As realtors we gain access to architectural gems before they become someone’s home and, sometimes, the stuff of legend.

Last week our team member, Lindsay, took a business trip to New York for one such experience: a behind the scenes tour of 152 Elizabeth, the first New York condominium building by acclaimed Japanese architect Tadao Ando and developed by Sumaida + Khurana.  We got insider access thanks to our Compass colleagues, Debra LaChance and Leonard Steinberg, who are listing condos in the building.

Ando is a Pritzker Prize and AIA Gold Medal winning, self-trained architect. His work allows the natural world to spill into his simple buildings, which are often constructed of concrete. His designs appear throughout Japan, but also Europe and the United States.

152 Elizabeth Street is one of those buildings that makes you pause and really feel the beauty of design–the way design both grounds you, by making a place a home, and connects you with the wider world, by reminding you of natural beauty.

You should definitely check out the building website for its documentary-style videos of Ando talking about how he designed the space at 152 Elizabeth. A preview from his conversation:

“A home has to be a place where you can reflect on your life. This project is about that. When you come home, 152 Elizabeth should give a quiet feeling. I have to make something that touches human hearts and leaves a feeling inside of them.”

It was a nice reminder that art touches the work that we do every day as realtors.