Ladies’ Mile condo designed by DXA Studio features a draping fabric-like facade


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Ladies’ Mile condo designed by DXA Studio features a draping fabric-like facade

The design of a new 17-story condominium in the Ladies’ Mile Historic District celebrates the history of the neighborhood and the spirit of innovation in New York City. Designed by DXA Studio, 10 West 17th Street features a facade of ultra-high-performance concrete molded to look like flowing fabric, a nod to the neighborhood’s role in the garment industry and as a major shopping destination during the Gilded Age. The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted to approve the unique design.

The building will rise on a vacant site that borders Flatiron, Union Square, and Chelsea. Plans from 2014 called for a 16-story building designed by Beyer Blinder Belle, which was approved by LPC in 2016. That building was never constructed and developer Anbau has since acquired the property.

The building, called 10W17, will rise 185 feet and include 23 two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments, including two duplex units. The amenity space will measure 2,000 square feet.

Designated in 1989, the Ladies’ Mile Historic District was the center for commercial retail at the turn of the 20th century, an area where the garment industry converged with department stores. The district was a place to see and be seen among elite New Yorkers, particularly women, who felt safe to go shopping unaccompanied by men for the first time.

During a presentation to the LPC on Tuesday, Jordan Rogove, partner at DXA Studio, explained how the firm was inspired by the cultural and technological shift from Victorian-era fashion to ready-to-wear simplified attire, advocated for by Oscar Wilde and the Aesthetic movement and also seen in architecture of the time.

“This building is a nod to a specific moment in the district’s history when the aesthetic movement occurred,” Rogove and Wayne Norbeck of DXA Studio, said in a statement.

“This centered around the move away from the overly exaggerated dress of the 19th century fashion trends, towards a more functional and form fit style of clothing that focused more on expressing the human body. The building design concept then draws parallels between this and the modern movement of architecture that was occurring also at this time.”

The building envelope of 10W17 pays tribute to the architectural history of Ladies’ Mile under a concrete facade inspired by the “spirit of modernity and origins of the Aesthetic movement.” The street facade features 200 ultra-high-performance concrete panels molded to look like fabric. These will sit on a rain screen paneling system designed to improve thermal performance.

“At the bottom of the building, we thought this was an opportunity to kind of pull back the curtains, to pull back the fabric expression, or cloak, of the building and show some of that underlying foundational building that is in line with the more historic form of the district,” Rogove said.

While the Community Board 5 last month recommended the project be denied for “lacking appropriateness and harmony within the district,” LPC commissioners applauded the interesting design, including the unique swooping element seen at the top of the building, which provides a transition from the two buildings the condo sits between. During Tuesday’s meeting, both the Historic Districts Council and Victorian Society New York voiced support for the project.