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This is the real $45 million NYC penthouse Axe lives in on 'Billions'

CNBC logo CNBC 3/18/2019 Leah Ginsberg
a man standing in front of a building: John Malkovich as Grigor Andolov and Damian Lewis as Bobby © Provided by CNBC LLC John Malkovich as Grigor Andolov and Damian Lewis as Bobby

When season 4 of Showtime's "Billions" premiered on Sunday, now-single Bobby "Axe" Axelrod (played by Damian Lewis) is starting the day in his Manhattan penthouse bachelor pad.

In real life, Axe's billionaire's lair is a spectacular two-story glass-walled penthouse that sits atop the Sky Lofts building in Manhattan's Tribeca neighborhood. The 7,500 square foot apartment was last listed for $45 million in 2017.

a living room filled with furniture and a large window: View of One World Trade Center from Sky Loft penthouse © Provided by CNBC LLC View of One World Trade Center from Sky Loft penthouse

"Given the style that I've seen on the show, [the Sky Lofts penthouse] is exactly what you would expect a person with terrific taste and all the money in the world to want to live like in Manhattan," architectural and interior photographer Evan Joseph, who photographed the Sky Loft penthouse in 2011, 2012 and 2014, tells CNBC Make It.

Joseph has photographed some of the most luxurious homes in New York City, and this one stands out, he says.

a living room filled with furniture and a fireplace © Provided by CNBC LLC

The building itself, located at 145 Hudson Street, was built in 1929. The James Carpenter-designed glass penthouse was added "after a battle with the Landmarks Preservation Commission," according to Curbed New York.

Joseph says the penthouse and pre-war building "come together really beautifully.... This glass box kind of disappears into the clouds. It's incredible."

a living room filled with furniture and a large window © Provided by CNBC LLC

The four-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom penthouse has 18-foot ceilings, two "sculptural" staircases, a chef's kitchen, three wood-burning fireplaces and "museum quality" polished concrete and teak floors, according to a Curbed New York story published when the apartment was listed in 2017.

Joseph notes that there's a "beautiful" mezzanine that overlooks the massive, double-height living room, and the space showcases a "dazzling" art collection.

a room filled with furniture and a large window

© Provided by CNBC LLC

Then there's the 4,500-square-foot wraparound terrace.

"Sometimes you go on these terraces, and they have a north- facing terrace and a south-facing terrace, but the east and west terraces are really narrow and nobody would ever use it or they keep the garden hose there," explains Joseph, who has photographed some of the most extraordinary apartments in Manhattan. "This is absolutely usable terrace space all the way around."

a large building © Provided by CNBC a view of a building © Provided by CNBC LLC

But the thing that you really take away from being in the penthouse, says Joseph, are "these massive sheets of glass. I mean, it's a glass box, and that's so unique. These are not windows, they're glass walls. And they're enormous. The scale is phenomenal."

The glass walls have views in every direction, says Joseph. And he remembers the glass panels perfectly framing One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower.

a large building © Provided by CNBC LLC

Joseph says that if there's a view of a recognizable building in an apartment he's shooting, to get the perfect framing he sometimes has to put the camera in an awkward position, "like halfway under the bed or and hanging out the door, or you have to put a foot in the bathtub to make that shot work." But "you can see that framed vista [of One World Trade] anywhere" in the glass penthouse, he says.

A representative for Showtime decline to comment on whether Axelrod's apartment is the Sky Lofts penthouse but confirmed that the location is a penthouse in Tribeca.

Related video: Billionaire Ken Griffin buys the most expensive US home ever sold

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