Located west of Soho in Manhattan, we added an extension to a 1900’s townhouse, and wrapped the entirety of the structure in a unifying, rectangular trellis envelope of multiple patterns and densities. Made from a lightweight steel frame and folding panels clad with Trespa™ slats, this “smart climate control envelope” serves as an adaptable perimeter of the building. Its surface is much larger than the building structure itself; it creates and wraps private exterior spaces all around the building facade and on the roof. Vines grow through the trellis, further shading and creating variable levels of privacy, and a micro-climate for this 1 family, 8 story townhouse. Extensive prototyping assisted us in optimizing the patterning and movement of the trellis panels. The facade transforms as the panels open: when closed it forms one smooth surface, when open “finger-like” fins fold out like feathers of a birdwing.
In the rear of the building, a dramatic south-facing continuous window slot lights the glass elevator and 8-story black steel staircase, which connects all floors in one continuous movement. This highlights the sensation of extreme verticality and transforms mundane everyday tasks into a dynamic spatial experience. Several double height spaces give a different kind of connectivity to the space; allowing for views through, and light slots.