East 65th Street Lobbies

East 65th Street Lobbies


This former commercial bakery, a through-lot midblock building, was completely changed when it was converted into back-to-back apartment buildings in the 1970s. The lobbies, tied together across a narrow glazed bridge, are at different levels and alignments, so there is little sense of continuity or connection between the halves. Low, dark, and narrow, the lobbies were in sore need of an update.

 

The new lobbies seek to emphasize and celebrate both the connections between the buildings and their differences. The north-south slope is recognized by a bluestone wall base that stays level across the two growing taller as the floor changes. A rhythm of stripes, expressed in the floor, walls, and ceilings, syncopates your movement through the long, narrow lobbies. A single line of light also ties the two spaces together through the glazed bridge, whose mullions echo the rhythmic stripes. As the spaces widen into the main lobby areas at both ends, the geometric regularity is counterposed with curving, shaped, high ceilings, recalling the arched exterior and curving fire balconies that distinguish the exterior.

 

Materials play a big role: from the exteriors to the interiors, industrial textures are balanced with refined ones, restrained and lush together. The outdoor entries feature sculptural gold-colored bronze mosaic tiles; floors and walls are faux-limestone porcelain. Bluestone, a rough exterior paving material, is brought indoors. LED lighting controls energy use while making the lobbies bright and inviting.

Photography by: Matt Simpkins photography