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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fully Retractable Living Room Facade/Wall

Looking to buy a distinctive home in New York City? Perhaps one featured in my Guide to Contemporary New York City Architecture? Or one with a "fully retractable living room facade/wall"? If so, then you're in luck: The garden apartment at 226 East 14th Street, designed by Bill Peterson Architect, is on the market at Corcoran for just under $2.5 million. Look very closely at the bottom three images below to see the second-floor facade retract into the unit; the result is the photo at top left.

[224 East 14th Street - Apt: GRDN 1 | image source]

The description from my book:
"Among the bars and cheap food catering to students and East Village hipsters on a stretch of 14th Street sits a brownstone with a perforated metal storefront, also brown, that exudes a certain Zen-like calm. This CNC-milled screen is a treat in and of itself, but it is even subtler than the surprise (barely) visible one floor above. The seven-story building is basically a formal reconstruction of the 19th-century brownstone that formerly occupied the site, but the gap around the two second-floor windows reveals that the 16x12-foot area actually retracts into the residence like a garage door. At the click of a button, the living space opens to the street and its trees (and traffic and bugs and other elements kept at bay via an air curtain), a contemporary device layered over the historical exterior. That the façade actually opens points to another contemporary maneuver: the brownstone is actually a thin veneer to reduce the weight of the wall."

And the description from Corcoran:
"Featured on the cover of New York Magazine as a 'State of the Art Model for the New Brownstone', and included in Elle Decoration UK's 'Pick of the World's Most Beautiful Homes', this East Village Condominium Triplex, a townhouse within a townhouse, is the signature residence in a four-unit 19th Century Brownstone, a classic New York City icon re-imagined and rebuilt for 21st Century Living. The home's most distinctive feature is its fully-retractable second floor façade/wall that opens like a garage door, transforming the Living Room into what Elle Decoration UK described as 'the Ultimate Indoor/Outdoor Living Space'. A glass garage door in the Kitchen/Dining area also retracts, opening an entire wall to a private, South-facing garden and outdoor cabana. The Kitchen features Viking and Subzero appliances and custom lacquered cabinetry. The Bathrooms' appointments include custom porcelain enamel panels, deep soaking tubs, Lefroy Brooks sinks and Arne Jacobsen-designed hardware. Other amenities include 12 foot ceilings, polished concrete floors, exposed brick, central heat and air, high speed wiring, keyless building entry, and keyed elevator access. The building's award-winning architecture has earned it a place in both the prestigious American Institute of Architects' 'AIA Guide to New York City' and the 'Guide to Contemporary New York City Architecture'."

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