In the year 1994, New York City-based design studio Archi-Tectonics was established by Dutch-American architect Winka Dubbeldam. In the last 27 plus years, the studio has established its branches in Amsterdam and Hangzhou in China. In the year 2016, a new partnership developed between Winka Dubbeldam and Justin Korhammer.
Archi-Tectonics is a multiple award-winning design studio. It has successfully established itself as one of the most innovative design studios in the world with magnificent projects in the world.
‘512GW Townhouse’ project was recently honoured with the ‘Rethinking the Future Award’ for ‘Residential over 5 floors (Built)’ category – 2020. The 8-storey one family residence is located at Soho New York City.
Winka Dubbeldam reveals, “Understanding the current economical and environmental climate, and how it relates to our wellness, we decided to rethink the impact of the residence’s footprint on the environment.”
“By adding a large extension onto an existing building with a footprint of only 19 x 40 feet, we converted this townhouse into an 8-storey vertically stacked tower of rooms, wrapped within a spacious lattice envelope functioning as a climatic skin, the third ‘building’,” she added to explain the project.
The building volume setbacks are inscribed within in a unifying, rectangular trellis envelope of multiple patterns and densities.
Made from lightweight steel frame and folding panels clad with Trespa™ slats, the “smart passive climate control envelope” serves as an adaptable perimeter of the building.
It provides shading and ventilation, while also creating variable levels of privacy for a variety of outdoor balconies and roof terraces.
Extensive prototyping assisted in optimizing the movement of the operable trellis panels, that transform as they fold open: when closed they are one smooth surface, when open “finger-like” fins fold out like feathers of a bird’s wings.
Like an intricate lacework dress, the sheathing changes character and appearance at different times of the day and view angles, and serves as both filter and amplifier between the privacy of the house and the public streetscape.
This way, the façade effortlessly adapts to the residents’ changing needs, and simultaneously connects to and encloses from the outdoors.
“We addressed the challenge of nearly doubling the original townhouse into an 8-storey single residence. By assembling the additional program as interlocking vertical volumes that intersect to maximize spatial variety, while strategic cuts allow light to enter deep into the building section, and create organized views,” explains Winka Dubbeldam.
In the rear a dramatic 6-storey south-facing window-slot allows sunlight to penetrate through the glass elevator into the 8-story black staircase in one continuous movement. This together with recessed LED lights, highlight the sensation of extreme verticality, and transforms mundane everyday tasks into a dynamic spatial experience.
Double-height spaces between the kitchen and dining and between the study and master bedroom allow for spatial interlacing, long views through.
At the interior the double-height windows connect the stairs back to the living spaces, while at the street façade they give striking double tall views of the terraces and trellis.
Image Courtesy: Archi-Tectonics
Photographer: Evan Joseph