New York Living - February 1999


Uptown Comes Down: Aldo Andreoli
At the corner of Franklin and Varick streets—140 Franklin to be exact—lies a Romanesque revival building with weathered yellow brick and cast iron detail. Under the design direction of Aldo Andreoli, an Italian-born architect and president of Sanba Inc., the building will soon be transformed into 14 loft condominiums as part of a renovation that will exceed $ 10 million.

Andreoli arrived in New York from Torino in 1986 and fell in love with what he termed a city that is "every architect's dream". Having worked on architectural projects on five continents—the Banco Italo-Venezuela; a major renovation of a 17th-century villa on the Italian coast; a collaboration with Italian architect, Ettore Sottsass, on the design of Casa Maui in Maui, Hawaii— Andreoli took advantage of a deflated real estate market and the strong lira, suggesting to a group of Italian investors that the time was ripe to invest in New York real estate. The idea was to introduce a condominium with a "design edge" and resell it as luxury lofts with Italian-style quality of detail.

His first project was at 56 Thomas Street, a six-story building in which he restored the façade in terra-cotta and cast iron, replaced the pipes, introduced a new electrical installation, reconditioned the heating, air-conditioning and mechanical elevator systems, and, finally, built a two-bedroom loft apartment on each floor. "I am a downtown person—I feel most at ease in my work here," said Andreoli.

And now what he's taken on is the redevelopment of 140 Franklin Street, a former paper-manufacturing building dating back to 1887. "I'm bringing Uptown Downtown," he said of the project, which will be designed in the same style as 56 Thomas Street, only on a smaller scale. "With my architecture and design background, I try to bring to my work a product that has more of a design element. It allows me to work as an architect from a different point of view. The interior will be very contemporary with a design element to reflect the next century," Andreoli remarked. ⊕

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