During the housing boom of the 1990s and 2000s, Toll Brothers was well-known for its large homes that they often called “estate homes” and critics called “McMansions.” But now Toll Brothers is branching out into new kinds of construction, including luxury condos in New York City:
The kinder, gentler Toll Brothers are debuting new luxury condos at 205 Water Street in Dumbo next month, and to support that image, the 67-unit “modern loft” building just got a huge PR boost from a Wall Street Journal preview calling it “unerringly contextual, but also elegant, and even at some points, whimsical.” Unlike Toll Brothers’ previous, shinier attempts in Brooklyn, the seven-story scale of 205 Water fits right in with its landmarked historic district (zoning allows up to 12 stories) and the rusty steel and concrete facade by architects GreenbergFarrow takes cues from the nabe’s industrial past. Adhering to the LPC’s requirements meant constructing 205 Water out of reinforced architectural concrete, a “temperamental material rarely used anymore as the primary material in new buildings” that projects a “world-weary sort of workingman’s facade” to the street. Upper stories are clad in cor-ten steel, a lighter material also seen on the Ford Foundation headquarters in Manhattan.
I wonder if the people at Curbed are disappointed since it sounds like Toll Brothers is building fewer homes they would view as McMansions and instead built contextualized structures that fit in more urban neighborhoods that maybe could even be considered green. Could Toll Brothers turn their image around?