On a decorative bookcase stacked with varied shades of mauve and white, a bronzed Jordan Melo M10 sneaker, previously worn and signed by the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, is displayed. A Spalding basketball, also polished in bronze, is retired on a nearby shelf as an embellished memento among the privileged residents of Sky, New York City’s largest residential development.
The 71-story residence at 605 W. 42nd St. is the largest by 1,175 apartment units. Though that sense of enormity fades when entering the intimate lobby, which resembles an elegant home parlor, warmed by fireplaces at each end.
“That was one of the design challenges. How do you make the biggest apartment building in New York City not feel like that?” says Mitchell Moinian, principal for The Moinian Group, the development firm for the project. “We don’t want you to feel that when you arrive. We want you to feel warmth; we want you to feel like you’re home.” That is, a modernized, sophisticated home adorned with elaborate refinements for Manhattan’s cosmopolitan elite.
At the forefront of the building, an infinity loop motor court circles an enormous ornamental bronze pumpkin, dotted in black stone––an original work of art by illustrious Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama that was commissioned for Sky. Through the revolving doors, a frayed, glass chandelier, sourced from Eastern Europe, hangs in the foyer. The walls are draped in a seamless bronze trim, patterned as if extravagant curtains.
David Rockwell designed the entirety of Sky’s interior, with the lobby as its centerpiece. Every surface, every décor piece, and even each individual light fixture was thoughtfully integrated to embellish every room throughout the building.
Warm, natural color schemes illuminate each residence, which are finished in varied hues of light and dark materials, such as wooden floors and walls throughout, quartz countertops in the kitchens, and porcelain-tiled bathrooms. Exceptional views of the city skyline and Hudson River are seen looking out from full-height windows and select in-unit balconies. Eighty-three of Sky’s 1,175 apartments make up the luxurious Vue Penthouse Collection, spanning the top five floors. Entered through intricately designed corridors, these lavish penthouses––offered for a rental price of up to $25,000 per month––are upgraded with the finest details and exclusive conveniences, including a concierge service and private mailroom.
Of its luxury accessibilities, the residences’ buzziest, most-prized amenity is Life Time Athletic at Sky. New York City’s first Life Time Fitness location, a membership-only health club that is also available to non-residents, is comprised of three floors of all-encompassing health amenities and services in a remarkable space affixed within Sky. The brand is recognized as one of the country’s most premier health facilities for its comprehensive and personalized wellness program.
“Rockwell designed the club, but Life Time really did the planning in the expert way that they know how to do, with the Rockwell touch,” Moinian says. The 70,000-square-foot space consists of seemingly unlimited amenities, including, among them, four separate spin, yoga, Pilates, and group exercise studios; a strength-training area with top-quality equipment and plenty of cardio space; a Water Club with a steam room, a hot tub, a Turkish-inspired hammam, a cold plunge pool, and an indoor lap pool; two zero-edge outdoor pools; a full-service beauty spa with a nail salon, a dry bar, and treatment rooms; and a full-service Life Café lounge with indoor and outdoor dining and a billiards room.
On the ground floor of Life Time Athletic at Sky, a professional-sized basketball court, branded with an “M” for Carmelo “Melo” Anthony––as well as the Knicks player’s signed, bronzed memorabilia in the lobby––was a collaboration by Anthony and Rockwell.
“He [Anthony] was keeping everything in line to give it a professional, athletic grade, while Rockwell gave it a professional, renowned design,” Moinian says.
Though the rims are not painted gold, luxury components were not overlooked in the court’s design. Thoughtful details, like residential-style wooden floor patterns, were integrated with professional-grade functionality in its exceptional design enhanced with Anthony’s emblem throughout.“When you look at it from up top [from the viewing platform], it doesn’t look like your ordinary basketball court,” Anthony suggests. “It looks like something luxury. That was the feel we were going for.” Gold rims were, in fact, a suggestion by Rockwell, but Anthony thought that wouldn’t be appropriate for the functionality of the court. “Players want to feel like it’s an extension of where they practice on a normal basis,” he explains. “I didn’t want to put gold rims, or people would be afraid to shoot.”
Along with teammates Kristaps Porziņģis and Sasha Vujačić, who are residents of the building, Anthony, who lives five minutes away from Sky, plays on the court daily. He is in conversation with The Moinian Group about eventually offering a basketball program that would be hosted at Life Time.
Just above the steps that lead down to the court is another pumpkin-inspired, abstract work of art by Kusama. “We love art as a family and as a company,” says Moinian. “We program it into almost every project. But for here, part of the lifestyle that we created is a complete home which is filled with an art collection of this level.” Next door to its lobby, Sky will host a public arts center as a collaboration with renowned contemporary art collectors and cofounders of London’s Dairy Art Centre, Nicolai Frahm and Michael Frahm. The Rockwell-designed space, planned to open in February, will host select art shows exhibiting some of New York City’s most noteworthy artwork by celebrated artists.
In the “Art Library” of the lobby, where Anthony’s bronzed contributions are displayed, Kusama’s twin Infinity Nets paintings hang above the fireplace at each end as additional pieces of aesthetic elegance. “The crowd here is very energetic, ambitious, cool, sophisticated, stylish, cosmopolitan,” Moinian says. “That’s the population that really makes sense because that’s the design and activation that we brought into this place.”
Images courtesy of Sky / Scott McDermott
This story is featured as the cover in the Winter 2016/Spring 2017 issue of Haute Residence magazine.