Architects: Ben Hansen Architect
- Area: 320 m²
- Year: 2012
Photographs:Francisc Dzikowski Photography Inc.
- Design Team: Eric Simon, Ben Hansen, Christine Hansen
- Structural Engineer: Harry Hong
- Mechanical Engineer: Kam Chiu
- Site Area: 160 sqm
- City: New York
- Country: United States
Text description provided by the architects. In many ways, the historic New York City townhouse is not compatible with a contemporary family’s way of life. The first and most important concept was to reinterpret the classic townhouse but customize it to the client’s request of having a join family space at the parlor level, where members of the family move fluidly between the kitchen, dining and living rooms; and have a visual and program connection with the rear courtyard; another interpretation of the typical American family house but in an urban context.
The rest of the floor levels were strictly defined by their own program and vertical circulations, allowing the most efficient way of space planning; and having as much natural light and ventilation as possible, especially in the core of the floor plate, which in the majority of historic townhouses are dark and unpleasant spaces.
While the design of the building is unquestionably contemporary, it relates to its classic NYC context as an abstract reinterpretation of the classic Brownstone Townhouse, from the materiality to the alignment of the façade elements. The front façade is pushed in and out to align with the neighboring building and the used of the classic steel and brick but with a strong contemporary language, that it’s consistent throughout the entire building, stands out in its immediate context.
The design of the exterior areas of the house were as important as the interiors, as a couple with 3 kids, the client needed to have as much patio area as possible, from playground areas in the ground floor, to more private and serene balconies, to a orchard roof deck, and all these landscape program needed to be harmoniously connected with their correspondent interior spaces.