, Mr. Mann designed a wall with ideal proportions to display a Minimalist masterwork by a renowned artist (he declined to disclose the artist’s name to protect his client’s privacy). Mr. Mann added recessed lighting in the ceiling above, arranged the furniture to funnel views toward the artwork and spent days experimenting with wall paint to find the most complementary shade of white.
All other design decisions were secondary, he said. The art was “the most important thing.”