How do you convert a century-old Upper East Side building for modern living?
With blood, sweat and limestone, of course.
Handel Architects and Moed de Armas & Shannon were tapped by Macklowe Properties to design the conversions of 737 Park Avenue and 150 East 72nd Street.
Malay Shah of Handel Architects and Dan Shannon of Moed de Armas & Shannon chatted about the design process at an IDNY event earlier this week. We’ve collected the highlights below:
Built in 1940 and designed by Sylvian Bien, 737 Park Avenue offers residences ranging from 3,000 to over 6,000 square feet. Every unit in the 20-story Art Deco building has thoughtfully proportioned layouts, big eat-in kitchens, solid oak flooring and new casement windows.
The development’s offering plan has been declared effective by the New York State Office of the Attorney General, and it recently reached over $250 million in sales.
The prime directive for the project was creating spacious homes, as opposed to just apartments, Shah said. “These are urban mansions with all the amenities people are looking for.”
The architects designed the interiors based on the simple, elegant exterior of the building. “There are no crown moldings [in the rooms]; it’s all clean and crisp,” Shah said.
The master suites are equipped with walk-in closets, and the master bath walls and floors are lined with luxe 4’ by 8’ Michelangelo marble slabs.
Amenities include a doorman, elevator attendants, resident manager, fitness center with skylight, children’s playroom, multi-purpose room available for entertaining, private storage, bike storage and stroller storage.
Built in 1913, 150 East 72nd Street offers two- to four-bedroom residences ranging from 2,300 square feet to 4,500 square feet. There are just two condos per floor, and every home has a private elevator landing. Interiors include solid white oak floors, custom Poliform closets and eat-in kitchens accented with large slab marble countertops and Miele appliances. The master bathrooms are fitted with marble slab walls, freestanding bathtubs and basket-pattern marble floors.
150 East 72nd “stood for 100 years, and now it will stand for another 100 years,” Shah said, adding that the design team incorporated hand-crafted touches and “elements of classical buildings that we’re trying to bring back.”
Amenities include a doorman, concierge, exercise room, children’s play area and party room.
The lobby received some major TLC during the restoration process. 150 East 72nd “was a building that had lost its importance over the years,” Shannon said, comparing the previous chandelier-laden lobby to a “funeral parlor.” Moed de Armas & Shannon cleaned up the limestone and granite steps, while keeping the iconic Tennessee pink marble flooring, the same material used in Grand Central Station.
“Tennessee pink gets better every day you walk on it,” Shannon said. “The goal was door to door distinguished quality,” from the lobby to the private home entrances.
Bonus fact: For research, the design team photographed every doorway on Park Avenue, Fifth Avenue and East 72nd Street. Dedication!
“Design supports sales,” Shannon said. “It was a unique pleasure to revive these buildings under Harry [Macklowe]’s leadership.”
Need more design dish? Read our full interview with the architects here.