The White Snake

Space4Architecture designed a fluid and open space in a NY townhouse.

How were you commissioned?:
Private Client

White Snake

What was the brief from the client and how much were they involved?:
The clients, a young couple with two small children, had always lived on a single floor New York apartment. Intrigued, yet uncertain of the different lifestyle their newly acquired 5 story townhouse had to offer, we proposed a fluid and open space on multiple floors to fulfill their brief and maximize design potential.

The White Snake

How did the brief affect the materials and design choices?:
Our design intention was to adapt and reinterpret the concept of a loft. In our case a vertical loft. To emphasize this feeling of ' openness', we had to work simultaneously on a horizontal and vertical plane. On the first two levels the fully glazed back facade opens seamlessly into the rear garden providing continuity between the interior and exterior, while vertically the house is opened up with a dynamic light well. Our palette of materials was kept light and simple. Being the townhouse only 16'-0" wide, all our walls were painted white to enhance the natural light that poured into the space. Several warm inserts of white oak where added for the millwork throughout the house.

The White Snake

How did your previous experience help you with this project?:
We work on many NYC townhouses and have become very familiar with the most effective design strategies to maximize the typically narrow, long spaces.

The White Snake

Can you explain the layout of the project:
On the first two levels the fully glazed back facade opens seamlessly into the rear garden providing continuity between the interior and exterior and on the fifth floor, a new addition accommodates a private entertainment lounge with uninterrupted view of both north and south Manhattan.

The White Snake

What problems or challenges did you face?:
Our challenge for this project was to create spatial continuity within a narrow historic townhouse in the Upper West Side of New York City.

The White Snake

What do you feel were the most unusual design elements of the project?:
The light from the 'snake-like' coil stair light well filters down to the ground floor as it is reflected off of the smooth white curves of the handrail creating a modern sense of openness and fluidity and uniting all 5 floors.

The White Snake

How do you think this project is pushing design forward? What makes it special?:
The unique feature of this project is the 'grand stair', conceptualized as a 'snake like' coil, we were able to open up the house vertically with a dynamic light open up the house vertically with a dynamic light well. At the top floor the coil of the stair is in a tight U-shape, providing maximum floor area for the private spaces. As the stair descends into the lower levels, where the most public spaces are located, the coil loosens, opening generously into its surroundings and allowing the most light through.

The White Snake

Please provide details of product names and suppliers where possible.:
Master Bathroom: Wall: Mutina Tiles: Azulej by Patricia Urqiola Walls: Thassos tiles Children's Bathroom: Floor: Slate tiles Walls: Mutina Tiles: Pico Tile design ronan & erwan bouroulle Kitchen: GD Cucina - Designed by Space 4 Architecture





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