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Tall tower to be little church's new neighbor.

FXFOWLE ARCHITECTS, PC recently unveiled its latest design; the Sky House, a 262,000 square-foot residential condominium tower located in Madison Square Park North at 11 East 29th Street.

Immediately adjacent to the Church of Ascension, commonly known as the Little Church Around the Corner, the architects say Sky House, "has been designed to be a good neighbor." The through-block building will incorporate a three-story base that will serve as a new parish house for the church, while the tower above will incorporate 139 luxury condominium residences in one, two, and three bedroom layouts.

Rising 55 stories, FXFOWLE says Sky House's minimalist design was conceived to blend with the existing lower-scale surroundings. It is an ensemble of three slender interlocking masses.

Each is expressed with a composition of red-brown iron-spot brick with varying color and texture. The window fenestration consists of horizontal "ribbons" in the northern mass, a pattern of individual "punched" windows in the central "core" mass and recessed vertical strips between closely spaced masonry piers in the southern mass where it stands adjacent to the church yard.

"FXFOWLE welcomed the exciting challenge by the developer, The Clarett Group, to design a luxury condominium property in such a dynamic, architecturally rich area of Manhattan without taking away the intimate feel of the neighborhood," said Bruce Fowle, FAIA, Senior Principal of FXFOWLE Architects. "The architecture of Sky House will be unique among New York City's high-rise apartment buildings, and it will be a wonderful enhancement of both the pedestrian and skyline experience.

The church's parish house will be a new three-story structure situated at the base of the tower.

Its "saw-toothed" diaphanous facade will animate and bring energy to the streetscape while commemorating the parish hall's contribution to the City's heritage and well-being. At street-level, the tower will set back to become a backdrop to the parish hall and other low-scale structures, allowing the scale of the church compound to extend east.

The entrance to Sky House is defined by its canopy and transparency to its wood-paneled lobby.

Apartment units are tailored to the views and varying fenestrations which provide maximum penetration of natural light.

"Each apartment will have clearly defined and well-proportion rooms, plus large open spaces providing maximum flexibility to the residents--a consciously conceived blend of pre-war elegance and modern functionality," the company said.

FXFOWLE ARCHITECTS, PC is a New York-based architectural, interior design and planning firm.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:May 3, 2006
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