Whether she’s sipping sangria with Ina Garten in an episode of “The Barefoot Contessa,” or having her name dropped heavily in the 2017 film “Columbus” by the main character who is inspired by her work, visionary architect Deborah Berke also has the distinction of being the first female Dean of the Yale School of Architecture. For more than 30 years, she has pursued education and occupation with stellar results. These days, her plate is even fuller with a new residential project in New York City’s tony Upper East Side.
Deborah Berke Partners designed 40 East End Avenue, a boutique condominium building in the city’s Yorkville section. Stephen Brockman, a partner in the firm, said the overall aesthetic was wholly influenced by its local community. “East End Ave is a unique enclave known for its limestone-clad pre-war buildings of elegant proportions and details and subtle ornamentation. We wanted to pay respect to these iconic buildings but with a 21st-century point of view.”
The choice to use Deborah Berke Partners was driven by the architect’s personal 25-year connection to the area. “Deborah understands the neighborhood as a longtime resident, but challenged the team to design for now,” Brockman explains.
Majestic river and city panoramas characterize the units, Brockman noted. “Views and daylight were very important. Most apartments have two or more exposures, and all have southern exposures with either views of the East River or midtown Manhattan.”
While the views are key, the interiors are equally compelling, Brockman adds. “Our team had fun with the design of the model apartment; it gave us a chance to play! Inhabiting the lives of imaginary clients allowed us to make bold decisions like the dark walls and bold art. It is always important to us to stay true to the rituals of daily life.”
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