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9fi5th
05/01/2016
Out of the Bluestone

DDG shows us their latest intricate work of art made out of the Bluestone fresh from Hancock, New York. […]

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DDG shows us their latest intricate work of art made out of the Bluestone fresh from Hancock, New York.

We stood in front of the currently under-construction 12 Warren Street Residences, and it absolutely blew us away! The 12-story bluestone façade is imbued with the unpredictable beauty of nature. In contrast to much of the architectural landscape of New York, the asymmetrical stacked blue-hued brick beckons the eye to inspect closer. The effort might suggest materials from an exotic foreign land, painstakingly hauled from across many plains, and finally placed between two practiced locals.

While the stone may not come from a faraway land, the exterior did take a lot of effort to complete. “It’s all hand cut. No two pieces are the same,” said Joseph A. McMillan, Jr., CEO and Chairman of DDG. These unique pieces to which he’s referring were all cut out of Tomkins Bluestone Quarry in Hancock, New York, assembled on the ground in a paint-by-numbers-type scheme, and transported to the site where they were artfully reassembled.

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“This has never been done in our city,” said McMillan confidently. DDG is not interested in repeating themselves or anything else that has been erected before. It’s wonderful then, that this uniquely designed structure has bloomed out of the desire to create something new and ambitious.

We’ve seen this ambition from DDG before. Be it at 180 East 88th Street, which looks pleasantly non-indigenous when compared to its habitat, or XOCO 325, which has an eternal shell resembling a very orderly mesh of glass placed behind a skeletal frame, DDG continues to revolutionize the New York scene.

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Speaking of XOCO 325, we learned that the repurposed building once functioned as a chocolate factory, hence the Catalan “xoco” for chocolate. The name is pronounced the way the French pronounce “choco,” which is with a “sh” sound at the beginning. McMillan shared that, “if you go to the building, you’ll actually get a chocolate bar.” We were tempted to test this claim, if only because we’d enjoy visualizing ourselves cooking up a storm on one of the unique rounded kitchen islands the condos boast.

If XOCO 325 would greet you with a chocolate bar, we imagine 12 Warren to perhaps offer us the chance to build our own little bluestone sculpture of which we could take a polaroid to bring home. The idea is not too far off from the actual art you’ll find in the property. Coming from the mind of Jacqueline Hassink are a series of photographs inspired by the quarry and its natural surroundings. The art tells a story, giving would-be residents the notion of being a part of something more than just a building. Photographs show the innate beauty that both inspired and became a part of the 13-unit building.

But there’s more to 12 Warren than bluestone. To find lumber for the flooring, DDG traveled to a forest in Austria that is managed by monks. “We find it incredibly beautiful,” McMillan said of the oak, “and besides the wonderful color, it’s completely sustainable.” We might not have found any photos of the Austrian town, but that did not stop us from conjuring images of men in long robes carefully planting saplings in tall, green woods. While the portrait itself is alluring, the white oak also comes highly regarded by the current market.

Besides Austria, DDG favors Italy for its top-quality glass. The condominiums then benefit not only from a dual heating system, but also from great insulation. The windows are framed with a metal finish on the outside, and a wood finish on the inside to involve a feeling of warmth.

So, who is going to be looking to call 12 Warren their home? Considering the homes on offer will have three to four bedrooms, it’s safe to assume that buyers will be those who appreciate having a lot of space. “It’s rare that you find new construction that can offer a full floor,” McMillan reminded. And for the price of $3.3 million, you too could find yourself in the TriBeCa domicile.

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While always shooting to provide something that doesn’t already exist, like the unrivaled 28’-8” duplex ceilings at 180 East 88th Street, it’s not to say there aren’t some common threads among the works of DDG. In addition to accentuated design and a focus on sustainability, there’s a consistent emphasis on art. “If you combine art with real estate, it becomes very experiential.” We’d have to agree.

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