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On Manhattan’s West Side, a collection of newly designed buildings are redefining the western edge of the West Village on the Hudson River, a trend kick started by Richard Meier’s glass and steel towers sitting alongside the West Side Highway. Asymptote Architecture was commissioned to build a new entry into the mix of high-end condominium projects situated on low-key residential streets among mid-twentieth-century building stock. Asymptote’s project at 166 Perry Street adjoins the first of Meier’s three towers and is simultaneously an antidotal design and a formal and tectonic play off of Meier’s buildings.

The West Village, predominately a finer grain collection of brickwork, is currently in a state of dramatic change. Here, at this quickly changing edge condition, there was a need to develop an architecture of texture, luminosity, intimacy and elegance while affording a corollary to both the high modernist ideas and historically pertinent approaches extant in the neighborhood. Asymptote’s design for 166 Perry Street aspires to those four essential criteria while merging the fast-moving context constituted from automobiles, cyclists and riverfront recreation to the
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west, with the much slower, residential neighborhoods to the east.

Asymptote’s design approach primarily emerged from a search for an apropos musical assembly of glass and geometry whereby a play of reflections, atmosphere and surface produce an envelope of effects that weld the disparities of brick, ornament and stoops with glass, smoothness and constant plays of surface and space. This resulted in another definition of elegance, possibly transcending that of the high modernist traditions and minimalist aspirations expressed in the adjacent towers and the quaintness and scale of domesticity in which 166 Perry Street is situated.
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