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Apartment Buildings Are Only Going to Get Taller from Here

Renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern says his international clients prefer being on higher floors.

(Bloomberg)—As long as buyers want taller and taller skyscrapers, Robert A.M. Stern, architect and founding partner for Robert A.M. Stern Architects, will build them.

“I listen to my clients,” Stern said. “But personally, I wouldn’t want to live on the 91st floor and spend my time looking at clouds.”

The architect spoke with Arthur W. Zeckendorf, co-chairman of Zeckendorf Development, in a talk moderated by Bloomberg arts and real estate columnist James Tarmy, as part of the second annual The Year Ahead: Luxury summit on Thursday, Nov. 21. Hosted by the lifestyle group Bloomberg Pursuits, the conference was held at the company’s headquarters in Manhattan. Speakers included Tiffany Chief Executive Officer Alessandro Bogliolo, pastry chef Christina Tosi, and Rent the Runway’s Jenn Hyman, as well as executives from Porsche, Virtuoso, and Marriott.

Stern, the mastermind behind iconic New York towers such as 520 Park Avenue and 220 Central Park South, explained that his domestic customers prefer the lower floors of the buildings, but the international ones want to be higher up.

He also noted that the location matters: “There’s something about being intimate with the trees and watching the seasons change that is an incomparable experience.”

Stern and Zeckendorf talked about the features that their clients are now requesting, such as apartments that take up an entire floor, huge kitchens, and expansive balconies.

They’re also seeing customers become more conscious about sustainability.

“People feel better about themselves if they are moving into a building that is environmentally sensitive, and the ante is going up all the time,” Stern said.

To contact the author of this story: Claire Ballentine in New York at [email protected].

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Gaddy at [email protected]

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

TAGS: Development
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