Def Architecture Jam: 40 Bond Street


The building pictured to the right, 40 Bond Street, is not necessarily a new building. The Ian Schrager-developed and Herzog de Meuron-designed residences were completed in 2007 to relative fanfare and approving reviews. The Observer’s Max Abelson wrote, “If you can avert your eyes from the building’s genuinely hideous faux-graffiti cast-aluminum gates, the building’s curvy and oceanic green glass is a wonder to behold.” Curbed listed it as one of their “Best New Buildings of the Decade.” So why give it any more attention? Because DAMN, that is one butt-ugly building.

Yes, the Bowery is dead and this garish building full of multi-million dollar condos serves as a nice, shiny nail to its coffin, but to talk about Lower Manhattan’s shifting identity would distract from a very important fact: That 40 Bond is UGLY AS HELL.

“It’s easy to criticize and not to create,” You say? You’re damn right. Take a gander at 40 Bond. It looks like Jeff Koons vomited on an Erector Set.

That was easy!

A one bedroom rental in the building costs $15,000 a month. $15,000! But don’t worry, that price includes a tramp stamp gate outside that screams, “We got some extra iron, let’s make this fucker look like a Cheesecake Factory:”

Studio 54 founder and 40 Bond developer Ian Schrager lives in the building’s penthouse–probably to avoid having to look at the damn thing. This reminds me of the story of how Guy de Maupassant used to eat lunch every day at the base of the Eiffel Tower because it was the only place in Paris where he couldn’t see the monstrous creation. If de Maupassant were alive today, he’d probably eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and his midnight snack at 40 Bond. UHHHHHHHH, HIT ME.

The worst part is that Bond Street might be Lower Manhattan’s most idyllic street. It’s quiet, paved with cobblestones, and home to many buildings still standing from its working-class heyday. Now, unfortunately, it will forever be known as the street where Gumby ate too much mercury and took a dump. AHHHHHHH, KICK IT!