SkyHouse is a spectacular residence at the summit of one of New York’s earliest skyscrapers. Constructed within a previously unoccupied four-story penthouse structure at the summit of one of the earliest surviving skyscrapers in New York City, Sky...
SkyHouse is a spectacular residence at the summit of one of New York’s earliest skyscrapers. Constructed within a previously unoccupied four-story penthouse structure at the summit of one of the earliest surviving skyscrapers in New York City, SkyHouse is a unique private residence suspended midway in the vertical cityscape of Lower Manhattan.
The original penthouse –completed in 1895- was essentially a hollow ornament for the skyline.
When architect David Hotson first encountered the penthouse over eleven decades after its completion, the interior was a raw shell, with oddly configured partial floors and no services other than an industrial gas heater and the minimal bathroom and kitchenette required for it to be sold as a residential condominium unit. Only the original riveted steel structural frame, the arched windows and the upward tapering volume of space under the enormous roof provided evidence of the late 19th century when the building was built. In transforming this raw 19th century shell into a 21st century residence, Hotson restructured the complex interior volume of the penthouse to create multi-level living spaces distributed between four levels and a intricate web of pathways and vistas passing between the interior levels of the apartment and out into the surrounding three-dimensional cityscape. At the entrance to the penthouse, accessed from the private elevator stop through a phosphorescent red-orange door, Hotson created a luminous white entry vestibule that tapers upward to a seamless glass skylight framing the rippling stainless steel summit of the adjacent skyscraper. For the visitor arriving here from the frenetic sidewalks of New York, this austere monochromatic space is like an ablution, cleaning the sensory palette at the threshold of the private residence. To provide an equally visceral path of descent through the four-story penthouse, Hotson installed an eighty-foot (24m) long mirror-polished stainless steel slide. Entered through a circular opening in a matching outward sloping glass window at the south end of the Attic, the slide sweeps down, coiling over rooms, through interior windows and over stairways before flaring out to form a distorted wall at one end of the entry gallery. www.hotson.net