As you stroll down the charming and cobblestoned Bond Street, you’ll come across a few modern buildings, and there are two that are particularly interesting: 25 and 40 Bond, which are almost opposite each other. Both are ultra-luxury residences, built in 2007, and while they seem very different at first glance, they are actually similar in many ways. Each one brings a unique energy to the street, and the distinctions between the two highlights the role of architecture in defining a cityscape and the way people interact with the city.
25 Bond was built by one of our favorite developers, Goldman Properties. Tony Goldman, who was not only a very conscientious developer but also a great patron of the arts, makes his mark on Bond Street with this 8-storey, 9-unit building. Architects BKSK, a New York-based firm, made the facade asymmetric and layered; if you look closely, you’ll see the windows are bigger than they first appear since they continue behind the exterior columns. The layered look and Jerusalem limestone give the building an understated and rather tranquil look, making it almost temple-like—which is fitting since the stone is the same type used for the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
40 Bond, on the other hand, is flashier. The 11-storey building has a facade that seems fluid, unlike the solid stone structure of 25 Bond. The green shades change depending on the light and angle, like a gem. It was the first residential project of Swiss Architects Herzog & de Meuron, who are well known for the Bird’s Nest arena created for the Beijing Olympics.
Both buildings are gridlike, and yet both also have a decidedly unorderly jumble at their bases. 25 Bond boasts a piece by Ken Hiratsuka on the sidewalk (and another in the lobby, which you can see through the window). This work is part of Hiratsuka’s One Line series, which is a string of curvy lines chiseled by hand into stone around the world. There are more pieces in this series throughout NYC, such as this one in Soho. Contrast the almost prehistoric carvings in front of 25 Bond with the modern graffiti-like privacy fence at 40 Bond. The architects partnered with fine art foundry Polich Tallix, who created a compilation of actual graffiti tags found around the city.
The developers for each of these buildings also have their own unique stories. Tony Goldman is a patron of the arts who has had a huge impact on SoHo from both a development and an art standpoint. 40 Bond was developed by Ian Schrager and his friend Aby Rosen. Schrager is best known as a former partner and manager of some of New York’s most famous nightclubs, including Studio 54 and the Palladium, which were frequented in the 1970s by the in-scene, famous, and up-and-coming artists.
Beyond these pieces of architecture as art, Bond Street has been part of the artistic community for decades. Photographer Robert Maplethorpe kept a studio at number 24, and Keith Haring had a studio around the corner on Broadway. Currently Chuck Close, once known for his huge hyperrealistic portraits and now—after a spinal artery collapse that left him partially paralyzed—known for similar portraits done in a more interpretive, pixelated way, keeps his studio on the corner at 20 Bond.
|1805||City council creates plans for Bond Street|
|2007||25 Bond completed|
|sight||Subway Map Floating on a New York Sidewalk|
|link||BKSK Architects: 25 Bond|
|internal||NY Curbed: 25 Bond|
|internal||NYTimes Streetscapes / Bond Street|