This renovated four story brick townhouse has been designed by Turett Collaborative Architects, located on East 61st Street in the Upper East Side of New York. In the redesign of this 100 year old 4,500 square foot townhouse, the interior and back walls were removed and reconstructed; now, a large airy skylight above the staircase in the midsection of the house floods every room with natural light.
Expanding livable space appealing to modern aesthetics is a primary design challenge in townhouse renovation. In our renovation of this 61st street townhouse, the interior and rear walls were removed and reconstructed. With floor-to-ceiling windows and skylight, natural light now floods every room.
The beauty of this townhouse is in the simplicity of its design, and in the use of natural materials to enhance it. Stone, steel, travertine and fiber-cement panels are used extensively on the exterior, while frosted glass, white stained maple, and polished steel adorn the new interior. The clear spatial configuration, innovative glass addition, use of natural materials and attention to neighborhood integrity, work in harmony to redefine a modern townhouse.
The townhouse garnered national attention when it was used as the on-camera contestants’ residence for Bravo’s “Make Me a Supermodel.”
Townhouse Design Tip
Townhouses are often defined by a narrow width with multiple floors. Stair design demands design creativity and innovation to make optimal use of space and to amplify a sense of opens. Consider waterfall or “sawtooth” oak treads and risers which cantilever over the painted stair stringer enhancing the perceived thinness of the stair section. Glass walls define the stair circulation zone at the lower two public floors, transitioning to a custom designed steel guardrail.
Photos: Courtesy of Turett Collaborative Architects
Upper West Side Combo is a prewar apartment renovation by design firm StudioLAB of two dark and tightly configured units into a single unified space, located in Manhattan, New York. The designers were challenged with the task of converting the existing arrangement into a large open three bedroom residence. The previous configuration of bedrooms along the Southern window wall resulted in very little sunlight reaching the public spaces.
Breaking the norm of the traditional building layout, the bedrooms were moved to the West wall of the combined unit, while the existing internally held Living Room and Kitchen were moved towards the large South facing windows, resulting in a flood of natural sunlight.
Wide-plank grey-washed walnut flooring was applied throughout the apartment to maximize light infiltration. A concrete office cube was designed with the supplementary space which features walnut flooring wrapping up the walls and ceiling. Two large sliding Starphire acid-etched glass doors close the space off to create privacy when screening a movie.
High gloss white lacquer millwork built throughout the apartment allows for ample storage. LED Cove lighting was utilized throughout the main living areas to provide a bright wash of indirect illumination and to separate programmatic spaces visually without the use of physical light consuming partitions.
Custom floor to ceiling Ash wood veneered doors accentuate the height of doorways and blur room thresholds. The master suite features a walk-in-closet, a large bathroom with radiant heated floors and a custom steam shower. An integrated Vantage Smart Home System was installed to control the AV, HVAC, lighting and solar shades using iPads.
Photos: Courtesy of StudioLAB
Water Mill Houses is a family retreat comprised of a main house, pool house, guesthouse, bunkhouse, and garage, designed by 1100 Architect, located in Water Mill, New York. The compound is distributed across fifteen acres of wooded land with the main, or “glass,” house standing on the highest peak of the property, allowing for an unobstructed view of the surrounding landscape and shoreline from the roof terrace. It functions as a sophisticated tree house, with a shielded bottom floor for sleeping and an open, transparent second floor for living. Set in separate corners of the property, both the glass-walled guesthouse and the pool house echo the main house’s underlying principle: open to light, hidden by trees. The bunkhouse, the latest addition to the complex, is a multi-use space that acts as a study and fitness area, as well as a second guesthouse.
The living spaces on the top floor are enclosed by glass walls that enable light and air to penetrate while a screen of trees provides privacy. In contrast, the facade of the first floor, which contains the more private spaces of the house, filters light and views through heavyweight fiberglass-screened panels.
The glass-plank floor of the internal court on the third floor doubles as a skylight for the space below.
Rugged materials – cast concrete and steel – are combined with teak planks and insect screening (for a sun shade canopy) to create a durable yet warm family environment.
The guesthouse in this residential compound was designed on the premise that well-detailed architecture can be created from the thoughtful use of off-the-shelf building products. Here, a basic aluminum storefront system was deployed to achieve a work of sublime simplicity and elegance at low cost.
As a couple became a family of four, the owners found that the original guesthouse with only a single bedroom could not accommodate their growing number of visitors. The bunkhouse, as its name indicates, is primarily a place for guests to bunk, or sleep. The house consists of three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a kitchen – the forest and nearby pool act as its living room.
A straightforward material palette of poured concrete, glass and wood was employed, creating continuity between the bunkhouse and the rest of the complex.
The bunkhouse echoes the landscape in its horizontality and respects it in its subtle form and placement. The bottom of its two stories is partially submerged in the sloping, forested terrain while the cantilevered upper story appears to be floating amidst the surrounding flora.
Photos: Peter Aaron / OTTO
This Upper West Side Manhattan apartment has been designed by 1100 Architect, comprised of a neutral color palette, minimalist details, and refined materials, creating a warm, modern atmosphere. Throughout the space, sleek materials like concrete, marble, and white lacquer are complemented by accents of softer materials including Belgian linen and bleached wood. 1100 renovated this duplex apartment in 2008 and returned for a second renovation when the neighboring unit became available in 2010.
Careful detailing and a cohesive design approach allowed us to seamlessly combine the two apartments into a single home. A breakfast area was added to the existing kitchen, acting as a transitional space and opening up views across the apartment. Two new bedrooms and a utility room were also included in the addition.
1100 Architect is the New York- and Frankfurt-based architectural firm, best known for works of architecture that are timeless manifestations of place, at once distinctive and modern while always thoughtful about site, setting, and environment. Fundamental to this pursuit is the belief that building design is a progressive process informed by client aspirations, site, history, available resources, and time. We believe that design can motivate and inspire users, and make an affirmative, lasting impact on individuals and communities alike.
Photos: Nikolas Koenig
Designed by Studio 27 Architecture, the House on Fire Island is a summer beach house in the resort community of the Pines on Fire Island, New York. The typology of the homes in the Pines is recognizable to anyone who has visited an East Coast Shoreline resort town. It is a builder-driven typology reflecting the pragmatism of the inhabitants of these coastal communities. Almost always the “good sense” pragmatism that allows these homes to be built affordably overtakes the inherent liveliness and natural spirit of the place and creates structures that are a bit dull.
This project inserts some of the “spirit of the shore” into this “Yankee thriftiness” residential typology. Common detail and material remain, but the volume of the 1,550 square foot house is expressed as a skin, rather than as a box-like container. The skin keeps the heat in. Over time, the skin of woven cedar boards will assume the same patina as neighboring houses. Large windows are introduced to reveal a luxurious light interior.
The organization of the plan creates a direct link between the occupation of the different spaces during the day and the sun’s path. Program adjacencies were carefully studied before identifying the swimming pool as the center of social interaction. Interior rooms and exterior spaces were arranged to track the path of the summer sun, connecting it to the rhythm of daily life: breakfast by the pool; cocktails and socializing on the front terrace; and evening dinners in the west light. Sleeping rooms form the backstage of the house.
Products in this project:
Bathroom Equipment: Kohler, Hansgrohe , Duravit, Vero
- Bathroom plumbing fittings by Kohler
- Bathroom plumbing fittings: Axor by Hansgrohe
- Bathroom plumbing fittings: Watertile by Kohler
- Starck 2 by Duravit
- Lavatory by Vero
Construction materials, Semi-finished materials: Caesarstone
- Countertops: Concrete by Caesarstone
Floor: Globe, Ann Sacks
- Stones 1 by Globe
- Luxor Gray by Ann Sacks
Heating and Ventilation: Gavin Scott
- Fireplace: Vision by Gavin Scott
- Entry doors by Andersen
- Windows by Andersen
Kitchen Equipment: General Electrics, Fisher & Paykel, Cascade Faucets
- Refrigerator: Monogram by General Electrics
- Oven: Monogram by General Electrics
- Dishwasher by Fisher & Paykel
- Range: Monogram by General Electrics
- Tower Tech by Cascade Faucets
Lighting, Heating, Home/building automation: Contrast, Meltemi, Wever Ducre, Delta, Artemide, Wandleuchte, Cirius
- Lighting fixtures by Contrast
- Lighting fixtures by Meltemi
- Lighting fixtures by Wever Ducre
- Lighting fixtures by Delta
- Lighting fixtures by Artemide
- Lighting fixtures by Wandleuchte
- Lighting fixtures by Cirius
Walls: Sherwin Williams
- Paints/Stains: Escape Gray by Sherwin Williams
- Paints/Stains: Pure White by Sherwin Williams
Photos: Judy Davis
Midtown Apartment is a one bedroom contemporary home that has been designed by New York based interior design firm Cara Zolot Interiors, located in Midtown Manhattan, New York. Showcasing bright and welcoming interiors, this stunning apartment offers an open plan living/dining/kitchen area with one bedroom and one bathroom as well as a guest bedroom/office/TV room, with beautiful views of Central Park.
The client wanted a guest bedroom/office/TV room for this space. The sofa is a semi custom sleeper sofa from classic sofa and a custom designed leather club chair. the rug is a wall to wall strie carpet in caramel and beige muted tones. Vinatge modern nesting tables with a hammered copper lamp from Los Angeles. The coffee table is an antique painted tortoise like design and the art was a gift to our client. A natural grass cloth is on all the walls to really warm the space and pulls it all together adding great texture. It is a very warm cozy welcoming room with beautiful views of Central Park.
This bedroom I designed has navy blue ultra suede on all the walls, detailed with nail heads below the crown molding and above the base molding lining the entire bedroom. the bed was custom upholstered in the same ultra suede used on the walls. the bedside tables were custom made and the lamps and bulls eye mirror are all vintage mid-century modern.
Photos: Matthu Placek
We just received the latest project from Turett Collaborative Architects, a recent townhouse renovation on a 19th century building on Leyroy Street, a quiet eclave in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood.
We love it when clients aren’t afraid to share their grand dreams for their home, even if it seems to defy what’s possible for the location. The building had been a coal delivery garage in the 1920’s and by the 1990’s was a parking garage with a small residential space above it. When our client purchased the building, he knew it had the potential to be a great home, but he never envisioned how it would come to life as a bold, functional and expansive home suitable for hosting business, political and fundraising soirees.
Our overall goal in designing this home – nearly from scratch in the shell of an historic structure – was to fill it with meticulous modern detail and offer every amenity, while making it feel pleasingly established and comfortable, as though it had always been there. Although the original interiors were entirely demolished, we were able to save some elements and adapt them for reuse in the new townhouse.
The structure’s original timbers became stair treads and areas of a brick wall were exposed to provide visual interest and texture in the main living space. The original external brick facade was partially preserved, with a steel, wood and “green screen” added for promoting plant growth on second floor and rooftop garden areas.
By using every inch of available space and infusing light in various ways (the strategic use of light plays a major role in all of our townhouse renovations), the end result is a 4,500 square foot residential townhouse that immediately upon entry is seen as an awe-inspiring example of what creative use of materials, contemporary design, and a healthy budget can achieve.
Residents and visitors are greeted with a dramatic foyer and staircase that ascends to all four stories. Past the staircase is a combination kitchen, dining and living room area flooded with natural light from a massive structural skylight and a wall of windows. A fun feature we were excited to include is a koi pond that spans from the living room to the outdoor garden!
Our client’s home boasts these (and many other!) exciting features:
• Fully glazed back walls from the first to fourth floors and a 3-story glass wall, highlighting the space’s dramatic height
• A “cool” catwalk with access to the upper reaches of the double-height space
• A grass lawn on the second floor terrace
• A serene master shower design that incorporates the outdoors
• A luxurious high-speed elevator
• An indoor parking area – for 3 cars, with a lift!
• State of the art Lutron Lighting system
• “Smart home” capabilities that enable updating controls for security, entertainment, comfort, and energy use within the home
Photos: Courtesy of Turett Collaborative Architects
A children’s treehouse inspired the major redesign of this ranch-style house by Stephen Moser Architect, located on the western edge of Saxon Woods Park in Mamaroneck, New York. Originally built by a developer in the late 1950s, the ranch-style residence faced away from the wooded park. Several additions, including an indoor pool, further obstructed the park views.
The treehouse, which the clients had built some years ago for their grandchildren, sits on stilts among the trees, and guided ideas about the redesigned house’s silhouette, orientation, interior spaces, and materials.
Highlights of the 6,600 square foot redesign include a new covered entrance supported by two tree-like steel columns; a single large sloping roof that unifies the north side of the house and opens up the office and kitchen to the park; a new three-sided glass family room facing park and pool; the addition of a second-floor master bedroom suite with treehouse views; and the thematic use of wood slats in the detailing of both exterior and interior.