Living above it all is one thing, but kicking back in a starchitect-designed penthouse, with interiors by one of the top designers in the biz? That’s a thing of beauty. Bjarke Ingels Group’s condominiums at The XI are making that particular ideal a reality, enlisting French interior designer Pierre Yovanovitch to craft interiors for the property’s nine just-unveiled penthouses.
Located in the heart of West Chelsea, The XI is comprised of two twisting towers—one 36 stories, the other 26. The top-shelf residences are all in the taller building, but owners will still find reason to visit the stouter, east tower, as the first Six Senses spa and hotel in the US will take up the first 10 floors.
Each penthouse offers sweeping, 360-degree views of Manhattan, from the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty. Their interiors, however, make it difficult to justify gazing out for too long. Yovanovitch imbued each of the nine spaces with a materials such as wood, stone, metal and marble to a create a warm, natural aesthetic, one that complements the building’s bronze and travertine façade.
The project’s crown jewel, however, is the 11,300-square-foot penthouse, which takes up a full floor all on its own. Here, the materials and finishes are of an even higher quality: gray marble, Japanese sen millwork and bronze in the kitchen, a soaking tub cut from a single block of marble in the master and an infinity pool adorned with green and gold leaf mosaic tiles opening on to the wraparound terrace.
This is the French designer’s first residential condominium, and the collaboration feels a fit—both Yovanovitch and Ingels have long defied design-world expectation with their own respective brands of whimsy and tilt-a-whirl. But while their creative energies seem a perfect marriage, the XI was not without logistical challenges.
“It became very much a dialogue between the buildings and their surroundings, because it has been zoned with all kinds of requirements vis-à-vis the High Line: minimum distance, maximum façade lengths, those kinds of things,” Ingels told Robb Report of the process. “It was really more like a radical reinvention [of the site] than an actual proposition.”
The result, regardless of its various obstacles, is a building that’s true to Ingels’ form, reminiscent of the Dutch architect’s swirling Grove at Grand Bay residences or his 2016 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. And it’s in good company with other starchitect projects: Zaha Hadid’s 520 West 28th Street and Thomas Heatherwick’s developing Lantern House are just down the High Line.
Pricing for the nine penthouses remains under wraps, but interested parties can get in touch with the XI’s director of sales, Madeline Elghanayan (212-255-7611) for more info. And, should they get snapped up, you can still get a taste of the residences’ design elements at Tribeca gallery R & Company, where Pierre Yovanovitch will launch his furniture exhibition, “Love,” on November 6.