150 Charles has 8-foot walnut doors.Photo: Evan Joseph Images
Call it hall appeal.
In New York City, where buildings dominate the streetscape, it’s impossible for a single apartment to command curb appeal. But deep-pocketed buyers can now get a nice compromise.
Beyond trophy penthouses and standout amenity spaces, new luxury developments are incorporating bold entry doors into their designs. The goal is to create a grand — and more personal — sense of arrival.
“It’s an announcement,” says Ian Bruce Eichner, CEO of the Continuum Company, which is developing the 83-unit condominium tower at 45 E. 22nd St. near Madison Square Park. Here, all unit entries will feature stained and fluted white oak doors, which measure 8 feet high and include bronze-finished hardware.
The goal for Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, which handled the interiors, was to reflect the Art Deco influence of the dwellings themselves. “It’s not just the front door — it’s the entrance to the apartment,” Eichner adds. “And it’s the message you get when you walk off the elevator and look at it.”
The trend isn’t limited to just the units’ doors themselves — these buildings are also expending time, money and thought on the spaces surrounding their entries to create dramatic looks.
One example is the West Village’s 91-unit 150 Charles St. — whose architectural masterminds include COOKFOX and Alan Wanzenberg — where 8-foot walnut doors are asymmetrically framed by a large panel displaying the unit’s number. At the CetraRuddy-designed Stella Tower, doors are similarly asymmetrical in orientation. The former Verizon tower in Hell’s Kitchen’s sexy doorframes include hanging light fixtures that herald the unit’s number with a soft shine.
But the most dramatic display will be seen at the Jean Nouvel-designed 53W53 — a.k.a. the MoMA Tower at 53 W. 53rd St. in Midtown. Thierry Despont is handling the interiors of this 139-unit skyscraper; for apartment entries, he devised the look of their furniture-grade black walnut-finished doors roughly 9 feet high, which have custom bronze knobs manufactured by E.R. Butler & Co., thick bronze framing and large back-lit onyx panels.
“We all believe first impressions are lasting impressions, so this is your first impression,” says Jacob Kluger, architectural sales manager at Texas-based SUPA Doors, which is manufacturing the doors for 150 Charles.
SUPA Doors has constructed entries for over 100 luxury buildings across the city, including 15 Central Park West, 18 Gramercy Park and the Studio Sofield-designed 135 E. 79th St., whose penthouse doors resemble those of standalone houses with gold accents and slender glass windows that offer a peep inside.
“Instead of just a door,” Kluger says, “this is the front door to your palace.”