Repairing Your Stained Glass Window
Repairing Your Stained Glass Window Sash Window Repairs North London
So, when I heard that the developer Ian Schrager of trendy boutique hotel fame had chosen the English architect John Pawson, a maestro of minimalist style, to transform the 18-story building at 50 Gramercy Park North into a 23-residence condominium, I could not wait to see how the worlds of cutting-edge design and Old World charm could be joined.
I have also always loved the idea of living on Gramercy Park, an enclave reminiscent of the small-scaled and civilized squares I craved from my student days in London so many years ago. Not surprisingly, I am not alone, and Mr. Schrager knows that. His marketing copy ("A precious and rare opportunity with additional services and amenities created exclusively for a family") links bucolic scenes of the park with sash windows bath digital images of the proposed interiors in a deliciously illustrated brochure (a little girl in a flowered dress, small boys in berets, sun-dappled trees) that is as seductive as an ice cream cone on a hot summer day.
Having made an appointment for a visit on a cold, clear morning, I meet Mr. Schrager in front of the building, where construction is in full swing. We don hard hats and ride an exterior elevator up to what will be Apartment 5B, where one can look out the floor-to-ceiling window in the future living room at a mouth-watering view of the park. The clear expanse of glass and a bird's-eye view of the park are mesmerizing even with the naked trees and empty benches.
Mr. Schrager explains that we are standing in what was once part of the gap between the 181-room Gramercy Park Hotel (also Mr. Schrager's and being totally redesigned by the artist Julian Schnabel in what the developer called "a quirky bohemian style and Renaissance colors") and its original annex. The new glass "minitower," which Mr. Pawson calls "the new bit," is now connected to that annex, which has had its windows enlarged to unify it with the new building.
In a telephone interview from London, Mr. Pawson said that Mr. Schrager wanted 12-foot ceilings. "But as that was not possible to have timber sash windows london on every floor, we figured out how to add a high-ceilinged extra space to apartments on every other floor," he said. "I see it as a kind of compression and release."
I'm impressed with the architect's clever way of adding glass boxes to the prewar building. It's a respectful solution that does not fight with the Old World feeling of the area, sort of like a facelift that works.
There are four apartments still available, and all have views of the park: 5A (2,149 square feet for $6.250 million); 9B (2,873 square feet for $9.35 million); 7A (3,477 square feet for $8.975 million), and 14A (2,988 square feet for $10.250 million) as well as a 4,235-square-foot penthouse with vertical sliding sash windows a 1,306-square-foot terrace that is $16 million. (Monthly maintenance ranges from $5,472 to an astonishing $17,721.)
The sheer size of most of the apartments is what seems to particularly excite Mr. Schrager. One master bedroom measures 945 square feet.
"Most developers don't like to build big apartments," Mr. Schrager said. "They are often harder to sell than smaller, more flexible units where the market is deeper."
Mr. Schrager said the apartments come with the type of services that only the very privileged enjoy. Here, it is called executive lifestyle management and includes room service, babysitting, painting and repair services, and like the hotel around the corner, turn-down service.
Mr. Schrager suggests we visit the full-size mock-ups of a kitchen and bathroom. On the way, I try to reconcile the concept of these large family apartments with Mr. Pawson's particular brand of minimalism -- the nearly spiritual kind where a box of Kleenex on the bathroom counter, a dirty frying pan in the sink, a plastic