Palazzo Chupi, Estate of the Day
It is fitting on Oscar Sunday to look at a building actually owned by an Oscar nominee, director Julian Schnabel. Schnabel directed the heartbreakingly beautiful movie "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly." This was Schnabel's third movie (he also directed Basquiat and Before Night Falls).
I'm a bit biased about the case of Julian Schnabel. I've had a big crush on him since first seeing his broken plate art in the 1980s. Since then as his ample frame has grown, so too has my affection. The prospect of seeing what he will wear to the Oscars makes me giddy after all he's been known to show up at awards in a pajama top or in a tablecloth-like sarong. While lately his yellow-lensed glasses aren't winning my heart, I love a man willing to flaunt a big hairy chest.
The Schnabel is a genius and no one knows that better than he does. His ego has also gained a fair bit of attention. Which brings us to Palazzo Chupi, the greatest monument to that ego. The building which is colored "Pompeii Red" but often photographs as pink has caused no end of controversy and speculation in New York's West Village. Richard Gere and his model wife have bought in here as has a finance person from Credit Suisse. Rumor has it that both Bono and Madonna had considered but have decided against life at Chupi.
The NY Times has the listing for the $27 million duplex and Curbed has the floorplan for the penthouse triplex. There are details to love here. The homes have a very European feel and the Schnabel is a man with an accomplished eye so you get cast bronze door handles, lovely stone fireplaces and cast stone railings. The sense of space here is lovely, I'm not sure of the ceiling height but there is just a real expansiveness here. The chandeliers alone speak of a certain type of eccentricity.
There are also things not to love. The kitchen with its green tiles is just a wee bit too reminiscent of the types of older kitchens you usually have to destroy to build your dream kitchen. I know New York is a dine out city but still for that much money you want to be able to cook and or entertain in your kitchen. The basement pool, at least as shown in the recent issue of Vanity Fair, scares me, it says more horror movie than a place to do your morning laps. You aren't getting that much space for your cash here either. The $27 million duplex offers 3,850 square feet and the $32 million triplex is 3,845 square feet. Not small but a whole lot of money for the size. What I want to know is how much Schnabel access the price buys you. Do you get to hang out with him and his ethereally beautiful wife and his glamorous children? Does he invite you to dinner parties and let you look at his paintings in progress? Because honestly, that's the only way these apartments are actually worth the price.
UPDATE: The penthouse is now listed at $22 million and the duplex is at $19 million.
Gallery: Palazzo Chupi