Design

June 3 2008


Movin’ on up, now more than ever encapsulates stunning design, impeccable service, effortless living from the time the sun rises to well after the sun sets. We’ve been noticing a rising trend in the sheer number of luxury residences - we recently told you about an exclusive collection of seaside properties in Abu Dhabi. And now from New York to Buenos Aires, and from Moscow to Beijing, we’ll reveal a few more of the coolest luxury abodes.

Many of us have been accustomed to the stylistic cues offered by W Hotels across the world — but how many of us will actually have a chance to pick up the phone from our own kitchens and receive assistance from the ‘Whatever, Whenever’ hotline? Soon, for those who jumped at the chance to purchase a W-styled apartment in one of their newest locations south of the World Trade Centre in New York City, the possibilities will be limitless.



W Residents may share the building with distinguished hotel guests in the lower portion of Manhattan, but luxury amenities such as a rooftop terrace, a fitness centre and spa in the sky, a media screening room and digital lounge, as well as a separate entrance, will be solely for those permanently living in the upper floors of the luxury tower. 



While the W Hotel New York Downtown will take up the first twenty-two floors, the upper levels have been split into furnished residences (Floors 23-30) and customised residences (Floors 33-56). Interior design exceeds expectations, even by W standards, with sleek and functional kitchen built-ins to a translucent wall from the bedroom to a ‘peek-a-boo loo.’



A bit further in the heart of Tribeca, Five Franklin Place is destined be the epitome of luxury residences. The 20-storey building will contain 55 one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom units that will be set up as duplex lofts on the lower floors; single-level city residents above; plus three triplex penthouses each with a rooftop terrace and serviced by private internal lifts. 

The building itself, designed by Dutch architect Ben van Berkell of UNStudio, will be wrapped in a series of horizontal black metallic bands — each of which ungulates as it curves around and hugs the frame of the structure. The façade is apparently a direct tribute to the original 19th-century built form of cast iron that shaped lower Manhattan — and the metallic surface will reflect light while highlighting the magnificence of the neighbouring buildings. 



The building’s façade is not merely about aesthetics, as the bands will also create shading from the daylight, deflect heat, and guarantee every residence will have the highest degree of privacy, and simultaneously frame unparalleled views out across Manhattan. 

The Loft Residences on the levels have a double-height living area that maximises the light entering the space. The height of the great room continues on through a gallery where a white lacquered library wall ascends up into the second level. 



The upper-tier City Residences feature integrated terraces off the main living areas, and all units are custom-fitted with B&B Italia kitchens and built-ins throughout. The master bathrooms feature a circular sliding wall that allows the bathroom to become part of the bedroom and share its spectacular city views. 

And for those at the top, the five ultra-luxurious Sky Penthouses are unmatched in practically every aspect. Again, B&B Italia has masterfully crafted the space, including the kitchen.  Sweeping views from every room, even the master bathroom, automatically heighten the occupants’ awareness of their place in the cityscape and the surrounding environment. 



The skylines of our cities are rapidly changing — ingeniously designed buildings are competing for our attention. But architectural beauty alone is not going to provide the type of service we’re growing accustomed to expecting after spending millions on luxury lifestyle. We feel that the rise of luxury residences has only just begun — and we want to know all about it. If you are aware of luxury residences we should investigate, please let us know. By Andrew J Wiener.


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