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Columbia University Digital Knowledge Ventures The Architecture and Development of New York City with Andrew S. Dolkart
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The issue of whether or not architecture could sell a building has been something that has been debated for hundreds of years. And in the 1990s and in the early years of the twenty-first century, many developers have come to the realization that in a competitive market architecture does give you a leg up. And in a number of cases prestigious architects have been hired now to design buildings. Michael Graves, Richard Meier, and Robert A. M. Stern have been commissioned to design very prominent luxury apartment houses. And it is hoped that they'll give something of their personal architectural style to the building.

This is the Impala on the Upper East Side, designed by Michael Graves, and finished in about the year 2000. The building has a name because by the late twentieth century even Upper East Side buildings were being given names. An address, especially if you were on Second Avenue or Third Avenue, just wasn't good enough anymore. An address was great if you were on Fifth Avenue or Park Avenue, but Second and Third avenues didn't have quite the same meaning. So here you have the Impala, one of New York's newest apartment buildings, and it was advertised with pictures of its architect. So it's not only selling his architecture, it's selling the architect as well.

And a pair of New York apartment houses designed by one of the great modern architects, Richard Meier, is rising in Greenwich Village. And it, too, is being sold as "You, too, can live in a masterpiece by Richard Meier."

And the great French architect Jean Nouvelle has designed a huge, very avant-garde apartment house for the Gansevoort Market area south of Fourteenth Street. Also very, very controversial. I suspect it will not be built. But now some of the most prestigious architects in the world are being asked to design apartment houses.

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