New tower gives residents an app to control NYC sprout colors

Residents of a new Queens rental can soon light up the city that never sleeps.

Sven, a 958-unit Durst Organization property in Long Island City – where 288 apartments are income-restricted – will offer dazzling amenities far beyond the typical luxury markets such as a screening room, a gym and a pool.

When leasing soft launches on Monday, Sven will be the first building in New York where residents can illuminate the tipped tops of city towers – such as the 300-foot-high spire at One Bryant Park in Midtown – with just the touch of a finger.

Each tenant will receive membership of Spireworks, a mobile app launched in Durst in 2017 that lets its users control the colors and effects that shine on top of select Durst buildings – including the 71-storey Sven itself.

The 71-storey Sven does not have a spire, but the residents will also be able to play with the colors that dot its crown.
The 71-storey Sven does not have a spire, but the residents will also be able to play with the colors that dot its crown, as this rendering shows.
Spireworks

Residents will also be able to check the chromatic display at the top of 151 W. 42nd St., known for its H&M signs, and – on some occasions – the technicolor array at the top of One World Trade Center owned by Durst next to the Port Authority.

Residents will have the opportunity to “change the landscape of New York,” said Dan Mogolesko, vice president of housing in Durst. “It’s a really special, intimate experience for the user that the whole of New York can see.”

Previously, access to Spireworks was exclusive – available by invitation only – and was a favorite of architect Bjarke Ingels, who loved to change the colors of the building tops to impress guests at cocktail parties. It created such a frenzy in its early days that the app’s founder, Mark Domino, who is also director of digital at Durst and son-in-law of the organization’s honcho Douglas Durst, asked Tinder to remove a profile that tried to pay $ 1,000 for an otherwise free membership.

Ever since, Spireworks has occasionally opened up to the public for charities and corporate events. And now the app, which has more than 30,000 users, estimates that its ranks are growing by between 1,000 and 3,000 at Sven.

Sven marks the first residential building in the city, where residents have access to Spireworks.
Sven marks the first residential building in the city, where residents have access to Spireworks.
The Durst Organization: Giles Ashford

“It’s important to us,” Domino told The Post, adding that the invitation program is on hiatus and that Durst is looking for other growth opportunities for Spireworks, such as opening it up to commercial tenants. “It’s not going to double our size or anything – we’re far above that – [but] it will definitely bring new interest to all our lighting installations. ”

On the app, Spireworks users see a carousel of available lighting installations to play with. If there is no event running – such as a viewing for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October that has set colors – they will be able to see the more general palette Durst set for that night. After waiting in a queue (“Tis of minutes peaks,” Domino said), users will have a two-minute session to change colors and even play with lighting effects, such as pulsating or glittering gestures. The system can accommodate up to five users simultaneously, allowing for short-term collaboration or even competitive play.

Sven, who does not have a spire, will offer residents a month-long and exclusive access to change the nuances of his crown.

Certain units at Sven look like the Manhattan Towers, whose spire tenants can light, which will also include the One World Trade Center from time to time.
Certain units at Sven look like the Manhattan Towers, whose spire tenants can light, which will also include the One World Trade Center from time to time.
The Durst Organization: Giles Ashford

“I think it’s going to be holiday colors with Sven as we launch so soon,” Domino said. “And then into the new year it will be more of an open palette, more of a rainbow going into winter and spring.”

In addition, a number of south- and west-facing units on Sven will have views of Manhattan and views of the buildings whose colors residents can change.

In addition to this enlightened perk, Sven – at 29-59 Northern Boulevard – has three-bedroom studios priced between $ 2,950 and $ 6,000 per person. month. Designed by Handel Architects with interiors by Annabelle Selldorf, the units include washer / dryers and floor-to-ceiling windows whose hue tenants can control with an app. And in addition to a screening room, a gym and a pool, facilities also include a private dining room, co-working spaces and a poker lounge. Durst will handle leasing internally from an onsite office.

The rent will run between $ 3,000 to $ 6,000 a month, but 288 units are income-limited.
The rent will run between $ 2,950 to $ 6,000 a month, but 288 units are income-limited.
The Durst Organization: Giles Ashford

Meanwhile, Spireworks offers flexibility both at home and on the go.

“It’s a really rounded experience because you’re in fun places – on the ferry boats or inbound flights, something like that,” Domino said.

But it can also give a sense of place.

“It can make you connect with your city in a second,” he added.

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