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Townhouse Architecture for NYC Art Collectors

Within close proximity to NYC art galleries and acclaimed Highline park, Turett Collaborative Architects transformed this 4-story, multi-unit townhouse into a 5-story, single family residence with an exclusive open floor plan.

Townhouse architecture, often defined by a narrow width, demands a very smart use of space.  Only 18 foot wide, this transformation was no exception.  The challenge was amplified by a commitment to create space suited for potential art collectors who value living near west Chelsea’s famed art galleries

A two story rear extension featuring a 20′-0″ high wall of glass was the design anchor for this gut renovation.

The glass rear wall allows unobstructed views into the rear garden from both the kitchen at ground level and the second floor living room. The patio area becomes a extension interior living space. It artistically frames an urban landscape that rises above the patio and changes as day becomes night, and the winter white change to spring and summer greens and autumn gols and reds..

Both the ground floor with kitchen, dining room and patio and the second floor family and living room  have clear views from front to rear.  

The living room divides into two unique spaces.  Nearly 12′-0″ high ceilings offer ample wall space for the display of large scale artwork.

The stair design features 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 on the three private living floors above.

Horizontal bands windows at the 4th, 5th, and Penthouse floors help to bring natural light into the stair hallways making what would otherwise be a tight space appear open and airy.  The stair culminates in a penthouse which is pulled away from the front and rear facades to provide landscaped terraces with panoramic views of the midtown skyline to the north as well as  Highline  and Hudson River  views to the west.

Kitchen and dining areas facilitate many eating experiences, from the family meal, casual entertaining and more elegant events.



At the three private living floors above the living room level,  bathrooms, closets, and vertical chases “fill in” around the circulation core allowing for large full width rooms facing both north and south exposures.

The entire third floor is dedicated solely as a master suite with the master bedroom located towards the rear opening onto a landscaped terrace created by the two story double height extension.

A large walk-in closet gallery connects the bedroom to the master bathroom clad entirely in statuary marble.  A glass enclosed steam shower and toilet compartment anchor once side of the bathroom with a full width vanity and mirror on the another. At the center, a free standing tub  in white corian acts as the focal point for the bathing experience.

Other Townhouse Architecture Elements

A solid oak door and framed transom define the entry at the ground floor.  Beyond a glass vestibule is a formal dining room in the front half of the home with a kitchen and informal dining space in the rear half.

The new front facade, rendered in dark grey, norman style brick, features an array of punched  masonry openings that contain contemporary casement windows.  The brick facade rises  60 feet and terminates in a simple, modern interpretation of a cornice. At the ground floor, one enters through a custom designed steel fence and gate whose design is carried out thematically in the home’s ornamental metalwork. The  window guards at the ground floor as well as the the main staircase guardrail are iterations of this design which add a sense of cohesion throughout the house.

The narrow 18′-0″ lot necessitated strategic and efficient planning.   Vertical circulation is accomplished via a centrally located single run stair and elevator with a hallway landing serving both. At the three private living floors above the living room level,  bathrooms, closets, and vertical chases “fill in” around the circulation core allowing for large full width rooms facing both north and south exposures.

Turett Collaborative Architects collaborated closely with the developer, Magnum Real Estate, and real estate broker, Leonard Steinberg of Douglass Elliman, to envision a modern town home with large open floor plates and an efficient use of the lot’s limited width. Turett Collaborative Architects is a leader in townhouse renovation throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, NYC.

Residential     /     Chelsea, New York, NY     /     6500 Square Feet     /     Completed Winter 2014


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