Richman-Duplex, West72nd Street-NY,Completed August2011 The refurbishment of this 167m2/1,800sf duplex within an existing post-war, residential-tower in the premier upper-west side of Manhattan, was designed for a retired couple, devotees of classical music/ballet, as an urban sanctuary for their frequent visits to NY and purchased both for the mesmerizing views and close proximity to Lincoln Centre. The conceptual framework, based on a set of ancient Japanese design aesthetics, embraced by the Owners during the years the family lived/worked in Japan –were ideals of wabi (transient/stark beauty), sabi (beauty of natural-patina, aging), and yūgen (profound grace, subtlety). A delicate Noh-mask carved using traditional techniques by the client’s daughter floats ethereally within a glazed-lit niche. Programmatically the space divides into public/private. The lower-level is one large, open utilitarian space for dining/entertainment with floor-width views, partitioned with Shoji screens. The private bedroom “quarters” on the upper-level, feature a sequence of graceful/rhythmic forms flowing around the central core wall forming a contextual relationship with the adjacent building/lake. The low-ceiling height restrictions were resolved by creating dropped ceiling-planes that carved/slipped/floated with lit-coves/lit-infinity edges creating a dynamic/sculptural interplay-an illusion of a taller/grander spatial-openness. Minimal tolerances rely on precision in execution completing the Enso“circle”–the absolute in strength/elegance/void.
Photos by Francis Dzikowski/Esto