The Good Kind – 150 Charles Street, Cook + Fox

150Charles

I’VE NOTICED this new building a few times from the Hudson River Greenway. It always gets an automatic, “Oh, that’s pretty good.” Other architects have told me they’ve had similar “blink” reactions.

Why? It’s well proportioned, it has pleasant massing, and the balance and play of glass and brick is interesting. It’s a good fabric building that doesn’t completely fade into the background or demand all the attention.

When you get a little closer, you find maisonettes on both side streets, and at the opposite end of the block a respectful attitude towards affordable housing that Jane Jacobs helped build.

I’m usually not a big fan of putting the bulk of the massing in the center of the block when there’s a broad avenue (or in this case the Hudson River), but Cook + Fox turned the zoning regulations into a handsome building. New York could use more like it.

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