Park Avenue Townhouse

New York
David Hotson Architect

In order to create ample spaces for family life, creative work, and gatherings of all kinds, this 19th century Queen-Anne brownstone was enlarged to the maximum amount permitted by the underlying zoning and landmark regulations. Two stories were added at the top of the building under a raked roofline that keeps the enlargement hidden behind the existing mansard roof. The cellar was excavated to create a suite of sauna and steam rooms. The five original stories where structurally rebuilt and furnished with enlarged rear windows, exterior terraces, and new plumbing, electrical, heating and central air-conditioning systems.

With such a pronounced vertical organization, the stair provides the focal element in the organization, use, and experience of the house. The new staircase passes from cellar spa to rooftop studio as a continuously transforming sculptural element. As the stair rises through the building, adjusting to the varied ceiling heights of the rebuilt stories, the enclosing walls around it gradually peel away, opening the stair to the surrounding spaces. As it reaches the double-height family room with its vaulted roof rising behind the exterior mansard, the stair completes its transformation to a pure freestanding helix, turning upward to access the new bedroom mezzanine and ascending through a skylit light shaft to the rooftop studio and exterior terrace.

Related Projects

  • Shanghai Suhe MixC World
  • Welcome to the Stage!
    Kjellander Sjöberg
  • Hovering Kan-Too – Great Bay Area Center Showroom
    Wutopia Lab
  • Stockwell-Rodríguez Residence
    Belmont Freeman Architects
  • Haunsbergstraße | 1. Preis
    Architektinnen Schremmer.Jell ZT GmbH


Other Projects by David Hotson Architect

SoHo Duplex
New York
Sculpture Center
New York
Office for the Secretary General of the United Nations
New York
Fifth Avenue Duplex
New York
Princeton Residence