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. This was just the challenge when we were hired to design this NYC townhouse renovation on a 19th century building on Leroy St, a quiet enclave in NYC’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. Collaborating with this client, whom we had worked with on his previous 2,200 square foot apartment renovation, we were happy to bring his dream of a spectacular single-residence home – complete with a private 3-car garage and outdoor space – to fruition.
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. After talking with the client, understanding his needs, and researching options, we decided the best solution was to demolish most of the original building, lower the ground floor, raise the second floor, and build a penthouse addition on the roof.
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 façade 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!