Construction Update: 505 West 19th Street

505 West 19th Street505 West 19th Street, excavation beginning on eastern side

Equipment is on-site and excavation is beginning at HFZ Capital’s 505 West 19th Street, which will soon surround The High Line with two new buildings, connected underneath by a one-story podium. Designed by Thomas Juul-Hansen, the development will be in line with neighboring projects, catering to the ultra-luxury residential segment.

Renderings of the project show two relatively simple boxy structures; the design’s details, rather than massing, are what make the project a potential stand-out. Juul-Hansen takes the standard box and turns it on its head, as the windows are inset at various angles, giving the development a sense of unique dynamism. Per the official website, 505 West 19th Street will feature “intuitive details, brilliant materials, and arresting views of the city.”

The exact materials have not been revealed, but the project’s neutral color pallet emphasizes the windows over all else, which is to be expected for a High Line-adjacent project; the voyeuristic aspect of living next to The High Line cannot be denied, a fact Juul-Hansen clearly embraces to great effect. By setting the windows off at various angles, Juul-Hansen ensures looking into 505 West 19th will be relatively difficult, as glare from the sun will prevent pedestrians from seeing much of anything inside the building. Privacy will not come at a price, as it is only pedestrians whose views will be affected; residents will, in essence, have one-way mirrors looking out onto The High Line.

Permits were partially approved this month, and with machinery on-site, it seems construction is set to begin shortly. The two ten-story buildings will contain 35 units in total, and the development will be the definition of ’boutique luxury,’ a market segment that is beginning to dominate The High Line’s vicinity. No completion date has been released, but given the project’s scope, a late 2014 or early 2015 opening would seem likely.

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