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Luxury's Newest Amenity: The 'Art Wall'

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Attention, developers! High-end buyers want more than just a great view from their luxury apartments. The new trend? Wall space for their artwork. And lots of it.

That's why Town Residential realtor Wendy Maitland wasn't a bit surprised when her client chose a SoHo apartment over an Upper East Side apartment after his art consultant praised its larger freight elevator and museum-like ceiling heights, Bloomberg reports. 

Ian Schrager has embraced the new "art walls," incorporating them in his newest project, 160 Leroy. Schrager told Bloomberg that these walls must be large with high ceilings and appropriate lighting to allow the paintings to be displayed prominently.

Developer Joe McMillan of DDG adds that every grande room needs at least one art wall, and that lighting is of the utmost importance. In his new retro building at 180 E 88th St the nine-foot by nine-foot windows are spaced far apart to allow for a piece of artwork in between. There also are more interior walls designed like those of an art gallery, for optimal display.

If you're not yet convinced of the artwork's importance, consider this: at 551 West 21st St (pictured)—in the heart of Manhattan neighborhood Chelsea's gallery district—the apartments have custom glass with a built-in UV screen to filter out most of the damaging rays…and not for your health, but for your art's health.

Meanwhile projects like Tadao Ando's upcoming 152 Elizabeth St have included humidifiers so residents can maintain a constant moisture point for their precious art. That's right. Artwork is like the wealthy's new pampered pooch. And developers know just how to meet their buyer's needs, as many of them are avid art collectors themselves. [Bloomberg]