The 1.5 acre grounds were transformed with the addition of patios, a swimming pool, and outdoor "rooms" articulated by stone walls, steel edging and plantings.
Interiors are furnished with a mix of antiques, contemporary art created by artist friends, and new custom furniture designed by WaCa.
New wings house functions not included in the original structure: bathrooms, closets, and a main-level kitchen. Wings also accommodate mechanical equipment and plumbing, allowing modern systems without altering the layout and ornamentation of the the original house.
Local historic materials were salvaged and reused wherever possible. While this originated with a desire for authenticity, it led to an appreciation of the potential for reused and locally sourced materials as sustainable building materials.
This project involved the gut renovation of a historic home listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
While historic details were restored, systems, fixtures and windows were upgraded. Walls were moved to accommodate better room layouts. A new volume was added housing the master bath with a view of the adjacent wooded park. An existing sun porch and mudroom were demolished and upgraded with insulated enclosures.
The grounds were extensively overhauled by moving the driveway and parking areas to create a gracious entry sequence. Outbuildings were demolished, and new fencing, stone walls, steps, paths, a patio and plantings were added.
This midtown Manhattan loft renovation illustrates how aesthetic possibilities can be expanded while minimizing the embodied energy of construction materials.
Using three strategies — reusing existing demolition materials, locally sourcing materials, and “counting calories” for everything else — WaCa is testing a new approach to specifying materials and fixtures, as shown in the diagram to the left. We are exploring the limits of reducing embodied energy of construction materials while complying with perhaps the the toughest building code in the world. “…If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere …”
We believe that these constraints can be springboards for innovation. Repurposing demolition materials from the site, we are designing new light fixtures, wall treatments, hardware and millwork details. Local sourcing of materials (e.g. granite terrace pavers from a quarry only 35 miles from the site) revives the historic practice of bringing the city’s natural edges into its heart. Minimizing embodied energy of more complex components (e.g. window units) requires research, revealing new possibilities (e.g. using accoya wood for windows).
Each decision considers cost, functionality, and aesthetics in addition to minimizing operating energy and embodied energy.
Aesthetic and functional designs were tested in the scale model shown here.