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New York Awards 2003

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Richard Meier
Like the cylindrical lobbies in some of his buildings, Richard Meier’s career has now described a perfect circle. One of his first celebrated designs was for artists’ housing on the way-West Side—the Westbeth complex, lofts carved from the Bell Labs building, spruced up with pop-out curved balconies. Thirty years later, he is being fêted again for artists’ housing on the West Side—173 and 176 Perry Street, loft towers built from scratch, one fat, one slim, crisply clad in glass of a remarkable (and perhaps patentable) frosty green. Of course, the artists on Perry Street are receiving no subsidies—the residents’ list is as starry as that of the Dakota (Nicole Kidman, Calvin Klein), and the first-floor restaurant will be run by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Meier and Vongerichten also teamed for the Eastern-mod 66, in Tribeca, whose updated Eamesian décor, in shades of Meier’s signature white, has upstaged even Jean-Georges’s food. Meier, who just wanted to make his mark on his home city, has jump-started the market for truly contemporary residential architecture (some raw spaces on Perry Street went for more than $6 million), and will soon add a third tower to the south along West Street. After commissions in Atlanta, Barcelona, and Rome (and a modest little museum in L.A.), Meier is finally at home in New York. —ALEXANDRA LANGE


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