Conceived as an animated environment to enhance the pleasures of living and viewing contemporary art, this 14,000 SF townhouse was designed as a gracious entertaining space and private enclave for the clients and their family. With the excavation of two additional floors and restoration of the building’s landmarked limestone façade, Gabellini Sheppard successfully transformed a previously vacated, five-story townhouse into a seven-story primary residence for a family of six.
The residence implements a spirited material palette that upholds a distinctive aesthetic while providing a serene backdrop to contemporary art and daily living activities.Wenge wood paneling on the first and second floors is complemented by the plaster’s warm tones to furnish welcoming gallery and entertaining spaces, while the use of stone, plaster, metal, glass, and water throughout the home form a balanced motif, encompassed in rich whites and off-whites as well as warm creams and browns.
Family areas are distributed as a layering of programs, anchored by a custom Bianco Sivec marble staircase that connects the different functions, materials, and lifestyles with a singular architectural gesture. Private functions are found on the third and fourth floors, separated by operable glass features as a means of partition and connection to allow for both privacy and interaction without reducing daylight. The ground-level terrace brings outside elements in, allowing sunlight to emanate from its walkable skylight down into lifestyle amenities on the excavated floors below. The sub-cellar pool is lined with marble to evoke feelings of a private subterranean grotto, and the fitness center and play court cater to the family’s athletic needs.
Warmly minimal and boldly contemporary in its expression, the residence comprises an interconnected series of programs composed in a spatial continuum from outdoor to indoor, public to private, and ground to top. Throughout the home, contemporary features and careful restoration pay tribute to old and new, harmonizing the two to create a truly timeless space.