As one steps through the weathered front door of this 19th-century building on Lafayette Street in SoHo, New York, you are faced with a window of blue water, which is a view into the depths of a 39-foot-long swimming pool! This is an unusually edgy entrance, which has been crafted by a filmmaker who is a master of horror movies such as “Friday the 13th,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Frankenstein”, and is currently the most expensive residential property for rent in Manhattan. The 5-story building was once a 19th century power station that was transformed into a downtown-style palatial-size home with some intentionally rough edges by director Marcus Nispel and his wife, who bought the apartment in 1996 for $1.75 million.
The Nispels now live mainly on the West Coast and have used the space as a New York pied-a-terre, renting it out for video-shoots and parties. A 2008 Beyonce video of her song “Halo” was filmed at the house, in a vast 29-foot high living room, and in the pool as well, where Beyonce was filmed hovering underwater in a white dress.
The 100-foot deep townhouse has several unique features, including the 8 foot deep indoor pool, which has a window on one side and large portals on the other. The portals open out onto a guest room, with a spiral staircase, designed to evoke a submarine. The living room boasts exposed brick walls with a large retractable movie screen that is illuminated with 13-foot high windows and two nautical lamps, which are said to have been salvaged from a Staten Island Ferry boat. There is also a 925-square-foot Zen terrace and a dumb waiter next to the open industrial kitchen. An antique French fireplace mantel was installed in the living room, and carved stone sinks and floor tile in the bathroom were imported from a French monastery. There are three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, but it also has a number of other bedroom-like spaces for additional guests.
The huge loft-like, 13,000-square-foot townhouse is on the market for $100,000 a month furnished, or $50,000 a week, or $20,000 a night for short stays, from here.
Portal view into the indoor swimming pool.
Photos: Donna Dotan