Architect and developer Soo K. Chan says he borrowed design inspiration for his new condo project in Chelsea from the colonial houses of his childhood, in the cosmopolitan island city of George Town, Malaysia. He drew on the architecture of the city’s clan houses, long multi-family homes built around a central, open air courtyard.
Dubbed the Soori High Line, the 11-story development at 522 West 29th Street will be clad in tall, narrow windows, and square cut-outs on the ground floor will allow sunlit gardens to flourish in the basement. Both elements were based on the sprawling Khoo Kongsi complex in George Town, which was constructed in the 1830s, under British colonial rule.
Otherwise, the building will have a starkly modern presence along the High Line. The facade, which features floor-to-ceiling glass windows, was built in Italy and will be shipped over in pieces. But the look is subdued compared to Chan’s 515 West 29th Street, a condo building across the street that will be covered in rippling, wave-like fins. The Singapore-based architect is designing that project, but Joseph Beninati’s Bauhouse Group is developing.
At the Soori High Line, interiors will be luxurious. Apartments will be outfitted in custom-designed, monochromatic finishes, like white marble countertops and tall, dark wood wardrobes. Each of the 31 units will have its own fireplace, and 16 apartments will come with 23-foot-long, four-foot-deep pools.
And those private pools have generated headlines for the development, because Chan made his name building private aquatic features in luxury buildings across the world. In 2009, he finished a beachside resort in Bali, the Alila Villas Soori, where several of the most luxurious residences have pools. Before that, he created 120 private pools at Nassim Park Residences in Singapore.
Condos will also include motorized blinds and radiant heated floors, and buyers of two triplex penthouses will get private roof decks.
After a false sales launch in 2014, several of the units quietly hit the market again in March, priced from $3.5 million for a 1,200-square-foot two-bedroom to $19.75 million for a five-bedroom triplex penthouse with four terraces and a private rooftop pool. While the development team couldn’t give any concrete numbers, they said that several units have already entered contract.
YIMBY toured the construction site last week and got a glimpse of those future pools and basement gardens. The building topped out on Monday, and workers will install the glass curtain wall in July. A model unit with a pool is also set to be finished by the end of the summer. Work is expected to wrap in the spring of 2017.
Chan’s firm, SCDA, designed the project, and Montroy Andersen DeMarco are the architects of record. Singapore-based Oriel Development and New York-based Siras Development are jointly developing it.
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