We addressed the challenge of nearly doubling the size of the original townhouse by introducing a third volume: the climate skin. The original building was meticulously restored, and a new steel and glass extension allows for light and air. The Climate skin regulates climate and privacy, and adds new exterior space.
The building volume setbacks are inscribed within in a unifying, rectangular trellis envelope of multiple patterns and densities. Made from a lightweight steel frame and folding panels clad with Trespa™ slats, this “smart climate control envelope” serves as an adaptable perimeter of the building. It provides shading and variable levels of privacy as well as spatial enclosure of outdoor balconies and roof terraces. Extensive prototyping assisted in optimizing the movement of the trellis panels: when closed they are one smooth surface, when open “finger-like” fins fold out like feathers of a birdwing.
Due to relatively small floorplates, each floor contains a program, connected through double height spaces. Like between the kitchen & dining as well as the study & master bedroom, this allows for spatial interlacing, long views, and double height windows. The eight story black stairs & glass elevator connect all levels, and get light from the large skylight above. A dramatic south-facing tall slot-window lights the steel staircase through the glass elevator in one continuous movement.