Urban townhouse: living in the city that never sleeps


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.


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.


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…



Architects: GluckPlus Architects

Photography: Raimund Koch