512GW TOWNHOUSE, USA

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.

In between Façade

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.  

Living Room – Open

‘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.

Climate Skin

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.”

Bedroom Closet

“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.

Study

The building volume setbacks are inscribed within in a unifying, rectangular trellis envelope of multiple patterns and densities.

Elevator and Stairs

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.

Trellis + Prototype Sheet

It provides shading and ventilation, while also creating variable levels of privacy for a variety of outdoor balconies and roof terraces.

Main Bath

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.

Explosion Diagram

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.

Close-up of Terrace Area

This way, the façade effortlessly adapts to the residents’ changing needs, and simultaneously connects to and encloses from the outdoors.

Façade Folding

“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.

Living Room – Closed

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.

View from the Stairs

Double-height spaces between the kitchen and dining and between the study and master bedroom allow for spatial interlacing, long views through.

512GW Townhouse

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

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