Amsterdam Vale Shared Gardens and Renovations
New York, NY
S&A designed lobby renovations for a group of 8 adjacent Upper West Side townhouses, and is developing a secluded shared mews garden between them - involving complex NY Landmarks Commission submissions. The project recently received unanimous approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission review and was recommended by Community Board 7 and Landmarks West. The formerly disused space will be excavated at the upper level to provide accessibility from the street, taking care to preserve three existing trees and any schist boulders unearthed during excavation, which will be re-purposed throughout the site. In an effort to support New York City’s urban ecosystem, the site will be planted with native, urban plants.
The main entrance to the garden is inspired by the cast-iron handrails, fences and grilles present throughout the Upper West Side. Our iron-work design creates a cascade of blossoms. Inside the gate, the green space is an oasis from the City. The landscape is programmed for both private and communal activities, from meeting a friend for coffee in the rapid seating area, to quiet reading in the meandering forest or hosting a barbecue in the group gathering space. Some private yards offer connected
S&A has designed lobby renovations and a shared garden for a group of adjacent Upper West Side townhouses, preparing them for the high-end rental market. Focused on a holistic approach, we created a set of coordinated designs for the interior shared spaces of the buildings. Our goal was to respond to the different historic architectural styles of the buildings, giving each space an individual brand while ensuring a sense of identity across the whole group.
Anticipating the client’s need to make beautiful and unique interiors economically, we created a system of matching finishes and coordinated color swatches. Based on a careful analysis of existing context and desired outcomes, the striking designs that resulted from this approach will add greatly to the residents’ quality of life, and enhance the client’s brand.
Photography: Alexander Severin
Sweeping views of Central Park are a highlight of this single family residence in a 1938 Art Moderne building by Rosario Candela. Opening up the kitchen to the dining room and gallery expands the sense of space. A variety of natural stones with a white/grey pallette, including marble statuario stone with a honed finish for the kitchen floor, illuminate selected rooms, while the living room, library and master bedroom will have the warm texture of wood.
Upper East Side, New York
Square Footage: 1,736
S&A is renovating 220 balconied apartments in an Upper West Side building. As well as finding ingenious ways to add second bedrooms and bathrooms to the existing layouts, our designs modernize and bring the apartments up to code. Every detail is designed to create a sense of place for the increasingly discerning resident. By specifying a range of subtle high-end yet economical finishes for each unit we provide a backdrop for the individuality of the apartments’ occupants.
San Francisco, California
For the design of a two-family house on a rare vacant lot in San Francisco, S&A explored varied relationships between the ground and the sky. The site is narrow and steeply sloped with breathtaking vistas of the city and bay. Our design threads together disparate experiences of the site, connecting a split level arrangement of front and rear rooms with a bridge-like stair. Beside the stair the building volume is carved away to enable the rear rooms - and neighboring dwellings - to take advantage of the views. The strategy complements the exterior spectacle with interior vistas created as a sequence of surprises. The house is simultaneously other-worldly and a part of its neighborhood.
Photography: Gustav Liliequist
Brooklyn, New York
As part of the growing investment portfolio of Weissman Equities, the Halsey Street project in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn brings about positive change to an underperforming property, as well as to the surrounding neighborhood.
Improvements to the property include redistribution of the space occupied by the existing ground floor liquor store. Reclaiming storage space in the existing cellar allowed the building owner to capture valuable ground floor storage space and make it a profitable second retail space. This solution called for the installation of a new material lift for the liquor store to better access the cellar storage spaces with inventory, new security walls, and the restoration of a former retail storefront that was bricked over in past years.
Since the building is on the western edge of the newly expanded New York City “Bedford-Stuyvesant Historic District”, all work on the project was subject to review at a hearing of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Committee (LPC). Our storefront proposal was the first project in the expanded historic district that was reviewed by the committee, and it was overwhelmingly approved at the first hearing.
Plans for the new storefront call for a modern interpretation of a traditional storefront in steel, aluminum and glass, complete with inset entry doors and “bay windows” for retail display and/or restaurant/café seating. Historically sensitive improvements to the remainder of the façade include the removal of excessive and garish liquor store signage; installation of a secure trash bin enclosure; concealment of existing security gates behind new awnings; signage upgrades; and lighting, signage and aesthetic upgrades to the residential apartment entryway.
The residential scope of the project gut-renovated four of six existing apartments. Kitchens were installed with new cabinets, attractive finishes and modern appliances, including a washer/dryer in each unit. Bathrooms were rearranged with a separate water closet room, accessible from the common hallway, to better accommodate multiple roommates. Bedroom space in each apartment was redistributed to make the three bedrooms more equal in size and with more spacious closets. New lighting and flooring finished off the look and feel of a tasteful and highly marketable New York City apartment.
Fire Island Pines, New York
2008 - 09
The site for this house is unique: it is one of the few non-beachfront houses in the Pines that can be seen from a distance. It is on a high dune, surrounded by protected wetlands.
The tasks set forth by the owner were simple: create a distinctive profile and views of the ocean and sunset.
Our solution was to create a higher dune. The roofline gives the house shade as well as its distinctive profile; from some vantages the flat surface of the roof disappears entirely, leaving only the gesture. Lattice screens are open to the primary views (north-south) and dense to the cross views (east-west). The grooved siding further accentuates this lattice effect, blurring the line between house and wetland.
At night, the beadboard ceiling is visible from the walks when lit creating a warm lantern visible from afar.
Photo credit: David Joseph
New York, New York
For this new roof garden in Manhattan, we took the DNA of traditional Japanese gardens and reconfigured it. The result is a layered terrain of elegant shapes and materials. The perimeter is a continuous wood-lined planter with native, drought-resistant plants that can withstand the harsh sun and wind conditions of a New York City roof garden. Between the wood walking surface of the deck and the perimeter planter is a moat filled with black river rock. The experience of being on the deck is one of respite, like being on an island, or a raft: floating in the city.
New York, New York
2004 - 05
The client for this duplex residence had one directive: a place for everything.
Our inspiration was the Japanese cabinet, known as <b>tansu</b>. For this project, we created residence-as-tansu. The design centered around a continuous cabinetry lining for every aspect of the owner’s belongings and functional concerns. The cabinetry took on architectural functions as well, creating openings for light, folding into a cantilevered stair, opening up the kitchen, and displaying books as artworks in a continuous, rhythmic pattern. The cabinetry is both functional storage and architectural device.
The residence-as-tansu approach does not stem from the idea that architecture is defined by the shape and functioning of its space. Instead, it proposes that architecture is defined by our perceptions and emotional reactions, in addition to our abstract understanding of the spatial boundaries. It encapsulates both our mental understanding and our emotional reaction, the conceptional and the experience of material. Our solution was to create architectural devices out of what would normally be considered built-in furnishings. It is also a pragmatic approach suited to renovating post-war apartment buildings, where the slab and plumbing risers limit spatial flexibility.
New York, New York
Full-height open shelving (solid walnut and mill-finish steel plates) were complimented with gallery-grade lighting. The elements added allow the owner curate his collection of contemporary art, books, and collectible toys.
Casa Pereira takes a common feature of Brazilian houses - the outdoor tiled roof covering a churrascaria - and modernizes it. Using the same materials and assembly methods, the roof over this churrascaria slopes in only one direction, shedding water to the nearby cerrado and away from the house. The top of the perimeter wall slopes and playfully bends into the space, screening where needed but also creating a hilly backdrop to the open space beneath the roof.
New York, New York
As part of the growing investment portfolio of Weissman Equities, the Mount Morris Park project in Harlem brings about positive change to an underperforming property, as well as to the surrounding neighborhood.
Improvements to the property include the conversion of a basement level apartment to retail space and includes the introduction of a modern storefront that is sensitive and responsive to the historic context of the neighboring buildings. All work on the project is subject to review at a hearing of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Committee (LPC).
The residential scope of the project gut-renovates five existing apartments. Kitchens will be installed with new cabinets, attractive finishes and modern appliances, including a washer/dryer in each unit. Bathrooms were redesigned and bedrooms will be added to the larger apartments to convert them from two-bedroom to three-bedroom units. New lighting and flooring finish off the look and feel of a tasteful and highly marketable New York City apartment.
New York, New York
This project combined two inefficient apartments in adjoining mews buildings into an efficient and open two bedroom apartment. When all the pocket doors are open, the apartment feels like a large loft.
This project consists of four attached row houses on a sloping site in Oakland. Adapting an existing bungalow at the site’s street front with additional floors provides a transition into the new development. The design features a series of bay windows and balconies on the south-facing façade angled to capture light and views on a narrow lot. The building mass is accented with carefully detailed Kebony wood screens that relate to the surrounding landscape and enliven the narrow driveway approach to create a traditional mews for the community living in the complex. Ground-floor flats can be rented separately, while the upper units of each townhouse include a second floor living area, and a third floor with two bedrooms and a bath.