Urban townhouse: living in the city that never sleeps

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A unique townhouse is quietly living in the skyscraper city that never sleeps…In New York City there’s a five-story building that redefines the typology of the common urban townhouse on a representative narrow Manhattan plot. Stuck between two ancient brick houses, Urban Townhouse demonstrates how to achieve the most unique experience of living within a small area.

Privacy stood as a major goal to be attained so a particular set of principles were carefully developed in order to obtain the most balanced solution: open loft-like living spaces are brilliantly organized behind a four-story vertical library. The program follows a clear sequence of spaces defined by the stair and elevator nucleus cleverly pushed against the street facade, instead of being positioned along one of the party walls.

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The social areas of the townhouse – living room, dining room, and kitchen – are bonded by a light-filled mezzanine which points to the backyard. A private office and also sitting rooms to bedrooms extend off the stairs offering a dynamic journey through this magnificent example of contemporary architecture.

However, there’s an unusual architectonic answer to the basic need of privacy: the front facade is composed by an aluminum rain screen perforated with brick-shaped openings relating to the solid bricks of its neighbors. An original approach was conceived to establish a fresh relation between past and present values where an ancient pattern gives birth to a new type of constructive language.

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The rear facade is developed as a total counterpoint presenting a full-height glass wall that bathes the interior space with daylight. At night, the lantern-like light of the interior illuminates the garden in a delicate poetic gesture…

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Architects: GluckPlus Architects

Photography: Raimund Koch