This project started with an old brick building, just yards from Manhattan’s High Line. Our client wanted a contemporary home in historic Chelsea, plus space for retail and residential tenants. Historic guidelines required that we keep the façade. Everything else on the 50-foot by 100-foot lot was demolished. In its place installed a piling system and steel structure to support the design, which doubled the number of stories of the original building.
The house, occupying the uppermost stories, begins on the third floor. Approach is by a long interior stair from the street that, at the top, opens into a garden; the house wraps around on three sides. The garden is both entryway and center—an airy void that offers a counterweight to the dense urban surroundings. Our intent was to make an aperture for daylight to illuminate the interiors and through which occupants visually connect to the home’s layered spaces. Each floor of the house has spaces for sitting, recreation or taking in views of the skyline: a deck runs the length of the second-floor; the third floor has a garden and basketball court.