Star designer Bjarke Ingels closes on $2.1M Brooklyn penthouse

2022-06-15 10:48:27 By : Ms. Vera Ye

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Starchitect Bjarke Ingels has just found his next passion project.

The Danish-born architect — known in New York for Via 57W in Manhattan, the XI in Chelsea and Hudson Yards office tower known as the Spiral — has bought a raw penthouse space at the historic St. George Tower at 111 Hicks St. in Brooklyn Heights for $2.16 million, according to property records.

The landmarked Art Deco building was designed by Emery Roth in the 1920s and served as an addition to the 19th-century St. George Hotel. The raw penthouse space has been on and off the market for almost as long — since $2.49 million in 2010, according to StreetEasy.

The building’s exterior, recently restored, features gargoyles and grotesques of eagles and brickwork of birds along with St. George and the dragon-themed  “eagle and sword” motifs. The building boasts a common roof deck with protected views of the city skyline, New York City harbor and Brooklyn.

Ingels has had his eye on this penthouse for years. Back in 2019, he appeared before the Landmarks Preservation Commission with plans for a rooftop addition to the 29th and 30th floors of the building. The plans included the creation of a fake water tower to hold a new elevator shaft, raising the roof deck and adding a pool. 

“I have a massive self-interest because I hope to make it my home,” he told the commission, Brownstoner reported. It may have taken three years, but now it looks like the famed designer is getting his way.

Ingels — who heads BIG, the Bjarke Ingels Group,  is known for taking on creative challenges. The home he shares in Copenhagen with his wife, Spanish architect Rut Otero, and their young son Darwin, is a converted Norwegian ferry ship, originally named Bukken-Bruse, or “Billy Goats Gruff,” and is featured on the cover of Architectural Digest. 

Maybe the boat was research. Ingels is a believer in “floating housing,” which he calls  “the most resilient architecture.” One of his concepts, Oceanix City, is a proposal to create sustainable, modular homes for 10,000 people at sea.

In the meantime, Ingels’ New York homes are firmly in buildings on the ground — and in the sky. He now owns two Brooklyn penthouses.

His second one, in Dumbo, is at 205 Water St. That penthouse duplex has been on and off the market for years and was last asking $3.89 million. It features three bedrooms, 2½ baths and river, bridge and city views — along with four private terraces over more than 2,344 square feet of outdoor space.

There’s also a private access elevator that opens directly into the home featuring wide-plank floors, concrete walls, open steel stairs and 20-foot-high ceilings. There’s also two-story metal and glass window walls surrounding the living and dining areas that open to the private terraces, along with an open chef’s kitchen.

The main bedroom comes with its own ensuite spa-like bathroom, private terrace and office area. The building itself features a gym, media lounge, bike storage, cold storage, a concierge and a courtyard. 

There are lots of challenges that require a very talented architect,” one broker said, adding that access to the penthouse was originally only available through a “long staircase.”

Kevin Brown, of Sotheby’s, who listed it in 2010, said: “While the space had challenges, it also offered more upside than any space I have ever seen in my 32-plus years in selling real estate. The views are breathtaking and the ceiling heights makes one feel like they are touching the heavens.”