2006_11_holland.jpgIt was another unusually mild, late November morning when we visited 304 Spring at Renwick, just east of Greenwich Street.

The first building designed by Zakrzewski & Hyde, 304 Spring is located in the western edges of SoHo sometimes referred to as Hudson Square, which has transformed since the area was rezoned for residential use in 2003. It's a bit frenetic over there, being steps from the Ear Inn and Philip Johnson's Urban Glass House, luxury gem 505 Greenwich, a corner lot filled with UPS trucks and the Holland Tunnel ventilation system.

The 11-story building's most innovative feature is its windowed wall system of 8-foot stainless-steel, vertical operable shutters that architect Stas Zakrzewski calls "flickers." From the inside, they're wood (American walnut) and each unit's windows are slightly varied.

"It's similar to how some of these Italian villas were experiencing space. This is our little version of that," said Zakrzewski," who, with his wife and business partner Marianne Hyde, moved into the building in September. They also will occupy one of the two commercial spaces on the ground level (the building's 60 percent occupied right now).

Among the challenges were ensuring that water wouldn't creep in through the custom-designed windows (they were pressure-washed for two to three hours) and making sure the foundation's "sphere of influence" didn't touch the Holland Tunnel just 8 to 9 feet below. Ultimately, the Port Authority okayed the foundation design, which meant that the firm didn't have to resort to pile driving, which has rankled certain North TriBeCa inhabitants.

The 4,000 square-foot penthouse, on the market for $8 million, features a steel fireplace and three terraces – including a 12th floor roof deck which tenants access via a cantilevered walkway.

The building also has high efficiency boilers and windows, hallway lights with motion detectors and wood from an eco-conscious lumber company in Akron, Indiana. Zakrzewski and Hyde are considering seeking an Energy Star rating, part of a program for labeling homes which use 30 percent less energy.

For more of 304 Spring, check out Kathryn's OHNY visit.

Photos by Jill Priluck