Julian King architect renovated a pre-war townhouse on a historic block in Chelsea, New York, with a minimalist approach that respects the original character of the Victorian building.
While new features of contemporary living were imposed, the five storey house elegant characteristics were preserved in an almost seamless coexistence of old and new.
Original etched-glass doors, crown mouldings in the kitchen and original pine floors have been restored, combined with carefully detailed modern elements (such as the slim cantilevered marble bathroom sink), all in tones and materials of characteristic minimalist restraint.
All images © Courtesy of Julian King architect
Description from Julian King architect:
“The renovation of a pre-war townhouse on a historic block in Chelsea, New York, involved the duplexing of two upper floors into a large rental apartment, and the renovation of the garden level duplex as the primary residence. The design goals were three-fold: to separate public and private, to open the duplex to the garden, and to use sustainable practices and materials. Equally important was that the character of the existing townhouse, with its extraordinary details, was preserved and respected.
To that end, the rear garden wall was opened to the garden with full width sliding doors, the kitchen was relocated to the parlor level, opening onto a new Ipe deck, and reclaimed materials combined with a high efficiency HVAC system and LED lighting. Rather than being at odds with each other, the old and the new co-exist seamlessly, with light and space overcoming the previously dark and cellular nature of the century old townhouse.
In the end, one steps across the metaphorical riverbed, the adorned urban life temporarily shed, into a lush garden in the middle to the city - to reconnect with that which cannot be named.”