New York City
Built in 1853, on the site of a stable in a vernacular Greek Revival style, 130 Charles Street was always a modest house in the heart of the bustling dockside of Greenwich Village. The house’s broad four-bay front belies its shallow depth and rhomboid shape in plan. For most of its history the house was a multi-occupancy building used either as a rooming house or as tiny studio apartments. In the 1980s it was converted into a single-family home. The condition of the house was pretty dire when the architects started design work: shabby on the outside, with a warren of small rooms with sloping floors inside.
Design concept and solution: The renovation of the front façade was governed by its Landmark District status. Plastic-framed windows, security grills, and painted metal caps on brownstone sills and lintels were all removed. Brickwork, brownstone, and railings were restored and replaced. Inside, the 2,800-square-foot house was gutted. The basement was excavated two feet and the house underpinned. A steel structure was introduced at the core of the house, allowing the architects to create large, four-bay rooms on the first three floors. The chimney breast and fireplaces on the east side were removed, and those on the western wall were renovated.
The house is entered directly into the living room at the top of the stoop. The rhomboid footprint is disguised by orthogonal closets on the eastern wall that gradually reduce in depth from the front to the back of the room. This planning device is consistent in all rooms on that side. The living room is open to the staircase hall and through a glass door at the rear of the building to a small yard where tall bamboo disguises the blank brick walls of the surrounding buildings. To either side of the stair is a study and cloak room, accessed from either end of the living room and from which indirect light implies the illusion of additional volume. New white-stained oak floors and staircase, from the basement up, and smooth white walls and ceilings throughout the house reflect daylight into the full depth of the house.
Downstairs, the large stone-floored dining room is supported by a kitchen and laundry room at the rear of the building. Similarly, the master bedroom on the second floor occupies the four bays above the living room, with marble bathroom and walnut walk-in closet overlooking the yard. Two smaller bedrooms with en suite bathrooms occupy the third floor, below a glass bulkhead at the roof level with a deck surrounded by planting.
Owner: Declan Sheehan
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Architect of record:
Interior designer: Messana O’Rorke
Cabinetry: Master Bed, Master walk in closet and all cabinetry in study: Jorgensen Carr
CAD system, project management, or other software used: VectorWorks and google sketchup
Metal/glass curtainwall: Pella architectural landmark series. www.pella.com
Wood doors: Custom Solid Core
Hinges: Colonial. www.colonialbronze.com/ interior
Pulls: Dline. www.dline.com interior doors
Cabinet hardware: Blum
Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore. www.benjaminmoore.com
Floor and wall tile: kitchen and top floor. pietra serena
Wood flooring: NEW 6.7” CATHEDRAL SOLIDS- CATHEDRAL WHITE & RED SOLID ON SUB FLOOR AS REQ’D TO BE PURCHASED @TOWN & COUNTRY FLOORING T-607. www.tncflooring.com
Toilets: Toto. www.toto.com
Kitchen appliances: miele (www.mieleusa.com) Refrigerator: subzero (www.subzero.com).
Giles Norman Galleries
Hasted Hunt Kraeutler Gallery
Johnson Trading Gallery
Magen H Gallery
SUITE New York
reGeneration modern furniture
Fabricators and supplier Contacts:
Custom Cabinetry: Jorgensen Carr, Inc.
Floors: L.V. Wood Flooring, Inc.
Window Shades: Blinds and Beyond
Hardware & Plumbing fixtures:
Appliances: Gringer and Sons, Inc.