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New Yorkers get ready to rent in a Gehry

By Laura Allsop for CNN
  • The first ever residential building by Frank Gehry in New York will be available to renters
  • The New York by Gehry at Eight Spruce Street will be the tallest residential building in Manhattan
  • It will also feature a public school on the first four floors

London, England (CNN) -- For the first time ever, New Yorkers will be able to rent apartments in a skyscraper built by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry.

The New York by Gehry at Eight Spruce Street, located just south of the Brooklyn Bridge, is the first residential tower built by Gehry in New York -- and only his second building in the city. It also has the distinction of being the tallest residential tower in New York.

The building will feature 903 residential spaces at market rates, alongside a school and ambulatory care center for New York Downtown Hospital.

The apartments will be much sought after as Gehry is designing every aspect of them, down to picking out amenities and interiors. Eighteen model apartments will be furnished by the architect's firm, Gehry Partners.

It is also being kitted out with a gym and swimming pool and spa for residents.

Los Angeles-based Gehry is best known for his landmark Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, whose shimmering curves and undulating forms make it a masterpiece of modern architecture.

The design for The New York by Gehry at Eight Spruce Street features his signature glass and stainless steel cladding, and its rippling form is designed to emulate a piece of unfolding fabric.

No one apartment is the same: each floor of the tower has a different shape, and the windows meet the folds in the building's exterior in a variety of angles.

At 867 feet, it will be the tallest residential building in Manhattan. Though rents are not cheap -- spaces are projected to cost $80 per square foot per year -- New Yorkers are nevertheless expected to be queuing to get a piece of Gehry's monolith.

One group of people will, however, be able to enjoy the building free of charge.

Over six hundred students will take classes in a public school comprising 100,000 square feet of space across the first four floors of the building, in addition to a 5,000-square-foot rooftop play area on the fifth floor.

The building is being developed with real estate developers Forest City Ratner, and occupancy is slated to start in Spring 2011.