Classical Ironwork along the Skyline

We are seeing a resurgence of affluent residential high rises being designed and constructed in classical architecture. Here at Compass Ironworks we had the privilege of being involved firsthand by designing and creating exceptional ironwork railings for one of these affluent residences.

VERANDA ARTICLE: To support this obvious resurgence, the Sept-Oct issue of Veranda wrote a 2 page spread showing the towering renaissance of luxury high-rise buildings with classical architectural elements such as limestone and brick facades and 1920’s era wrought iron railings. It mentioned that there seems to be a growing appreciation for classical architecture in high-rise apartments; and a high demand for the classics when it comes to the ironwork. In fact, Peter Penneyes Architects was awarded the Stanford White Award in 2016 by Institute of Classical Architecture and Art for the 17 story luxury high-rise at 151 East 78th St in Manhattan. See the Attached article for more.

The Benson: So the trend exemplifies pre-war detailing, impeccable craftsmanship, and exquisite materials. We were directly involved with the Benson on Madison Ave; an Art Deco style building that towers 19 stories on the upper side of Manhattan. We created elegant flower boxes with railings to adorn the main entry that alluded to the aesthetics of the Plaza Athenee in Paris. We also created intricately woven wrought iron grilles for interior doors; but our main work was exquisitely designed balcony railings.

The railing design combined a traditional railing design with modern materials and techniques; along with durable and eco-friendly powder-coated finishes to really enhance the life of these exceptional terraces. These terraces provided dazzling views of Central Park and the NYC skyline. The apartments themselves had state-of-the-art appliances and finishes that exemplify modern living in Classical architecture. With ample entertaining space through carefully curated design spaces in the living room, dining room, and kitchen, these apartments make city living feel spacious and free.

What to Expect: As we see design take its full circle back to the classics, we can anticipate a great uptick in authentic wrought iron railings that demand integrations of new (more robust) materials and finishes that compliment today’s “no maintenance” expectation.  We will see this in spread in the affluent areas, and are already seeing it take route in the “hot bed of design” in NYC!

Leave a Comment