Crowning Achievement for CetraRuddy

Real Estate WeeklyOctober 25, 2012
CetraRuddy is working on the conversion of Walker Tower at 212 West 18th Street in New York City.

The architect is repositioning the 1929 Art Deco treasure originally designed for commercial purposes by the American architect Ralph Walker into a high-end luxury condominium scheduled for completion early next year.

CetraRuddy’s approach to the exterior included the restoration of the original structure as well as the integration of new fabric at several levels.

“Our challenge for the conversion of Walker Tower was to reflect the history and bones of this exquisite pre-war building while creating intelligent living spaces that appeal to contemporary home buyers,” said John Cetra, founding principal of CetraRuddy. “In addition to creating smart floor plans, we sought to maximize daylight and views, creating a new Art Deco character.”

For new masonry elements, CetraRuddy implemented a four-color blend of bricks to simulate the original palette. The bricks were made in custom shapes to create formal geometries similar to those found in the original building.

Additionally, CetraRuddy added windows that span between piers and enlarged all existing openings to create floor-to-ceiling windows.
Intricately faceted multi-story stainless steel pilasters, tinted in a bronze color, are set between window openings and existing masonry piers at various setback levels.

Spandrel panels were custom fabricated out of built-up aluminum sections and finished to emulate the nickel silver detailing found in the building’s entrance.

The integration of these elements required that the design team create a level of detail not seen in new construction in New York in over 70 years.

Walker’s original design concept included an ornamental crown that was never built. In tribute to Walker’s vision, CetraRuddy designed a crown, using a two-toned metal palette to emulate the original statuary bronze and nickel silver, Art Deco motifs found at the building’s entrance and lobby.

Walker Tower is a development of JDS Development Group in partnership with Property Markets Group.

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