ICONIC LIFE spoke with “starchitect” Jeffrey Beers about designing the interiors of this $24 million New York penthouse in the tallest building on Fifth Avenue.
New York City. Those iconic three words carry with them images of sky-scraping buildings, world-renowned architecture and a range of diverse cultures tucked into the nation’s largest city. At the heart of one of NYC’s most memorable streets, Fifth Avenue, proudly stands the tallest building, home to a new penthouse with one of the best views of Manhattan and the sparkling city skyline. New York’s 277 Fifth Avenue building launched its Penthouse 54 in 2019; the open-concept residence, listed for $24 million, is a 4,520-square-foot dream for affluent buyers looking to elevate their title to “CEO of the sky.”
New York’s 277 Fifth Avenue building launched its Penthouse 54 in 2019; the open-concept residence, listed for $24 million, is a 4,520-square-foot dream for affluent buyers looking to elevate their title to “CEO of the sky.”
The tower is located in the NoMad district (short for North of Madison Square Park), and close to the Empire State Building, along with other quintessential architecture of the Beaux Arts and Art Deco styles. It is also conveniently located within walking distance to the bustling shopping and dining development at Hudson Yards, making this the perfect locale for the New York luxurious penthouses to begin their legacy in this ICONIC city.
Welcome to the scene, the award-winning Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly, whose international masterpieces include the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Cleveland Museum of Art and the Tokyo International Forum, to name a few. As the building architect for the project, Viñoly has articulated an exceptional vision that combines both his refined engineering abilities with the visual finesse to erect such a masterful design that ensures the residential properties would be both spacious and commemorative of the New York luxury penthouse views outside.
Take note of the Mediterranean-inspired loggias spiraling downward from the 55th floor—perhaps the crown jewel of the building. The open-air spaces carved into the corners of the residences are an impressive—and beautifully breezy—addition to the sky-high tower, too. Viñoly describes the innovative loggias, which are normally designed closer to the street level of a building, “an interesting typology of open space and terracing that has not been seriously explored before.”
We have covered some of the world’s best penthouses, from Dubai to Paris, but the views offered at this New York Penthouse 54 are perhaps some of the most awe-inspiring. Within the top two four-bedroom penthouse units, there are 75-foot private observation decks that cater to legendary vistas of NYC, including the One World Trade Center standing 1,776 feet above sea level.
Master bedrooms feature gallery-style ceilings punctuated by floor-to-ceiling windows and open corned exposures to bring the overwhelming image of Manhattan into a singular backdrop. Waking up here is like getting breakfast in bed every morning—if breakfast were a buffet of uncompromised views of the Empire State Building.
Perhaps the only thing equally as impressive as the sculpted physique of the tower are the chicly appointed residences outfitted in artful and high-design furnishings for a truly luxurious penthouse design. Walking through the tower takes you right into the creative mind of acclaimed New York “starchitect” Jeffrey Beers, who was the interior architect for the Manhattan penthouse at 277 Fifth Avenue, along with interiors styled by Hadas Dembo of Mise en Scène.
His design studio Jeffrey Beers International is the brilliance behind such recognizable projects as the Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen in Las Vegas and the swanky riverside restaurant,Sequoia, in Washington DC. Beers considers himself a modernist and focuses strongly on infusing his design style with rich and warm materials, specifically for his residential projects.
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“Our goal was to design a residence that was rich, tailored and warm, but that also felt comfortable, inviting and timeless,” gushed Beers. “We took inspiration from the surrounding NoMad neighborhood, Viñoly’s architecture and the views of Manhattan’s iconic skyline, paying close attention to layout, how the public and private spaces flowed throughout the building, as well as meticulously choosing key materials.”
He is referring to the integration of Silver Travertine and Absolute Black Granite from India featured in the New York penthouse lobby and communal spaces, while penthouses are laid with milky-white Bianco Dolomoti marble flooring and walnut-crafted vanities throughout. A streamlined chef’s kitchen, sophisticated bathrooms and marbled walls are examples of the home’s modern regality—done right.
The intelligent space of the Manhattan luxury penthouse is also home to diverse design elements that sets a space rich with story. The décor includes such celebrated names in the industry, like Brazilian designer Joaquim Tenreiro, whose chairs adorn the great room, while other rare items include seats from modernist architect Jose Zanine Caldas, whose sculptural pieces add an organic touch to the lavish interiors.
Whimsy has a place here, too, as seen in the clay-like light fixtures casting a dreamy glow from NYC-based artist Rogan Gregory, who draws inspiration from the elements of nature.
Whimsy has a place here, too, as seen in the clay-like light fixtures casting a dreamy glow from NYC-based artist Rogan Gregory, who draws inspiration from the elements of nature. The influential Los Angeles icon Ed Moses, known for his abstract work, has a large-scale painting hung in the sleek dining room, while a lamp, chair and a table in the great room are the work of Wendell Castle, an American sculptor whose eccentric and curvaceous furniture are some of the most coveted examples of 20th Century design.
Beyond the penthouses, residents of New York’s 277 Fifth Avenue will have access to the building’s luxe amenities, including a wellness and fitness club, training studio, men and women’s spa, kid’s club and a full-time concierge. We especially love the lobby library that mimics the exterior of the building; designed with wooden custom-made, double-height cases filled with a curated selection of art- and design-themed books chosen in partnership with the luxury book publisher Assouline.
Between the iconic façade by Viñoly, inviting interiors done by Beers and the art-centric and open green spaces dotting the NoMad neighborhood, this may be one of our most desired places to call home in the Big Apple.
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ICONIC LIFE spoke with the impassioned New York native and design-savant, Jeffrey Beers, about all things interior design within the New York penthouse tower at 277 Fifth Avenue.
ICONIC LIFE: How does it feel to have your work displayed so prominently in the city you call home?
JEFFREY BEERS: NoMad is one of my favorite neighborhoods in New York. For more than 20 years, Jeffrey Beers International’s studio has been based in Flatiron, a neighborhood adjacent to NoMad, and we are fortunate enough to have direct, clear views of the Empire State Building and 277 Fifth Avenue.
It is easy to be inspired by the area’s historical buildings, plethora of design materials, fashion and wonderful food. It was very important that our design reflect the energy and sensibility of NoMad. The direction of the interior architecture and design was driven by three significant factors: location, exterior architecture, and views.
ICONIC LIFE: How did the exceptional views of New York City inform your design of the Manhattan penthouse?
JEFFREY BEERS: We wanted to create a dialogue with the building’s strong exterior skillfully designed by Rafael Viñoly. For example, we payed homage to the building’s façade through our custom-design of the stone floors, marble bathrooms, and open kitchens. The floor-to-ceiling windows and their incredible views drove our design to be handsome and inviting. Our intention was to design around the views, and therefore the accents, materiality and furnishings are, in essence, a backdrop to New York’s cityscape.
ICONIC LIFE: How was it working with Rafael Viñoly’s iconic building design?
JEFFREY BEERS: We were influenced by the strong architectural language the dark façade portrays. I’ve personally described the building as “handsome” and like a perfectly tailored tuxedo. It was important, therefore, that the interior architecture responded to the strong exterior design; humanizing it to bring a residential quality to the strong lines. Inside and outside relate, they speak to each other, the contrast of color, uptown meeting downtown, East meeting West, Fifth Avenue touching the sky.
ICONIC LIFE: There is a regality seen through the large-scale staircases, shelves, windows and vanities. Tell me about your design choices to go “big in this New York penthouse.
JEFFREY BEERS: A space can be luxurious without being cluttered and gaudy, or too minimalist and too design forward. For me personally, any great space begins with a great layout; how the areas and rooms flow, and play off one another. From there you layer in materiality: stone for flooring and walls, woods for dropped ceilings, bookcases and furnishings, and metal for accents and detailing. Regarding furniture, I personally like a modern Italian look, but, more importantly, it should be comfortable and durable. Finally, nothing is more luxurious than a curated art collection that exudes personality and taste. The end result is a residence that is rich, tailored and warm, but that also feels comfortable, inviting and timeless.
ICONIC LIFE: Did you intend for these New York penthouses to be re-arranged and decorated at the owner’s pleasure?
JEFFREY BEERS: The open-plan of the living room allows for free decorating by the owner, however, the full 54-foot-long north-south span of the living room’s western exposure was deliberate to offer an unobstructed open view of the city’s skyline to the south, west and north. The penthouse’s more private side of the residence was reserved for eastern exposure that would allow for the sunrise to wash the bedrooms in the morning light.
The approach to the layout and design draws residents to gather, entertain, and share experiences. The apartments are designed to be your home, your oasis as a place of comfort, ease and convenience.
ICONIC LIFE: Can you tell us about the highly curated spaces that exemplify a natural fluidity?
JEFFREY BEERS: First and foremost, we took a hospitality approach to the design of the amenities. The approach to the layout and design draws residents to gather, entertain, and share experiences. The apartments are designed to be your home, your oasis as a place of comfort, ease and convenience.
Having grown up and raised my own family here in New York, I know full well the limitations of a one- to two-bedroom New York unit, let alone a penthouse. Therefore, the private dining room, for example, provides additional space, a new environment for entertaining, hosting, or simply as open space to work remotely from.