The project is the idea of well-known New York developer Ian Schrager, who made his name by creating first fashionable nightclubs and then extremely expensive boutique hotels which offer their guests fabulous comfort and the ultimate in refined design. It was, in fact, the concept of a small hotel packed with all kinds of conveniences and services that gave Ian Schrager the idea for 40 Bond; he asked himself what would happen if apartments could be endowed with all the advantages of living in an expensive hotel.
This kind of housing, according to Schrager, will set a fundamentally new standard in everyday living: the inhabitants of a home which possesses all necessary services including maids, nannies, cooks, and engineers will be completely liberated from all household chores. And this, he thinks, is what makes living in a megalopolis different from having one’s own country estate with a staff of servants: you can give yourself up entirely to work or amusements of any kind without having to think about who will buy the food for the evening or organize your party.
Of course, demand for this kind of ‘services package’ is limited, especially in view of its high cost, so the market for a project like 40 Bond could not, by definition, be all that large. Schrager understood this very well. When commissioning Herzog and de Meuron to design this residential building, he immediately decided to go for a relatively small floor area and small number of apartments.
Herzog and de Meuron, incidentally, had never designed elite housing prior to this. Initially, they were wary of the commission and agreed to take it on only after they had studied the urban context. In the end, they were excited by the opportunity to build something to complement the traditional buildings in downtown New York.
The structure of the residential complex can be decoded by looking at the main façade (townhouses, apartments, penthouses with terraces) © iwan baan
The main vestibule is decorated with Corian wall reliefs © iwan baan
The apartments are conceived as open-plan spaces with a possibility to separate the rooms through mobile partition walls © iwan baan
Main image: © iwan baan