Fractal Construction a New-York City-based design studio has refurbised the Gramercy Park Townhouse. Completed in 2007, the luxury townhouse is located in New York’s Gramercy Park neighbourhood.
According to the architects: “With its grand bones and patrician façade, this 1848 Gramercy Park townhouse presented exciting challenges for the new generation of the Isaly family. Previous conversions had left one large triplex crowned by three loft-like residences. Their dream was simple but ambitious: the reconfiguration of the building into two dwellings, one atop the other, of equal value and scale. At the same time, the structure’s deteriorated condition meant investing in a whole new steel frame as well as replacement electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems.
“Ulises Liceaga, redeveloping the upper half of the contemporary New York building only, kicked off the project by adding a whole new top floor. Measuring 620 square feet, the additional story thus solved the issue of an equal division of space between the two dwellings. Thereafter, the design plans called for an open-plan, floor-through kitchen/dining/living space, a TV room, office, three bedrooms and three and half bathrooms.
“The family imagined a showcase home that honored its soul while unashamedly bringing it into the new century. In their quest for daring, they turned for help also to ODA (Architect of Record), Ingo Maurer (lighting design) and Emilio Garcia (sculptor). Everyone on the team harnessed their talents to the single vision of forging spectacular, multi-function spaces in a family home bathed from top to bottom in the sparkle of the sun in the summer and the softer rays of the New York winter.
“The result is a Manhattan address that captivates like few others. The walls and ceilings of the living and kitchen area are punctuated with the sensuous sculptures and exploding light fixtures of Garcia and Maurer. The bricks-and-mortar rear wall of the two main floors has vanished, replaced by a glass curtain fitted with tiny diodes, invisible by day but glinting at night like a private constellation. The outdoor terrace leading from the living room has a glass floor and overlooks the private gardens below. With every available patch of roof converted into usable space, the contemporary New York townhouse boasts two more terraces as well as a roof deck.”
Luxembourg city-based design studio N-Lab Architects has designed the House THE. Completed in 2010, this two storey contemporary property can be found in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
According to the architects: ‘The clearly defined volumes play with the concepts of heaviness and lightness. A walk around the contemporary Luxembourg house reveals firmly anchored volumes and floating bodies creating large overhangs. The four facades were treated with regard to local conditions. The few openings to neighbouring buildings are partially covered in wooden slats in order to filter the views from and to the most private areas.
“The largest opening in the contemporary Luxembourg property is on the garden side, where the entire first floor is raised off the ground, to maximise the living area and to blur the boundaries between the inside and the outside. The number of materials in the interior have been limited to create a calm atmosphere and to focus on the many views outside the house.”
Gracias Studio a San Diego-based design studio has designed the Casa Real del Mar House. Completed in 2008, this contemporary property is located in Tijuana, Mexico.
According to the architects: “The contemporary Mexican property is located within a seaside development with residences, a small hotel and its private golf course in Tijuana, BC, Mexico. The site’s triangular shape was not the only challenge, since it was also formed by a great steep, compelling to take important structural and design choices, resulting in three floors, the first two levels being made of concrete and acting as retaining wall, where a music studio was designed for the owner, a musician and record producer.
“Having a unique view towards the Pacific Ocean, the luxury Mexican house was planned with forward-looking constraints from buildings around the property, for example, the concrete wall that divides the space between the main entrance-living room area and the garage space, standing-in as a view blocker. The main entrance embraces a water-still mirror, accompanied by a small landscape area on the deck made of wood, which goes all the way through the house into the backyard.
“Following the development construction and design restrictions, the third level, where the bedrooms are found, is built with concrete block covered with a white smooth texture to blend in colour with the rest of the properties in the estate, but still being distinctive in its form and material usage, with its roof serving as terrace with full ocean view.”
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Design and Style for your Inspiration and Home.
French interior designer Maurice Padovani has been a designer since 1985. Maurice has completed this beautiful home located by the beaches of the Prado in Marseilles, France.
According to Maurice: “The contemporary French property belongs to a young family with two children. The kids had to share a bedroom temporarily whilst their home was being renovated.
“This former smallholding flanked by a stable was renovated in three steps. The volume was entirely freed from all its partitions and false-ceilings thus revealing a rich and space-structuring framework. Behind the complexity of the assembling of beams and joists, the parents’ bedroom slips in; open to the living room and accessible by a metal stairway. The main wall’s top is entirely open and the old staircase, formerly external, is integrated to the houses volume thanks to the installation of galvanised steel bays which oblique uprights give rhythm to the surface.
“A few years later, the couple acquired the contemporary French buildings semi basement as well as an adjoining outbuilding. This time again, the main walls were wide open in order to ease the passage of light and new steel bays, as an echo to the first installation, substitute themselves to masonry. The ‘cooking’, ‘meal’ and ‘living room’ functions were moved down to the ground floor. And there again, to guarantee the free flow between the spaces, every partition was removed. The little garden’s terrace, layed out during the same building campaign is covered with large ipé blades and the same wood, on the same level, was used for the semi basement in order to ensure continuity. The big wall standing between the house and the now linked outbuilding was covered with a gouged MDF wainscot because of recurring moisture that is impossible to reabsorb. The installation of this panel slightly apart from the wall creates an air flow that suppresses the effects of humidity. The panel surface’s undulating relief makes it vibrate under the light.”