43,000 square feet
New York, New York
363 Lafayette opens like a fan from a prominent corner in the heart of the NoHo Historic District. With its brick cladding and contemporary terra-cotta detailing, the new commercial office building reflects the character of NoHo, but its distinctive silhouette gives the historic district a new architectural landmark.
Each of 363 Lafayette's floors angles back from the one below to produce a dynamic form inspired by the unusual wedge-shaped site—a result of the nineteenth-century extension of Lafayette Street. The setbacks between each floor are subtle, but the overall effect is bold, producing a sense of movement that is appropriate for the busy street below.
The new building’s distinctive one-story commercial storefront, with frontage on three streets, recalls the famous Flatiron Building, as does the building’s prominent use of decorative terra-cotta. The terra-cotta curtain wall, along with the metal storefront and brick piers, echoes the massing and materials of the nineteenth-century store-and-loft buildings that contribute to the NoHo Historic District’s architectural character. But the scale and form of these materials are unmistakably contemporary.
With its location in a historic district on a challenging site directly across from the office’s project at 11 Great Jones Street, 363 Lafayette was subject to many restrictions and expectations. The final design, which was strengthened through conversations with community members and close coordination with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, respects the neighborhood’s past, is mindful of its present residents, and will help usher NoHo into the future.
Oversized windows flood the office spaces with natural light and lend the terra-cotta mullions an almost gossamer quality. This sense of lightness is heightened by the curtain wall’s recessed detailing and strong horizontal spandrels.
Inside, the modern interpretation of the store-and-loft concept continues to be expressed through large flexible floor plans, tall ceilings, and industrial fixtures and finishes.
The lot, which features a sliver that extends through the entire block, presented the unique opportunity to design a signature structure that embodies the history of the neighborhood.