In the early 1900s, masterful architects like Rosario Candela and J.E.R. Carpenter built grand, 20-room apartments to lure New York City elites out of their ground-level mansions and townhomes up into the sky.
Carpenter is most well known for creating the “off the foyer” layout where the entrance hall or gallery became the central point of the apartment. Foyers were considered the fourth room, along with the living room, dining room and library. Their function was clear: to act as a circulation hub where one greets and sees off their guests.
Allison Chiaramonte, a broker with Warburg Realty, says, “A few years ago, people referred to foyers as wasted space. With my clients now, I am seeing a resurgence of people wanting that entry foyer. I think it’s a really important room for the house. It sets the tone, like an amuse bouche at a restaurant.”
Foyers, as separate spaces with discrete functions, are back. They are becoming more popular in new developments and they are quite sumptuous. The elegance and romance of making a good first impression is clearly something everyone loves.
At the new, midtown landmark tower by Foster + Partners and developer Aby Rosen, this condominium’s limited-edition collection of Downtown-style skyscraper lofts located in the base of the building have each been outfitted with grand entry foyers. The surprisingly massive spaces create a major transition from the building’s chic marble and metal lobby into a warm, silent modernist space clad in wood and concrete.
At this Upper East Side condominium tower by DDG, known for its innovative design aesthetic, all of the homes’ stately residences feature entry galleries designed to provide pause and privacy. These spaces have elegant herringbone flooring from Austria, plaster cove details and wainscoting, and provide the perfect connection from the exterior’s pre-war architectural inspiration to the contemporary residences.
Robert A.M. Stern is the master of traditional floor plans which are almost always anchored on foyers. The RAMSA designed 20 East End’s grand penthouse has a private elevator that opens on to the foyer which flows to the gallery, with sweeping views of the East River, and on to the dining room or living room depending on which way you turn. The foyer makes a clear statement that you have arrived at a place of importance and promises an experience that will not disappoint.
The supertall pioneer of Billionaire’s Row, One57, features a portfolio of Signature Collection residences which showcase a stately entry gallery offering both a sense of arrival as well as a carved space for residents to display their works of art and set the tone for the rest of the home. The “B” and “C” line within the development feature a perfectly square gallery space whereas the “A” line offers residents a rectangular-shaped gallery room to maximize available wall space for art.
Across the bridge in Brooklyn, new luxury condominium Quay Tower, the first building in the borough to offer private elevator access, has exclusively designed exquisite private foyers for each of the west-facing homes that enjoy this private elevator access. AD100 California-based firm Marmol Radziner has custom designed exquisite private foyers for each of the homes that enjoy this private elevator access, creating an immense sense of privacy. Rather than step right off the elevator immediately into a living space, residents ease into their home through graceful foyers with beautiful finishes and custom cabinetry (for coats, shoes, etc.).
And finally, a bit farther south, 3550 South Ocean is DDG’s first Florida project, a new oceanfront residential development, located in Palm Beach. Every single residence in the building has a spacious entry foyer. DDG opted to utilize valuable square footage to create these welcome spaces and make a major statement of opulence and welcome from the moment you walk through the door.