When Rogers Marvel Architects set out to combine and design this East Fifth Street top-floor renovation/penthouse addition, they wanted to create two separately functioning spaces. The entrance was moved to the penthouse, which houses the public zone–the kitchen, dining room, and formal living room. Downstairs is the family zone, with two bedroom/bathroom wings, one for the adults and the other for children, located off a central family and play room. The public spaces are outfitted with sleek, modern décor, while the private, family rooms are decidedly more playful.
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When the neighborhood institution St. Mark’s Bookshop was struggling to pay its sky-high rent back in 2011, it asked landlord Cooper Union for a break to prevent having to relocate from its iconic 3rd Avenue and East 9th Street location. The institution wouldn’t budge, so the East Village and book-loving communities banded together in an attempt to save the store. Though after petitions, cash mobs, and celebrity visits, the owners announced in March that they’d be moving their shop to 136 East 3rd Street at Avenue A.
Longtime patrons were nervous about the new outpost, which recently opened its doors in the historic First Houses complex, but the contemporary design by Clouds Architecture Office does not disappoint. The undulating bookshelves snake through the shop, encouraging customers to peruse the eclectic collection of literature and freeing up interior space for neighborhood events. Through the storefront windows, the colorful books pop against the stark-white shelves, a true feast for the eyes.
It’s no secret that the East Village is the go-to neighborhood for NYU students and recent grads looking to mix, mingle, and party, and that can get a little rowdy at times. But the Eiche Residence by Specht Harpman is a peaceful retreat within this buzzing neighborhood.
Simple horizontal and vertical lines mixed with clean volumes and planar surfaces help to maximize space and organize movement through this unusually laid out triplex unit. And with neutral furniture and an abundance of warm, natural wood, the calming feel achieved inside will make you forget that you’re even in New York.
The green wall at the 7th Street Residence designed by Pulltab Design puts our few measly house plants to shame. The custom-made garden wall was installed as part of an apartment renovation to be a focal point of the home, as well as to give the contemporary space a mysterious quality. A shallow reflecting pool sits under the vertically planted wall and serves as a landing pad for water droplets that fall from the wall’s concealed irrigation system. Additionally, the pool, fabricated from folded steel sheets and complete with swimming goldfish, adds a calming water element to the living room.
It’s not uncommon for NYC apartment buyers to snatch up two adjacent units and combine them into one space, but it is a bit unusual to request that your architect connect the spaces with a slide. And that’s exactly what Turett Collaborative Architects (TCA) was tasked with in this East Village duplex penthouse.
The previous homeowner, professional poker player Phil Galfond, bought two identical one-bedroom units, one on top of the other. They were transformed into a 2,400-square-foot, two-bedroom duplex with a new Italian-made Rintal stair. Clearly calling the bluff of this traditional mode of getting from one floor to another, Galfond worked with TCA to also install a stainless steel helical slide that descends through the double-height atrium.
Speakeasies and retro bars have been the new trend in New York for so long that this style may not be a trend at all. These “speakeasy bars” hearken back to a time somewhere between the Gilded Age and Prohibition, giving their interior designers a chance to play around with this fantastic historical style. The five speakeasies and retro bars below show a true design sense that transports us to the time of outlawed alcohol and tiny flapper dresses.
Oh, architects and their creativity. One such inventive architect Bill Peterson had a flash of “ahead of our time” genius when he decided to convert the front wall of his East Village apartment into a garage-style retractable facade after purchasing the pad in 2008. We suppose some people actually have too much privacy in New York City and would prefer to connect with the outside world (and terrify people with acrophobia simultaneously?).