Four years in the making and with no less than 12 bathrooms, six bedrooms, a private spa and a 2000-bottle wine cellar, this stunning penthouse has created a buzz even within the seen-it-all-before New York City market. And with 18,000ft2 of decadence sitting 90 storeys above Manhattan, it’s no wonder
You can tell this apartment, dubbed The Penthouse, is going to be something unforgettable from the first moment you step out of the private lift. The foyer boasts a Zen garden with a reflecting pool that mirrors the East River below. Tip-toe across the stepping stones, beside a sculpture comprising a heap of porcelain sunflower seeds by renowned artist Ai Weiwei, and look over to the waterfall that gently flows down a 30ft slab of marble. Don’t miss the nearby Japanese tea house from Kyoto, which glows like a lantern come dark. Continue walking and you’ll reach one of the main living areas, with its towering 16ft windows overlooking Manhattan, and Luceplan chandelier, and you’ll be knocked back by the 360-degree vistas.
This home — which is also a place to display priceless artworks by the likes of Monet, Dali and Rodin — is not so much a home as a sublime, luxurious and opulent creation that has captured the attention of the media around the world.
Even the New York Post reported it “takes luxury to new heights”, and said the owner — apparently banking billionaire Chinh E. Chu, who snapped up the 89th and 90th floors of the lavish Trump World Tower to create it — “auditioned” 40 architects before hiring ODA Architecture.
“This apartment is one of the largest in Manhattan,” says ODA executive director Eran Chen. “It’s totally open from 360 degrees to the views of New York City. Add to that one of the largest private art collections in the world — on the 90th floor.”
Creating a home in a space so epic was a challenge for Eran and his team, but they came up with a reasonably simple solution: “What we decided to do was literally divide the apartment into two parts that connected via a main spine. The southern part is the private residence. The other is the entertainment section that includes listening room, wine room, cigar room, lounges, and a projection room. The challenge was to express the greatness of the space and the big perspectives that you get, without overwhelming you.”
Using the story of one family’s journey to New York City as a theme, Eran worked with the client to express different aspects of their personality in each room. The library and cigar room have warm, English looks, while the wine room, with its curved ceiling and dark shelving, feels very French. Meanwhile, the red Italian kitchen by Snaidero (the client reportedly has the yellow one in their country home) makes a real impact against the white marble.
Completing this project was a major feat over four years. Challenges included changing one of the chandeliers to one that wouldn’t swing when the building moved in the wind, and having to chop one of the marble tables in half to get it into the building.
However, Eran maintains it was approached as any other project. “It’s quite a rare opportunity to be able to design a home like this with the richness and scale of the art, furniture, materials and everything else that went into it. At the end of the day, even with something as remarkable as this, we approached it as we do every project. It’s all about the people who live here and the tools that we have as architects to express who they are.”
Shimmering mosaic tiles create a luxe look in the wife’s bathroom. These are mother-of-pearl, while the bath is Duravit
Some of the paintings can be swung around to reveal another artwork on the rear of the panel
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Written by Sarah Swain
Photography by Frank Oudeman
Originally from Home Design magazine Volume 17 Issue 6