Country: United States
Typology: private residence
Space4Architecture is a New York-based architectural firm owned by Michele Busiris-Vici and Clementina Ruggieri. The residence on East 78th in Manhattan underwent total refurbishment of the four existing floors, the addition of a fifth floor and extension of the whole building.
The redevelopment of the townhouse was a considerable challenge to the studio: the clients were looking in their new home on the Upper East Side, for an atmosphere similar to that of their former home downtown. Hence the idea to design the building as a large loft with a strong verticality and space distribution on multiple levels.
Each of the elements contributes to create a fluid continuity: wherever possible, the walls to ceiling have been eliminated; the open staircase merges the space into a single whole. All boundaries are erased: between one room and the next, between one floor and the next, between interior and exterior. The rooms seem to open into one another, and sliding panels appear to separate them in case of privacy needs. At the back, where the entire building has gained an extension of about three metres, the wall is entirely made of glass, in an exchange of dialogue with the outside world and creating on the ground floor an organic communication between the kitchen and the garden it overlooks.
The essentiality of the materials is underlined. Most of the floors, the ceilings and the light and airy staircase are all in wood, the walls are white with some sections in brickwork, while glass is a recurring element. The choice of furniture emphasizes clarity of line and comfort, with classic numbers set off against iconic design and vintage pieces.
Near the windows in the master bedroom is the Deep bathtub, designed by Benedini Associati for Agape. Its characteristic rounded, essential shape sits quite comfortably in the room, where it gains star status. Its material, white Cristalplant® biobased, inspired the designer to immerse it in an aura of white light that bathes the floors and walls that form an ideal backdrop.
photography: Christian Schaulin