Conceived as an expressively animated environment to enhance the pleasures of living and viewing contemporary art, this seven-story townhouse renovation and expansion is carved within an early 20th Century historic limestone townhouse on the Upper East Side. It is designed as a gracious entertaining space and a private enclave for the clients and their family.
The renovation burnishes the historic richly ornate legacy of the building’s front elevation as a counterpoint to the dynamically modern sensibility within the interior and a redesigned rear elevation and interior courtyard. Warmly minimal and boldly contemporary in its spatial and material expression, the residence comprises an interconnected program of gallery, workspace, formal and informal living, entertaining, dining, sleeping, and bathing areas. These elements are composed in a spatial continuum from outdoor to indoor, public to private, and ground to top. A ground-level terrace, two multi-level lightwells, and an outdoor vertical garden wall bring the outside elements in.
The spirited material palette reflects a distinct aesthetic point of view while providing a serene backdrop to the works of contemporary art and daily living activities. Elements of wood, stone, plaster, metal, glass and water form a balanced motif throughout the environment. The color palette encompasses a range of crisp whites and off-whites, in matte, semi-gloss, and reflective finishes as well as warm creams and browns. Transparent and translucent glass features prominently as both a means of partition and connection, alternately offering a blurred sense of interior volumetric possibility and an emphasis on the passage of light to, from and within the space. From daylight to moonlight, a balance of natural and artificial light is constantly modulating the interior ambiance.