Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Modern Renovation of pre-war Townhouse in Chelsea, NYC by Julianking Architect
July 1st, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Julianking Architect
The project is the renovation of a pre-war townhouse on an historic block in Chelsea, NYC, focusing on the garden apartment. The garden duplex was originally dark and in disrepair: a cramped kitchen had inadequate windows facing the rear yard, the parlor level, with ornate molding, and etched glass, opened clumsily into a bedroom facing a rear yard.
The design goals were three-fold: to separate public and private spaces, to open the duplex to the garden, and to use sustainable practices and materials, all within a modest budget. Equally important was that the renovation respected the character of the existing townhouse. The balance of modern design the owner desired, and the ornate decorative moldings and details that gives the pre-war brownstone its charm and character, is an example of how, rather than being mutually exclusive, they can enhance each other; eschewing the space and freedom of one, while foregoing the clutter and dark cellular nature of the other.
To these ends, the rear garden wall was removed opening a new master suite to the garden through full width custom glass sliding doors, and the kitchen re-located to the parlor level, to open out through refurbished French doors onto a new Ipe deck and stair. Existing and re-claimed materials are combined with LED lighting and a new high efficiency HVAC system to modernism an aged townhouse, but without losing itself.
In the end, one steps across a riverbed of white gravel onto moss covered re-claimed brick pavers, and a low fieldstone wall built from stones from the site, surrounded by lush plantings, into a private garden in the middle of the city. The adorned urban life temporarily shed, one reconnects with the natural.
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