Earlier this month, New York real estate blog 6sqft reported that New York’s Chelsea Atelier Architects would be designing a new 35-story home for the Turkish Consulate, at 46th Street and Third Avenue. Perkins Eastman was listed as the architects of record.
It turns out the project went to Perkins Eastman, not Chelsea Atelier. Chelsea Atelier’s principal, Ayhan Ozan, confirmed that the Turkish government had passed on his firm’s proposal. Expressing disappointment, Ozan explained his design’s features and benefits, that included new offices, a restaurant, and apartments for visitors and the consulate’s permanent staff. He noted the “articulation of the building complements the UN,” right across the street. His design, Ozan explained, takes advantage of (unspecified) “zoning loopholes” and the plaza bonus that enables taller buildings in exchange for publicly accessible ground floor green space.
When AN contacted Perkins Eastman for comment, an associate curtly explained that the firm is “taking legal action” against Chelsea Atelier, and can’t comment on the project. AN asked the associate if he would like to set the record straight for his firm; he promptly hung up.
Perkins Eastman communication associate Justin Wolf contacted AN after this story appeared in print. He noted that "there is no lawsuit, there never was, [nor] was there any talk of pursuing legal action." Wolf confirmed Perkins Eastman is the architect of record for the project, but declined to discuss further, citing a confidentiality agreement between Perkins Eastman and the client.
The quest to build a permanent home for the consulate has been in the works since 2012. A September 2015 RFP issued by the Turkish Consulate General lists Perkins Eastman as the architect. According to the RFP, construction will be complete by 2018. The consulate already owns, and operates out of, properties across three lots, grouped as 821 United Nations Plaza, on the site of the future building.
As of this time, renderings, but no project summary, are up on Chelsea Atelier’s website. There is no information on the consulate project on Perkins Eastman’s site.