June 27, 2007

Cuddle Me Condos: Residential Starchitecture Plush Toys

m40_jacques_jill.jpgWhat becomes a legendary building in an overheated Manhattan real estate market most? Lesser breeds of developers have been known to hire fashion designers to decorate the lobby. To commission Jade Jagger to put her name on the galley kitchen. To hire Seal to perform for a partyful of brokers. Richard Pandiscio recommends developers try a different approach.

For Andre Balasz's luxury loft building 40 Mercer, designed by Jean Nouvel, remember, Pandiscio's branding agency commissioned a storybook, Jacques et Jill: A SoHo Neighborhood Love Story. The dog became the building's marketing mascot.

Obviously, miracles can happen when such an open-eyed branding visionary is at the top of his world, looking down on his creations. That's the only explanation I can find for Pandiscio Industries' latest creation: an incomparable collection of luxury starchitecture plush toys called Cuddle Me Condos. As Pandiscio boldly challenged Alex Hawgood in the Spring issue of Pin-Up Magazine, "Who says steel, bricks, and glass can't be snuggly?"


Not I, Mr. Pandiscio, Not I.

Hawgood's article explains how Pandiscio and his senior creative team started with character sketches the firm's client buildings--designed by [in order below] the likes of Richard Gluckman, McKim, Mead & White, Jean Nouvel, and Philip Johnson & Annabelle Selldorf--which they handed off to doll craftsman Henry Lau.

So how'd they turn out?

Through Pandiscio Co's vision and Lau's skilled hand, the dolls exaggerate the residences' high living to their idiosyncratic extremes: One Kenmare Square's undulating curves are masked by brooding felt eyes; the Cipriani Club Residence's imposing Beaux Arts columns are mirrored by a myriad of feet, done with playful flashes of animal print; 40 Mercer comes off as a Parisienne with a side ponytail; and the Urban Glass House's dominatrix-style patent-leather boots are perhaps a wink to Selldorf's carefully crafted reputation as a hands-on German uber-architect.
suffed versions of Nouvel's High Line building and Balasz's William Beaver House are also in the works. Actually, the Beaver House may be a blow-up doll.

Pin-Up: Magazine For Architectural Entertainment [pinupmagazine.org via andy from referencelibrary]
Pandiscio Co. [pandiscio.com]
Previous Jacques et Jill coverage: But In the French Version, Jill Always Tumbles First

1 Comment

The writer of the Pin-Up article is named Alex Hawgood, not Andy.

[fixed, thanks! -ed.]

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