Ben Shaoul’s Hell Square Tower is Clad in Glazed Brick from a ‘Spanish Fishing Village’
With Ben Shaoul’s Hell Square condo tower at 196 Orchard Street edging toward completion, press hype is starting to come out. The latest is a puff piece about how the architect, INC Architecture & Design, chose to include handmade “metallic-glazed brick” in the facade that evokes the “old-world character of glazed terra-cotta while also bringing a touch of luxury.” To achieve this exterior flare (nay, gilded luxe), the designers apparently traveled to a small fishing town in Spain called Cadaqués, where artists such as Picasso and Miró once visited.
Any Lower East Sider reading this stuff might cringe at its contents. An example:
But because the Lower East Side is known as an edgy bohemian area with a tougher, more artsy vibe, his team felt that a traditional glass structure didn’t mesh with the surroundings. “We looked for a material humble enough to belong comfortably on the scrappy Lower East Side and luxurious enough to attract a contemporary resident.”
Rolston wanted a handmade, metallic-glazed brick that would evoke the old-world character of glazed terra-cotta while also bringing a touch of luxury. He found it in Cadaqués, a small community in Spain formerly visited by artists such as Picasso and Miró. “We went to Europe to find a handmade, metallic-glazed brick—and specifically the Costa Brava of Spain where this particular handmade brick-making tradition survives,” Rolston says.
“I was wondering how many workshop hours had gone into that statement considering how tone deaf it is,” one Boogie reader noted.