At least a few Manhattan developers have realized that many deep-pocketed luxury condo buyers prefer class over glass. There’s the Fitzroy, in Chelsea, and the Vandewater, on the Upper West Side, not to mention several high-profile apartment houses designed by architect Robert Stern, that feature traditional and dignified stone-faced architecture reminiscent of the early 20th century.
Of course, the cost of erecting a five-star apartment house as if it was 1920 instead of 2020 is typically a forbidding impediment to building beautifully detailed stone-faced buildings. However, with the Beckford House and Tower on Manhattan’s affluent Upper East Side, at 301 East 80th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues, cost and class seem to have found a happy medium — providing you happen to be a millionaire, of course.
As the name suggests, the project is a two-building development wholly designed by Studio Sofield, a world-renowned firm associated with the interiors of high-fashion boutiques for YSL, Gucci and Tom Ford. Jumping from retail to residential is rare for the upscale designers; however, the opportunity to mix high-voltage glamour with stately prewar-style architecture has proved an alluring undertaking for Studio Sofield.
The Tower section comprises 29 floors attractively sheathed in hand-laid Indiana limestone and Brynne brownstone. Terraces and Juliet balconies punctuate the clean lines. The interiors are a clear doff-of-the-cap to genteel Manhattan apartment houses. And geometric cornicing, herringbone-laid oak floorboards, statuary marble accents and soaring 13-foot ceilings in the penthouses, which also enjoy set back outdoor terraces, combine with the classical exterior to create an aura of permanence and history.
An Art Deco-style, chandelier adorned-lobby in the Tower section opens into the residents’ piano bar. Elsewhere, contemporary amenities ensure the building’s well-heeled families and fitness fanatics won’t feel out of place. They include a game room (foosball, anyone?), a children’s playroom, a double-height half-court basketball court, a fitness center and yoga training studios. There’s also a 65-foot swimming pool with a glass ceiling, ornate metal detailing and a custom glass mosaic wall mural.
Beckford House, the smaller of the two buildings, stands just 21 stories high with a mix of one, two and three bedroom residences along with several five-bedroom spreads. There are three full-floor penthouses and one lavish duplex with a sky-high price to match. Interior fittings of the House section are similar to those in the Tower, with white oak flooring, towering ceilings and intricate millwork detailing. A roof terrace and outdoor kitchen sits atop the 20th floor, while the fitness and yoga suites are in the basement.
Beckford House is set to complete this fall, with Beckford Tower’s opening following later next year. Prices range from $2 million to over $25 million. Douglas Elliman is the exclusive brokerage for the project.