Modern design meets Manhattan landmark

November 30, 2017
Amanda Zimmerman
Modern design meets Manhattan landmark

How do you modernize a landmark building, maintaining the integrity and heritage of the space while infusing it with the sophistication and elegance of high-end modern design? On this project, it starts with Selldorf Architects and AE Greyson, the general contractor.

Renovation With A Twist

Joseph Kusnick of AE Greyson, known for his high standard of work, directed this project and Eisenhardt Mills was happy to be asked to assist Joe on this very difficult and detailed project. Joe orchestrated multiple trades with elements designed and manufactured in 5 different countries, some from halfway around the world, and he managed to pull it all together seamlessly to a very successful completion.

Joe created a functional space that brought the creative vision of Sara Lopergolo, Michael Baskett and Jin Kim of Selldorf Architects to fruition. Modern renovations of landmark buildings always require careful and creative planning, but this lower Manhattan project had an added twist: the area to be renovated consisted of three apartments—two on one side of the building and the third on the other side, with the sides connected by a public passageway. The solution came in the form of an expansive mezzanine built over the passageway and connected to the apartment’s entry and living room by custom-designed teak stairs.

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(Custom-designed teak stairs)

AE Greyson asked Eisenhardt Mills to join in the collaboration with Selldorf Architects (renowned for their ability to utilize natural light as a design element in creating modern, open spaces) for our expertise and skills to figure out how to connect the millwork components of this project into a cohesive whole that flowed together seamlessly and bring the whole idea to fruition.

Custom Design in Artisan-Crafted Details

EMI was again invited to participate with metal manufacturing contractor Tomer Ben.Gal, GFRG contractor Formglas, Selldorf Architects, and general contractor AE Greyson to bring the artistry of French furniture and interior designer Noe Duchaufour Lawrance to life in the teak stairs as well as the custom cabinetry and shelving in the mezzanine.

The luxe teak stairway with its mushroom-shaped steps is set between a GFRG (cast gypsum) supporting wall and a solid balustrade with a curved teak inset handrail.

Modern design meets Manhattan landmark 2(Completed stair tread)

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(Key-out stage for making the handrail)

The wall and balustrade come down to a curved base, merging to form a row of single-center posts that rise up to support the steps.

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(Detail of base of stair tread connecting to wall)

The mezzanine’s GFRG wall is lined with three rows of individual wing-shaped shelves with a solid teak exterior and a core of reinforced steel that goes through the GFRG wall system, anchoring the shelves to the steel wall behind. Each cantilevered shelf is recessed, transforming the wall into a rhythm of form and light.

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(the beginning of the milling process for the shelves)

A curved teak cabinet hugs the wall below the shelves, adding curve and dimension to the rhythm. The cabinet and shelves are enhanced with an inset of powder-coated steel hand-wrapped in fine leather by leather artisan Michele Costello of CSI Designs.

Michele Costello also crafted the shearling wool that lines the curved sleeping loft, while the façade facing out onto the mezzanine was designed and created by South African artist Porky Hefer.

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(South interior elevation of sleeping loft and north elevation of sleeping loft designed by South African artist Porky Hefer)

Doors With A Difference

The two-story living room is graced by two massive doors. At 3” thick, 5’-7” wide, and 10’-10” high, the doors were so large that they had to be lifted by a crane through the window.

Selldorf Architects, aided by Humberto at Index D chose the frames and hinges used for the doors and Eisenhardt Mills installed them. The AGS frames from Italy, were chosen for their ultra-clean and modern design. The doors close flush with the wall, eliminating any gap and completely concealing the frame for a sleek and uninterrupted line. The doors pivot effortlessly on Frits Jurgens German pivot hinges.

The choice to bring the ultimate in luxe modern design—from doors and walls to stairs and ceilings—to a landmark building lead to the successful renovation of this lower Manhattan property. It also epitomizes one of Eisenhardt’s most distinguishing characteristics: the commitment to breaking new ground while honoring tradition.

Photos of the Finished Project

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(Mezzanine teak credenza with winged teak shelf above and underside of Mezzanine winged shelf)

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(East elevation of teak Master Dressing Room and west elevation of teak Master Dressing Room)

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(Teak vanity in Master Bath)

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(Window treatment on west side of Living Room)

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(Rift white oak writing desk)