A key driver of the process is what Sugimoto describes as a reliance on “pre-modern methods that are all but obsolete even in Japan.” The required materials included 1,000-year-old Yakusugi cedar, 15th-century stones often found in Murmachi Period gardens, and Japanese shikkui plaster, a lime-based CO2-absorbing material that also incorporates seaweed extracts and natural plant fibers.
Though these traditional touches exist throughout the apartment, its undeniable centerpiece is an in-unit installation dubbed “Floating Inner Garden,” which acts as a grounding force 79 stories high.
“Just as Central Park, which the windows overlook to the north, is one model of nature, I have further miniaturized that model to make a bonsai garden,” Sugimoto states in a press release announcing the listing. “Some day in the future, when we have lost all connection with nature, the bonsai garden in this space will remain as an image of nature as it once existed.”
With that in mind, it’s certainly understandable why Engel & Völkers would attach a nine-figure price tag to this particular unit, even with some of the building’s bad press from earlier in 2021. And compared to a penthouse in the building that hit the market for $169 million this summer, getting hold of a property that Noel Berk describes as “a work of art in itself,” $135 million probably feels like a comparative steal to the 1 percent.
After a frenzied year for real estate transactions, the response to this unit at 432 Park will surely indicate the state of New York’s ultra-luxe market — and perhaps the art market as well. If you happen to have that much money burning a hole in your pocket, there are certainly less aesthetically pleasing places to park your assets.