Dezeen Magazine

166 Perry Street by Asymptote

166 Perry Street by Asymptote

Work is about to start on the construction of 166 Perry Street, an apartment building in New York designed by Asymptote.

This is the first major project by the New York architectural firm headed by Hani Rashid, brother of industrial designer Karim Rashid. Update: see better quality images of this project in our more recent postThis is the first major project by the New York architectural firm headed by Hani Rashid, brother of industrial designer Karim Rashid. Update: see better quality images of this project in our more recent post

Below is a full statement from the developer:


First major building by acclaimed avant garde firm of Asymptote Architecture



NEW YORK... Since founding their firm in 1989, Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture of New York City-based firm Asymptote Architecture have attracted international attention for dramatically mutable, three-dimensional architectural design. Extraordinary exhibitions and ambitious installations, cutting edge interiors, the Guggenheim Virtual Museum, the HydraPier pavilion in Holland, and the acclaimed virtual-reality 3D Trading Floor for the New York Stock Exchange are among a host of projects that have won Asymptote a reputation as artists, futurists and advocates for architecture transformed by the information age.


In summer 2007, Asymptote’s daring vision of a parallel architecture will finally take full physical form in New York City when construction begins on the firm’s first permanent freestanding building: 166 Perry Street. 166 Perry Street will be an eight-story condominium building between the historic blocks of Perry Street and Charles Lane in the heart of the West Village, steps from the Hudson River and its verdant waterside park.


Occupying a site adjacent to the celebrated twin residential towers designed by architect Richard Meier at 173 and 176 Perry Street nearly a decade ago, and sponsored by the same development team, 166 Perry Street will house 24 residences—22 lofts and two penthouses with private terraces and lap pools. Every home at 166 Perry Street will occupy its own luminous corner of the building and be housed behind a technologically advanced, discreetly shimmering, sculptural cascade of glass that appears to materialize or dematerialize with the changing light of day. By strategically angling the façade’s glass panes and innovating with interior layers of a translucent honeycombed material on the east and west sides of the building, Asymptote has conceived a structure that alternately reveals and protects, offering inspiring views from inside while concealing private life to the outside world, simultaneously suggesting poetic new directions for private architecture in the public landscape.

Asymptote’s exterior emphasis upon light and dematerialization will be carried into every aspect of the building’s interiors. Here, laser cut and patterned operable metal scrims, translucent glass floating walls, sculptural forms concealing kitchen functions, and other features deployed throughout open floor plans will provide optimal transparency, flexibility of use, and access to the atmosphere beyond the building. Space at 166 Perry Street will be sculpted by light and defined by subtle changes in the palette and application of materials, including variations in the flooring: tile in entryways will give way to rich wood planks, which will in turn give way to stone in baths to define the functions of different zones within the residences. Every material choice, spatial arrangement and detail has been executed by Asymptote to achieve architecture that, in Hani Rashid’s words, “can comfort and inspire, but also disappear into the background in order to create a very direct and intimate bond with nature."


Residences at 166 Perry Street will include two- and three-bedroom lofts and two penthouses. Prices for properties will range from $2 million to $11.5 million. Among key amenities will be a beautifully configured fitness center for residents; 24-hour doorman and concierge services; room service and pantry stocking services provided by Jean-George Vongerichten’s celebrated Perry St. restaurant; and private storage facilities.


166 Perry Street is scheduled for occupancy in fall 2008. 166 Perry Street has been developed by Richard Born, Ira Drukier and Charles Blaichman, principals of Perry Street Development Corporation LLC. Exclusive sales agent for the project is Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. General contractor is J Companies LLC.


“We are extremely proud to be creating the first residential building designed by Asymptote," commented Richard Born. “We see the developers’ role as an opportunity to contribute something significant to our cityscape. In Hani Rashid, LiseAnne Couture and their team we have found individuals as passionate as we are about progressive design, original ideas and simply beautiful high-performance buildings. It is a privilege to work with them and to be participating in what we view as a new Golden Age of architectural experimentation in New York City."


The shape-shifting form of 166 Perry Street is Asymptote Architecture’s direct but supple response to their site’s proximity to the Hudson River corridor, with its park and glistening water, as well as the busy thoroughfare of West Street and the now famous pair of high Modernist residential buildings next door. The angular geometry of the 166 Perry Street glass wall façade—described by its designers alternately as a “cascade," “waterfall," and “fractured crystal"—captures and reflects the surrounding atmosphere, resulting in an ever-changing perception of the building’s architecture in the context of the cobble stone streets and historic atmosphere of the West Village.

Asymptote’s intention, according to Hani Rashid, is to “make something that will reflect both the streets and the sky and become a flickering spectacle for those walking or driving nearby, especially along the West Side Highway... something playful that draws from and reflects the finer grain of the neighborhood, and provokes emotional and intellectual, as well as visual, responses."

At the street level, the façade of 166 Perry Street is sheathed in a perforated white metal scrim with computer-generated, laser-cut circular openings. This scrim provides texture and interest to passersby while insuring privacy for the lobby and the maisonettes housed on the ground floor. At the entrance of 166 Perry Street these panels give way to a recessed space outfitted with two mechanized single-pane blue glass doors leading onto a lobby. The lobby is a soft-edged, glowing capsule of space outfitted with artfully designed cove lighting and pale custom features and finishes: white lacquered walls with an integrated, built-in seating area upholstered in silver leather; a pale blue lacquered concierge desk; polished white concrete flooring with inset brushed aluminum panels, leading to the elevator bank; and a discreet area for mail and package storage. In the lobby, Asymptote uses paleness and an emphasis upon luxurious surfaces to create a transition from the life of the sidewalk and intro-
duce the characteristics that will define interiors upstairs.

Within the 166 Perry Street residences Asymptote has specified a surprisingly serene but highly sensual palette of materials. These include Elterwater stone tile for entry areas; wide-plank wenge solid wood flooring for primary rooms; Corian and lacquer for kitchens and baths; solid-core, full-height wood doors throughout; and sand-blasted planes of translucent blue glass strategically placed to define the baths and give glimpses of motion on the other side.

The architects devised floor plans that insure residents will enjoy the greatest flexibility in interpreting how spaces are furnished and occupied. Such features as sliding glass “fly away" curtain wall openings create an indoor-outdoor dynamic within residences, and the translucent glass bathroom walls increase a sense of light and overall visual access. Ceiling heights of 10 to 12 feet will contribute further to a sense of airiness in the 166 Perry Street residences and expand the impact of views beyond.

Adding to the allure of interiors at 166 Perry Street, Asymptote has imagined a highly curvaceous, customized open kitchen zone that emphasizes intelligent, practical features and unconventional sculptural effects. Under-cabinet drawer refrigerators, angled millwork, and a signature Asymptote-designed white lacquer and Corian kitchen island maximize storage while minimizing visual clutter within the homes.

“At every level of the project, from the massing of the building and articulation of its façade, to the detailing of bathrooms and kitchens, our goal was to innovate as much as possible but to do so with subtlety," said Hani Rashid. “For Asymptote, which is now engaged in commissions for such enormously scaled projects as skyscrapers and urban plans in cities around the world, it is a pleasure to build something with the intimacy of 166 Perry Street. And it is, of course, incredibly rewarding to build in our own home town of New York City."

Sales for 166 Perry Street have commenced. Buyer information is available to the public online at