Charles Street TownHouse, NY | Messana O’ Rorke

This West Village townhouse is a refreshing statement on simplicity and space, by New York architectural firm Messana O’ Rorke.

The minimal apartment is the result of an entire renovation of the interiors of a 1853 Greek Revival townhouse. The original layout, divided in different rooms on three upper stories and a basement, was converted into new, open street-front living spaces, while utilities (kitchen, bathrooms, storage) where moved at the back.

Concealed ambient lighting and whiteness characterize the fresh interiors. 
In the living room, a Noguchi Floor Lamp creates a dialogue with a ceramic wall sculpture by Shizue Imai on the other side of the minimal fireplace. On the other side, the Tv set and audiovisual equipment is hidden behind white lacquered panels of a storage wall. 
Oak floors and the new staircase that unify the spaces are wire-brushed and lime-washed for a warm, worn feel.

Photography © Eric Laignel.

Description from Messana O’ Rorke:

Built in 1853, on the site of a stable in a vernacular Greek Revival style, 130 Charles Street was always a modest house. The condition of the house was dire; shabby on the outside and inside a warren of small rooms with sloping floors and almost negligible historic detail. 

The renovation of the front facade of the house was governed by it's 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 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 us to create large four bay rooms on the first three floors. 

The house is entered directly into the living room at the the top of the stoop. The rhomboid footprint is disguised by orthogonal closets 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 of the house. Either side of the stair are a study and cloak room, which are accessed from either end of the living room and from which indirect light implies the illusion of volume. New oak floors and staircase, from the basement up, and smooth white walls and ceilings throughout the house reflect day light into the full depth of the house. 

Downstairs the large dining room is supported by a kitchen and laundry room at the rear of the building. The master bedroom on the second floor occupies the four bays above the living room, with marble bathroom and american black walnut walk-in closet overlooking the yard. Two bedrooms with en suite bathrooms occupy the third floor, below a glass bulk head at roof level with a deck surrounded by planting.

Source: Remodelista | Messana O' Rorke