The Modern List Manhattan
September 20, 2008, 12:42 pm
Filed under: Architecture, The Modern List, The Modern List Manhattan, Travel, Urban Architecture

BUILD just returned from New York City where we field tested the new and improved Modern List Manhattan.  The database of all things modern is iPhone friendly now and each entry links directly to Google Maps – eliminating the need for physical maps.  Supplement the Modern List with a credit-card size subway map (found at Barnes & Noble) and you’ve got everything you need for urban adventure.  We’ve got a few tweaks to make here and there (like adding a digital subway map) but overall it’s a great way to see a lot of city with a minimum amount of travel ‘stuff’.  There are tons of new entries for you modernists out there (if you can put up with our crappy photos), and many more on The Modern List:

The soon to be completed Standard Hotel at 848 Washington St (& 13th) spans the Highline Viaduct (also soon to be completed).  We’re betting that this is going to be one hot place to stay in town.  With very few other tall buildings around, the view will be incredible and it sits perched atop the Meatpacking district.

C.B. 4 at 11th Ave & 24th St boasts vehicle elevators and private parking stalls adjacent to condo units.

The 47 Story building at 20 E 23rd St appealed to our simple, boxy aesthetics.

Chelsea Arts Tower at 545 West 25th St

The building at Stanton & Allen caught our attention for it’s use of glass and rainscreens.  Anybody got the scoop on this one?

A couple of HUGE towers going up on the upper west side.

Building at 9th and W 54th

Check out Bread Tribeca, 301 Church St & Walker, 212 334 0200

Coffee Shops

Roots & Vine Café, 409 Grand St, 212.260.2363

Matsugen at 214 Church St is the old 66 by Richard Meier, 212.925.0202.  Despite the change of restaurant the interiors were kept to the original clean, simple lines.

[photo by Daniel Krieger]

Rayuela at 165 Allen St, 212.253.8840 is all about the tree.

[photo courtesy of Rayuela]

WD-50, 50 Clinton St, 212.477.2900

[photo courtesy of WD-50]

Also check out:
Hearth, 403 E 12th St (at 1st Ave), 646.602.1300
Thai Terminal at 349 E 12th St, 212.614.0155 is the old United Noodles space
Blue Ribbon, 308 W 58th St

Solex, 103 1st Ave (at 7th), 212.777.6677

[photo by Noah Sheldon]

Butter at 415 Lafayette (btwn 4th & Astor, 212.253.2828) has been around for a while but seems to have a renewed coolness on weeknights.

[photos courtesy of Butter]

Also check out:
Budda Bar, 25 Little West 12th St, 212.647.7314
Bar Veloce, 175 Second Avenue on 11th,  212.260.3200

Museums | Galleries
MOMA’s Fabricating the Modern Dwelling show.  More on this disturbing exhibit later…

International Center for Photography, 1114 Ave of the Americas (at 43rd), 212.857.0001.  The space is a clever modern solution -fitting an entire school into a courtyard and making it look hot.

The Storefront for Art & Architecture at 97 Kenmare Street (212.431.5795) is getting a needed face lift.  Looking forward to the reopening.

Retail Spaces
Jil Sander, 30 Howard St (at Crosby St), 212.925.2345.  Part fashion part museum this one is a must see for the minimalist fans out there.

Also check out:
CB2, 30 Mercer (Soho) 451 broadway 212.219.1454

Let us know what me missed…


The Modern List Give-Away
April 21, 2008, 9:02 am
Filed under: The Modern List, The Modern List Manhattan

The glacial freeze has finally thawed on the east coast which means that it’s time for us to head to Manhattan. Prior to each trip we get The Modern List guide tuned-up for optimal performance. With the latest edition we said goodbye to some old friends like Double Happiness (we miss you already) but say hello to some new ones like Momofuku Ssam Bar. Our little 32 page guide to all things modern is, once again, ready to be dragged from the Cooper Hewitt to The Storefront for Architecture, ready to be soaked in Vodka at Pravda and marinated in Gin at Morgans, ready to be stuffed in pockets, flaunted to strangers, and forgotten on the A train. With the latest edition we’re having a few extras printed for our friends who have actually made it this far through the blog. For the first ten people to post a comment we’ll send you (or the individual of your choice) a brand new Modern List Manhattan 5th edition, hot off the press and free of charge. This hot little baby is a limited edition <translation: it’s a total pain in the ass to generate and we rarely print them out> so get one while you can. They’re just sitting here on my desk like a steaming little stack of pancakes so post an email address or some other way to contact you and we’ll coordinate the mailing address you’d like your copy to go to.

If you miss out on the give-away you can always download the PDF files and make your own, click here and select “physical copies”.

…and the results are in. The map below indicates the home towns of our 10 winners. Nicely done Salt Lake City, way to represent.  9 of the 10 TML Manhattan books are in the mail, with one winner missing in action. – where are ya?

Updates to the Modern List Manhattan

map nyc

Although we haven’t spent much time in Manhattan lately (and won’t until the heat gets turned back on) there is quite a bit of work to catch up on in the big city. We were sorry to see a couple of great modern spaces close shop (Restaurant 66, Jewel Bako Makimono, Ini Ani Coffee Shop) but a whole new crop of rocket-hot, modern interiors and exteriors have emerged. Here’s a quick primer, look for updates to The Modern List Manhattan in the near future.

Momofuku Ssäm Bar: East Village
207 Second Ave at 13th St East Village, 212.777.7773
Design-Build by Design & Construction Resources (Tsuruta & Phuah)

Momofuku & Ssam, New York

Momofuku & Ssam, New York photo by Jeremy Lieberman
Photo by Jeremy Liebman

Momofuku & Ssam, New York photo by Donna Alberico
Photo by Donna Alberico

Soto, 357 6th Ave (at Washington Pl), 212-414-3088
Design-Build by Design & Construction Resources (Tsuruta & Phuah)

Soto, New York photo by Noah Kalina
Photo by Noah Kalina

Adour: Midtown East (St. Regis Hotel) 2 E 55th Str, 212.710.2277
Design by the Rockwell Group

Adour, New York photo by Bruce Buck
Photo by Bruce Buck

Bar Blanc: West Village, 142 W 10th Str, 212.255.2330

Bar Blanc, New York photo by Noah Kalina
Photo by Noah Kalina

Rayuela: Lower East Side, 165 Allen Str, 212-253-8840

Rayuela, New York photo by Noah Kalina
Photo by Noah Kalina

Insieme: Midtown, 777 7th Ave, 212.582.1310

Insieme, New York photo by Noah Kalina
Photo by Noah Kalina

The Rose Bar: (Gramercy Park Hotel)

2 Lexington Ave (at 21st), 212.920.3300

The Rose Bar, New York

ilili restaurant: 236 5th Ave (btwn 27th & 28th), 212.683.2929

New Museum of Contemporary Art: 235 Bowery, 212.219.1222
Design by Sejima + Nishizawa / SANAA

NYU School of Medicine: 550 1st Ave
Design by Perkins Eastman

Porsche Design Shop: Midtown, East 624 Madison Ave (between 58th St & 59th St)

3 Extraordinary Museums

Today’s entry presents three museums which are extraordinary examples of built-form and civic function. Each is a careful, intentional addition to a city or landscape, authored by master architects and designers. These projects are a bit out of the way and take extra effort to visit. The design of each focuses on the sequence of spaces and the experience of the individual navigating through the architecture & landscape. Each presents a strong and intentional relationship between inside and outside. Light and framed views are also essential to the understanding of each project.

The quality of each of these three museums is one of dimension and experience; subsequently it is difficult to capture the feel of each place through photographs.

Louisiana, Denmark
Gl. Strandvej 13, Humlebæk Tel: 4919.0719

45 minutes by train from downtown Copenhagen





The original museum was completed in 1958 by architects Jørgen Bo and Vilhelm Wohlert – an addition to the original villa on the property since 1856. Since then the museum and grounds have evolved with several conscientious and delicate additions. The sequence of spaces carefully meanders through the landscape, weaving around specific trees and ponds, intentionally guiding the visitor and framing views. The experience is tranquil.


“[The architects] wanted to increase the possibilities of enjoying the scenery, so they wandered round for months before starting to draw. They got to know the terrain literally through the soles of their feet, deciding which trees simply must be kept and studying the way the sunlight gradually moved from hour to hour.” – Louisiana



Louisiana map


The Noguchi Museum, New York
9-01 33rd Road (at Vernon Boulevard), Queens Tel: 718-204-7088
15 minutes by subway from Manhattan

Noguchi Museum

This discreet museum presents itself as a walled-off refuge in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens. Created by Isamu Noguchi the museum opened in 1985 and presents a comprehensive collection of the artist’s works in stone, metal, wood, clay, and light sculpture. The numerous galleries wind through a converted factory building allowing passage to and through contained outdoor courtyards. The monastic, raw lower floor contrasts nicely with the warm airy galleries on the upper floor. Weather is significant to the project, and natural daylight washes over the austere walls highlighting the sculptures.

Noguchi Museum


Noguchi Museum

“Although the renovated Museum has a fresh look, great care has been taken to maintain the original character of the building, which was integral to Noguchi’s vision for the Museum. The raw industrial space of the former photo-engraving plant serves as a superb backdrop for the artist’s sculpture.” – Noguchi Museum

Noguchi Museum

The Noguchi Museum, along with many more recommendations can be found on the Modern List Manhattan.


Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey (MARCO), Mexico
Zuazua y Jardón S/N, Centro, Monterrey Tel: 52 (81) 8262.45OO
The museum, by architect Ricardo Legorreta, provides as an urban oasis in addition to being a centerpiece of downtown Monterrey. The sense of volume and carved openings is momentous inside and out. A series of smaller galleries encircle the expansive central interior patio which slices and filters Monterrey’s piercing sunlight. With great architectural discipline, the central patio lends much of its floor area to a shallow pool of cool water. This shaping of the sunlight upon the simple textured volumes joined with the “water mirror” compels a visitor to stop and do nothing but drink coffee and sketch all afternoon.


Artwork is showcased by a careful, balanced arrangement of natural and artificial light, so that a visit to this museum is nothing like touring a laboratory that contains works of art, but a visit to a series of architectural spaces and elements that are, in themselves, works of art.” -MARCO


Hot Furnishing Showrooms around the world

Showrooms header

Occasionally in our travels we come across items that simply shouldn’t be missed out there. They are almost destination points in and of themselves. Today’s entry focuses on 4 furniture/home furnishing showrooms around the world. Each is incredible and designer types will be nicely rewarded for seeking them out. For additional recommendations on where to stay, eat and drink near the showrooms refer to TheModernList.

DK- Kalkbrænderiløbskaj 2, 2100
, Copenhagen 39 16 65 65
Designed by Jørn Utzon with his sons Kim Utzon and Jan Utzon. It’s out of the way (in the industrial harbor) and can be difficult to get to – but that filters out the tourists.

Paustian 01

Paustian 02

76 9th Ave Floor 11
, Manhattan 212 343-4000
A check-in at the main floor lobby is required prior to entry.

Knoll 01

Knoll 02

knoll 06

The Distillery District, 55 Mill Street Building 47A, Toronto 416.861.1821
3,200 square feet of retail. There are many additional design oriented shops in the vicinity. Check out our Toronto list for more recommendations.


50 Water Street, Vancouver BC 604.682.3868
23,000 square feet of retail, don’t miss the rooftop outdoor furniture display. Additional design shops in the area can be found on a previous post.

Inform Interiors Inc.



Sculpture Parks 01

Now that Seattle is in the sculpture park game we’re paying more attention to world class sculpture parks. We’ve put together a roster of 5 modern sculpture parks not to be missed in the United States. While there are many extraordinary sculpture “hardscapes” in North America such as the Pulitzer Foundation by Tadao Ando we are defining Sculpture Parks by a simple method: in addition to being outdoors and modern, it’s gotta have grass. We’re sure there are more out there; let us know what we missed.

Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle
2901 Western Avenue Seattle, WA 98121 206.654.3100
Admission is free

Olympic Sculpture Park 04

Olympic Sculpture Park 02

The site transforms a nine-acre industrial site into open and vibrant green space for art. This new waterfront park gives Seattle residents and visitors the opportunity to experience a variety of sculpture in an outdoor setting, while enjoying the incredible views and beauty of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound.

The Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens, New York
PepsiCo campus 700 Anderson Hill Road Purchase, NY 10577 914.253.2000
Admission is free


Monumental works, including pieces by Alexander Calder, George Segal, Isamu Noguchi, Claes Oldenburg, Louise Nevelson, Jean Dubuffet, and David Smith. 20th-century sculptures set within 168 landscaped acres surrounding the world headquarters of PepsiCo

Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden, Lost Angeles
UCLA campus 10899 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90024 310.443.7000
$5 Admission

The park occupies 5 acres in UCLA’s North Campus. The Sculpture Garden features over seventy sculptures by artists such as Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Claire Falkenstein, Barbara Hepworth, Gaston Lachaise, Jacques Lipchitz, Henri Matisse, Henry Moore, Isamu Noguchi, Auguste Rodin, David Smith and Francisco Zuñiga.

Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis
12580 Rott Rd Sunset Hills, MO
Admission is free

Laumeier 03

Laumeier 01

The park expands the context of contemporary sculpture beyond the traditional confines of a museum. It is Laumeier’s mission to initiate a lifelong process of cultural awareness, enrich lives and encourage creative thinking by actively engaging people in experiences of sculpture and nature simultaneously.

Walter De Maria Lighting Field, New Mexico
Southwestern New Mexico
Reservations required + Admission fee, see website

Lighting Field 01


Lightning Field 03
A work of Land Art situated in a remote area of the high desert of southwestern New Mexico. It is comprised of 400 polished stainless steel poles installed in a grid array measuring one mile by one kilometer. The poles—two inches in diameter and averaging 20 feet and 7½ inches in height—are spaced 220 feet apart and have solid pointed tips that define a horizontal plane. A sculpture to be walked in as well as viewed, The Lightning Field is intended to be experienced over an extended period of time, and visitors are encouraged to spend as much time as possible in it alone, especially during sunset and sunrise. In order to provide this opportunity, Dia offers overnight visits during the months of May through October.

Archeology & Architecture: The Work of Avro|KO
October 17, 2007, 11:43 am
Filed under: Architecture, The Modern List, The Modern List Manhattan, Urban Architecture

The work of Avro|KO is street-front unassuming, most of their projects in Manhattan are so well integrated with the grit of the city that the untrained eye could walk right past and not even notice the hot modernism going on inside. And intentionally so, any of us involved in design know that situating the new within a rich, preexisting context takes a tremendous amount of discipline and work. It isn’t until you catch a glimpse of the dimly lit antiquity inside that your curiosity is stirred. It may be a librarian’s card catalog assimilated within a sophisticated lounge, a glossy porcelain cow bust mounted to the wall, or a weathered brick backdrop displayed as if recently recovered from an archaeological dig. Despite the masterful salvage and reuse of objects from different cultural times, the work of Avro|KO is design-forward. The careful adjacencies of modernism and archeology cause an architectural experience that is indulgent and yet perfectly sensible. You can find the restaurants of Avro|KO on TheModernList Manhattan.

European Union 235 E 4th Str 212.254.2900

European Union 03

European Union 02

European Union 01

European Union 05

Public 210 Elizabeth Str 212.343.7011

Public 01

Public 02

Public 03

Public 04


The Monday Room 210 Elizabeth Str 212.343.7011

Monday Room 01

Monday Room 02

Quality Meats 57 W 58th Str 212.371.7777

Quality Meats 01

Quality Meats 02

Quality Meats 03

Quality Meats 04

Quality Meats 05


Sapa 43 W 24th Str 212.929.1800

Sapa 01

Sapa 02


Stanton Social 99 Stanton Str 212.995.0099

Stanton Social 01

oh, and the food and drink at these establishments is equally pleasing, but there are different blogs for that…