363 Lafayette Street opens like a fan from a prominent corner in the heart of New York’s Noho Historic District. Each successive floor of the new commercial building angles further back from the one below to produce a dynamic form inspired by its unusual wedge-shaped site—a result of the nineteenth-century extension of Lafayette Street. The unique 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.
With frontage on three streets, 363’s distinctive one-story commercial storefront recalls the famous Flatiron Building, as does the building’s prominent use of decorative terracotta. The terracotta curtain wall, along with the metal storefront, and brick piers, echo the massing and materials of the nineteenth-century store-and-loft buildings that contribute to the district’s architectural character. But the scale and form of these materials are unmistakably contemporary. Inside, the modern update of the store-and-loft style continues with large flexible floor plans, tall ceilings, industrial-inspired fixtures and finishes, and oversized windows that flood the office spaces with natural light and give the terracotta mullions an almost gossamer quality. This lightness is heightened by the facade’s recessed detailing and strong horizontal spandrels. The setbacks between each floor are subtle, but the overall effect is bold, producing a sense of movement that is appropriate for bustling Lafayette Street.
Image Credits: Binyan Studios, Jimi Billingsley