ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos


Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.


Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Houses
  4. United States
  5. GLUCK+
  6. 2009
  7. Urban Townhouse / GLUCK+

Urban Townhouse / GLUCK+

  • 01:00 - 24 March, 2013
Urban Townhouse / GLUCK+
Urban Townhouse  / GLUCK+, © Raimund Koch
© Raimund Koch

© Raimund Koch © Erik Freeland © Raimund Koch © Erik Freeland +14

  • Architects

  • Location

  • Project Team

    Guido Furlanello, Peter L. Gluck, Thomas Gluck, Jason Kreuzer, Scott Scales, Jeff Straesser, Robert Holton, Shlomit Levav, AB Moburg-Davis, Jason Walls
  • Structural Engineer

    Robert Silman Associates P.C.
  • MEP Engineer

    Rodkin Cardinale Consulting Engineers P.C.
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

© Erik Freeland
© Erik Freeland

This project reinvents the typology of the urban townhouse on a typically narrow infill Manhattan plot.

© Erik Freeland
© Erik Freeland

By radically reconfiguring the organization and façade of the building, open loft-like living spaces find privacy from the street behind a four-storey vertical library. The clients asked for generous light-filled interiors and privacy from the street – in contrast to the standard New York City row house with parlor room windows right on the street, usually curtained or shuttered from the eyes of passersby.

© Erik Freeland
© Erik Freeland

The conventional plan and section were redefined with the stair and elevator core pushed up against the street façade, instead of running along one of the party walls.  As a result, loft-like spaces run fluidly the entire length of the 38-foot-deep building, rather than being compartmentalized into small front and back rooms. An open mezzanine living room, a private office nook, and sitting rooms to private bedrooms, extend off the stairs which wind like a ribbon around the elevator core.

© Erik Freeland
© Erik Freeland

The front façade engages the street with a custom water-cut aluminum rain screen with brick-shaped openings relating to the solid bricks of its neighbors and panel joints corresponding to the neighboring building stories. During the day, it appears as a flat, patterned mass, marked off from the adjacent houses by the tall glass slots on either side. The horizontal joints of the aluminum panels break up the vertical surface as a reference to the rhythm of the window spacing of the row houses.

© Erik Freeland
© Erik Freeland

At dusk, this impression wanes as the glow from the horizontal slit windows and the vertical glass slots animates the street façade. The aluminum appears more as a screen than a mass, and invites the eye toward, but not into, the house.


The rear facade is in counterpoint to the front: It is all glass; a full-height, full-width curtain wall that bathes the interior in light. At night, the warm lantern-like light of the interior illuminates the rear garden.

The public spaces of the townhouse (living room, dining room, and kitchen) are linked by a light-filled mezzanine which overlooks the backyard. The etched glass on the upper three floors gives privacy to the bedrooms and baths, as well as a diffused light that is in fact, brighter than clear glass. By extending the materials (brick, stone and wood) of the ground floor open living and dining area out into the garden, the spatial experience captures the full 70-foot-depth of the site. 

Cite: "Urban Townhouse / GLUCK+" 24 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


majchers · October 15, 2014

Beautiful! Amazing! Great job guys. Chapeau bas !!!

Stephen Stinson · October 15, 2014

Edward Durell Stone, NY townhouse, 1956
Some images for historical perspective on the modern interpretation of the townhouse typology.

majchers · October 15, 2014 09:58 PM

Not quite the same :(

Elizabeth · April 01, 2014

If someone built this monstrosity next to my beautiful Federal townhouse, I'd be very annoyed. You want a very modern interior, go for it. But destroying the character of the neighborhood is not acceptable.

Sasha · March 30, 2013

I have a question wonder anybody could answer? Is that possible to build a house with totally different exterior, while the rest of building in region have different exterior? Who let this? and why?

Jeff Brussel · January 03, 2014 10:33 PM

It's possible and has been done for centuries.

Sadia Hayat · March 30, 2013


Norov · March 30, 2013

I love to architect's sensitivity to context...

Pierre · March 28, 2013


aybige tek · March 25, 2013

only in north america! that extension to outdoors really do rock! great great work you guys! o oo oo ! :D


Comments are closed

Read comments