Def Architecture Jam: 40 Bond Street

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The building pictured to the right, 40 Bond Street, is not necessarily a new building. The Ian Schrager-developed and Herzog de Meuron-designed residences were completed in 2007 to relative fanfare and approving reviews. The Observer's Max Abelson wrote, "If you can avert your eyes from the building's genuinely hideous faux-graffiti cast-aluminum gates, the building's curvy and oceanic green glass is a wonder to behold." Curbed listed it as one of their "Best New Buildings of the Decade." So why give it any more attention? Because DAMN, that is one butt-ugly building.

Yes, the Bowery is dead and this garish building full of multi-million dollar condos serves as a nice, shiny nail to its coffin, but to talk about Lower Manhattan's shifting identity would distract from a very important fact: That 40 Bond is UGLY AS HELL.

"It's easy to criticize and not to create," You say? You're damn right. Take a gander at 40 Bond. It looks like Jeff Koons vomited on an Erector Set.

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That was easy!

A one bedroom rental in the building costs $15,000 a month. $15,000! But don't worry, that price includes a tramp stamp gate outside that screams, "We got some extra iron, let's make this fucker look like a Cheesecake Factory:"

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Studio 54 founder and 40 Bond developer Ian Schrager lives in the building's penthouse--probably to avoid having to look at the damn thing. This reminds me of the story of how Guy de Maupassant used to eat lunch every day at the base of the Eiffel Tower because it was the only place in Paris where he couldn't see the monstrous creation. If de Maupassant were alive today, he'd probably eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and his midnight snack at 40 Bond. UHHHHHHHH, HIT ME.

The worst part is that Bond Street might be Lower Manhattan's most idyllic street. It's quiet, paved with cobblestones, and home to many buildings still standing from its working-class heyday. Now, unfortunately, it will forever be known as the street where Gumby ate too much mercury and took a dump. AHHHHHHH, KICK IT!


[ngreene@villagevoice.com][@nickgreene]


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7 comments
hinyho1
hinyho1

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  But some people have good forward thinking taste, and others who don't understand it mock it.  This building is a masterpiece.  It truly is ahead of it's time.  I am a builder and have never met the owners, but I truly envy what they did.  This was a very difficult build out.  You have no idea what they probably went through to build this building.  It is absolutely one of my favorite buildings around the world.  Just think, even Dali, Picasso, and Warhol had critics who hated their works and referred to it as amateur.....

petelouys
petelouys

I hate it that I agree about 40 Bond's looks because you don't know what you're talking about later in the piece.  Bond Street was the epicenter of patrician New York in its heyday, not a working class neighborhood.  You could look it up--but obviously didn't. 

colebilly66
colebilly66

In my 15 years of internet engagement, I have never thought to publicly comment on anything,

and damn you for insisting that I must! Aesthetics are impossible to argue, but dont be an ignorant closeminded ass. Its CAST GLASS CURTAIN WALL CONSTRUCTION!!! Have you ever been to SOHO? CAST IRON CURTAIN WALL CONSTRUCTION THAT CRITICS LIKE YOUR SELF SCOFFED AT AS WELL. perhaps you prefer a sandstone (brownstone) facade with some neoclaasical ornamentation stuck to it. Be a journalist, don't just be a prick

sls63
sls63

Oh shut up, you stupid socialist.

I bet you think your filthy, 3rd floor, roach infested, walk up tenement is "gorgeous".

Never take atheistic advice from someone who thinks the filthy, ugly eyesore Bowery was something to be cherished.    You would think the Bowery/LES was the 7th Arrondissement of Paris sometimes while reading these dumb blogs like "Bowery Boogie" and "Village Voice" who lament the loss of their urban slums.   Something sparkly or avant-garde replaces a dreary eyesore and they all cry.  What a joke.

40 Bond is a stunning work of art which has won numerous design awards from..you know...experts.    And that wouldn't be you, person-who-wrote-this-entry typing away from his ratty walk-up.

CatSynth
CatSynth

Hey, I quite like this building, especially the front gate!  I have used it as a subject for several photographs - when framed without the overall context the texture provides a mix of mystery and disorientation.  

allen1
allen1

Perhaps there was a sale on algae-green paint? Beauty is only skin deep? Perhaps I'm pushing it? No it's not THE most attractive building on the block, or any other block for that matter, but the suites themselves are pretty.... sweet. It also has some solid amenities (http://newconstructionmanhattan.com/buildings/40-bond-street) and it's all a matter of whether you'd like to live in a building that looks like it's been under sea for a century too long. No biggie. 

hinyho1
hinyho1

@allen1 Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  But some people have good forward thinking taste, and others who don't understand it mock it.  This building is a masterpiece.  It truly is ahead of it's time.  I am a builder and have never met the owners, but I truly envy what they did.  This was a very difficult build out.  You have no idea what they probably went through to build this building.  It is absolutely one of my favorite buildings around the world.  Just think, even Dali, Picasso, and Warhol had critics who hated their works and referred to it as amateur.....

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