A Colorful Penthouse Pays Homage to American Design
When a French filmmaker with strong ties to Brazil approached award-winning New York City studio Andrew Franz Architect PLLC to design her Manhattan pied-à-terre, she requested the home to boast a distinctive 1950s and 60s American feel.
Nestled on the top floor of a landmarked five-story building in Soho, the architects revamped the apartment to better accommodate the client's collection of historic furniture and decor items from the 50s and 60s.
Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design
The team integrated a large window wall to the upper level of the penthouse to draw more light into the lower level, while also connecting the interiors to a rooftop patio that looks out to 360-degree skyline views.
"The most notable feature is the light-filled stairwell leading up to the roof. Despite the small size of the apartment, we felt it was worth losing some square footage in order to make the stair a statement, and we gained a laundry room and suitcase storage below," says Andrew Franz, the studio’s founder.
According to Franz, designing smaller spaces in walk-up buildings can be challenging, but he and his team used this constraint as an opportunity to create a sleek, color-blocked kitchen to serve as the nucleus of the home.
Thanks to the dramatic staircase, the space now appears "exciting and intentionally present."
"The color palette is also quite unique in a way; I’ve never used so much color before," Franz adds. "It’s the antithesis of minimal. The materials, colors, and events inside it are quite maximal—there’s an explosion of visual things going off. Every time we posed a question as to what color, the client responded, ‘let’s use all of them!’ It was a great collaboration."
Builder: Wise Construction
Structural Engineer: Liam O’Hanlon Structural Engineers
HVAC, plumpling: NK Consulting Engineers
Exterior restoration, roofing and waterproofing: West New York Restoration
Where to Stay in New York City