Spliced Townhouse

Spliced Townhouse

New York, NY
Completed 2010
3,000 sq. ft.

This renovation and combination of two apartments occupying several stories of an Upper East Side townhouse derived its design logic from the idiosyncratic sectional condition of the existing architecture. The original nineteenth-century structure was previously converted into separate units, a process that resulted in divergent floor levels on the north-facing (street-front) and south-facing (garden) sides of the building. Within a limited square footage (roughly three thousand square feet), the apartment included six distinct floor elevations. The challenge was to reconfigure and integrate these discrete levels and separate units into a single functioning residence.

The zone between the divergent halves was conceived as a spatial joint or splice, negotiating the multiple elevations and interweaving the public and private circulations. The primary feature of this interstitial zone is a slatted-wood and blackened-steel screen wrapped by an interconnecting stair. The stair and screen physically link the different levels of the public program while strategically arranged voids allow for visual transactions between the stacked spaces. On the garden side, a spiral stair encased in a perforated steel cylinder similarly connects the private floors. The continuity of these vertical elements provides coherence to otherwise discontinuous and fragmented spaces.

Project team: Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, David J. Lewis; Lucas Cascardo, project manager; Mia Lorenzetti, Matthew Roman (phase 1); John Morrison, project manager; Mia Lorenzetti Lee, Deric Mizokami, Kate Snider (phase 2)
Structural engineer:  Robert Silman Associates
Mechanical engineer:  D’Antonio Engineering
General contractor:  Black Cat Construction (phase 1), J&J Johnson (phase 2)
Stair fabricator:  Veyko (phase 1)
Photographer: Michael Moran

Publications: 
Kristal, Marc. "Spliced Townhouse." In The New Old House: Historic & Modern Architecture Combined, 40-49. New York, NY: Abram, 2017.
Kristal, Marc. "A House United." Interior Design. October 2012.