2006_10_dvf3.jpgThe sky was gray when we headed over to fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg's new headquarters at the southwest corner of Washington and 14th Streets. The 1887 landmark building, built by Jacob Astor as a home for nearby pier and market workers, most recently belonged to Gachot & Gachot, the meatpacking company that distributes steaks to Peter Luger's. After a complete overhaul (it was even joined with the building next door), it will house von Furstenberg's design and administrative offices, including a 5,000 square-foot showroom, a black-box theater and retail space.

WORKac's Amale Andraos and Dan Wood are designing the space, which features a "stairdelier" lined with Swarovski crystals on vertical cables and two heliostat mirrors that will collect and distribute light throughout the building.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the newest addition to Meatpacking mayhem is the 25-foot "diamond" that protrudes from the roof and will be a source of light for every floor. Made of transparent and etched translucent glass, it's laminated, insulated, has operable, electronic panels and will glow at night. Shipped over from Spain in pieces, the diamond required negotiations with the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission, according to Wood, who described the building as a model for adaptive reuse.


From the roof of the building that houses Hogs 'N Heffers, among others, we snapped pictures of the diamond as it was going up. The process looked almost as intricate as the building of a monument of sorts, one that perhaps celebrates von Furstenberg's enduring wrap dress.

Photos by Jill Priluck