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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Half Dose #70: East Village Penthouse & Rooftop Garden

New York's Pulltab Design recently sent me some images of a rooftop project that features a little bit of "urban rust." Situated atop a 1900's walkup in Manhattan's East Village, the design is "a space for both reading and entertaining," consisting of a penthouse and garden.

[photo by Elizabeth Felicella | courtesy Pulltab Design]

The penthouse and garden are two projects for the previous and current owners. The former encompasses a single room and adjacent outdoor space, and the latter creates more outdoor space in an area to the left of the below diagram.

[exploded aerial view | image source]

Materials were selected for their changing qualities over time. They are primarily teak, bronze, zinc and Cor-ten steel. The first is used for the single-room penthouses's columns, windows and doors; custom bronze brackets were created for the space; zinc lines the steel used to collect rainwater from the roof; and Cor-ten steel guardrails follow the old building's parapet and defines the small outdoor room adjacent to the penthouse. These guardrails of "urban rust" recall the sides of dumpsters, though I'm guessing this is a comparison neither architect nor client would want to acknowledge. Nevertheless the top image illustrates how well this material works in its location, anchoring the otherwise lightweight addition.

[photos by Elizabeth Felicella | courtesy Pulltab Design]

Beyond the Cor-ten steel guardrail lies the project's second phase (below), created for the succeeding owner. A palette of wood and metals with active patina prevails again, but the latter is used sparingly, defining a small lily pool. Plantings are used with partial height walls and a trellis to create a sense of privacy and provide shade.

[photo by Bilyana Dimitrova | courtesy Pulltab Design]

But the focus of this second rooftop intervention is the hand-carved block of white oak with its keyhole-shape, stainless steel fountain. Like the metals used throughout the roof, this block is intended to weather over time, marking the seasons and the years.

[photo by Bilyana Dimitrova | courtesy Pulltab Design]


  1. It looks like the Hamptons... reeds and all.

    They used Cor-ten steel, and post iron-y as well.


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