Overseas: Penthouse at 432 Park Avenue

Acclaimed luxury architect and decorator Robert Couturier glams up a penthouse in a 1,396 foot tower surrounded by a skyline that never sleeps

Condominiums in New York never stop breaking new heights. The latest record-breaker is 432 Park Avenue, a soaring tower standing 1,396 feet between the buzzing 56th and 57th street, and described as the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere, at least for now.

Imagine living 1,100 feet off the ground in a 4,028 square foot penthouse with large windows in every room receiving 360-degree views from Central Park, George Washington Bridge, One World Trade Center and the Empire State Building to Brooklyn and New Jersey – you don’t want any of your furniture outshining such a vista.

So how to keep the furnishing low-key, yet corresponding to the skyline, was a task for architect and decorator Robert Couturier.

“The brief, to create a cultured apartment, has been perfectly met through the use of inspired colour choices and knockout furnishings from various eras by designers, including Vladimir Kagan and Gio Ponti, and some truly fun and wild pieces such as the welded bronze desk and credenza by Maarten Baas,” the designer said.

Elegant, soft and sophisticated, the residence boasts a vintage 20th century aesthetic with asubstantial use of fabric to add a sense of softness in the space, echoing perfectly with the signature items custom-designed by Couturier.

Like all units within the building, the penthouse features a private elevator foyer, an entrance gallery, a windowed eat-in kitchen with a marble breakfast bar, oak flooring, and master bathrooms equipped with statuary book-matched marble floors and walls, a free-standing soaking tub, and a 1,200 pound solid cubic Bianco Sivec marble vanity.

Then again, luxury is not luxury in the absence of artwork. The 12’6” ceiling of the apartment means there is plenty of room to showcase large scale art, and the designer leaves the wall with bold strokes. The most dramatic touch is a floor-to-ceiling piece of Sol Lewitt’s Wall Drawing #67, along with artwork by Hubert le Gall, Christopher Kutz and Michael Eastman.

This sought-after penthouse sitting on top of the 86th floor in this soaring tower is a natural fit to Couturier, who stated in his book Designing Paradises that “I’m completely addicted to luxury. I have no ability for anything else”.

He regards 432 Park Avenue as an “incredible palette to work with, one that would be the envy of any designer”, and yes, this ultra-luxury and lifestyle-defining project is yet another marvellous job he’s done.