Rooftop Addition


This project integrates historic preservation and new construction. The multi-level penthouse, containing both living and workspaces, sits atop a 12-story, turn of the century landmark building in lower Manhattan. The design employs an aesthetic based upon New York City’s unique rooftop vernacular, using materials and details derived from traditional mechanical equipment enclosures. The new building envelope addresses the particular construction problems of harsh rooftop exposures and the design limitations inherent in expanding historic buildings.

The project was conceived both architecturally and programmatically as three distinct elements: a floating horizontal volume for a self-contained apartment, a vertical tower for a children’s duplex, and a horizontal north wing for offices and a library. A garden court, a vertically oriented atrium, and the open loft of the main space unite to form a continuous zone of interior/exterior circulation. Curtain walls and skylights, and a suspended glass floor mezzanine define the central atrium. A monumental decommissioned masonry chimney was incorporated into the glass curtain wall. The structural steel frame of the suspended volume, the primary lateral transfer beams, and the atrium framing are architectural conceits that reinforce the industrial origins and character of the landmark building.