A Designer's Eye: Minimalist Architecture in New York

David Chipperfield Living Room
Photographs from dezeen 11-19 Jane St

By Pina Mastromonaco & ANNECOTEDESIGN
Published: April 26th, 2021

Chipperfield is a virtuoso of meticulously crafted minimalism. Chipperfield adheres to Le Corbusier's dictum that "architecture is the masterful, correct, and magnificent play of volumes brought together in light.

Jane Street, located in the upper part of the historic Greenwich Village district, offers an eclectic mix of 19th and 20th century buildings ranging from large apartment complexes, townhouses and tenant buildings. In 2015, David Chipperfield Architects was commissioned to replace an old garage dating back to 1920 with a residential building. The result showcases David Chipperfield’s minimalist approach to design that masterfully intertwines beauty and functionality.

At ground level, the block is given a bold and contemporary feel with a wall of red-pigmented concrete. The same red concrete appears on lintels and mullions on the upper levels.

A perfect match with its neighboring buildings, 11-19 Jane street pays tribute to the street’s architectural style with modern concrete and Roman bricks. Chipperfield’s use of rich rusty red concrete on the lintels and entry is deliberate as it matches Jane street’s color scheme. To complement the red concrete, Chipperfield added balconies and door railings made from dark bronze. The marriage of materials and colour completes the look and makes the understated building stand out just enough.

David Chipperfield is a British architect. He established David Chipperfield Architects in 1985. Since then, he has worked on projects around the world, affording him international recognition. Some of his more recent projects are; the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery in Britain, Colección Jumex in Mexico, and The Bryant, the Valentino flagship store and the Rolex Headquarters in New York City. What these projects all have in common is Chipperfield’s uncomplicated approach to design. He moves away from the flamboyant and outrageous and offers simple aesthetic beauty.

David chipperfield kitchen
Photograph from dezeen

Organic Modernism is comfortable and unfussy. It only demands a sleek, raw design that makes a space cosy and memorable. It brings natural harmony that calms and soothes. It’s nothing new; Organic Modernism was first introduced in New York City in 1941. It’s made a comeback in recent years and is an important reference for anyone looking for an uncomplicated style. In its essence, Organic Modernism starts with flowing natural form. It draws upon clear lines, neutral colours, and natural texture to create a welcoming environment that brings calm, peace and above all, warmth into any space.

I'm very interested in doing buildings that people are fond of, but with each project, I also try to push the boundaries, to make something familiar but different. I'm not so interested in convincing the architectural community that I'm a genius.

David Chipperfield bathroom
Photograph from dezeen

David Chipperfield’s distinctive approach is undeniable. Something familiar but different is exactly what 11-19 Jane street is, both outside and inside. His interiors are clean and straightforward. And true to his credo, the apartments have a genuine New York City vibe, giving us familiar but different and undoubtedly exquisite.


Clean, sophisticated and minimal both inside and outside, it is consistent with David Chipperfield’s trademark style. The simplicity of the apartments with sleeks lines offers serene living in a vibrant city.

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