The Stealth Building

93reade_photobybrucedamonte_11Herzog & de Meuron’s 56 Leonard gets much of the architectural attention in these parts, but it’s far from the only noteworthy newcomer. There’s also the Spring Street Salt Shed, the Unhistoric Townhouse under construction on Franklin, and 93 Reade, which was marketed as Obsidian House, but which the architect, WORKac, calls the Stealth Building. That’s mainly in honor of the penthouse, first covered here. Now there are many more photos of it, all by Bruce Damonte (including the one above). The interior was staged for the shoot, but it has since been occupied.

93reade_photobybrucedamonte_0793reade_photobybrucedamonte_1093reade_photobybrucedamonte_1793reade_photobybrucedamonte_1593reade_photobybrucedamonte_1493reade_photobybrucedamonte_18Here’s some background on the topper from WORKac:

New York City’s Landmarks Commission required any rooftop addition to be invisible. The building, however, is located on a highly-visible corner with a low, two-story building across the street. This meant that the building’s roof was visible from almost three blocks away. Tracing the cone of vision from the furthest point from which the building was visible, WORKac utilized three rooftop projections to mask the bulk of an addition: the triangular pediment of the historic Carey Building next door, and the circular pediment and an abandoned elevator bulkhead at the top of the building itself. The “shadow” created by these three projections created a sizeable zone for the addition and the opportunity for a distinctive angled form for the new roof. The result is a sculptural form that is—at the same time—completely invisible from the street below.

Maybe not completely invisible—you can see a tiny bit of the roofline from the northeast corner of Duane and Church:

93-reade-topper2-seen-from-ne-corner-of-church-and-duaneThe interiors—not just in the penthouse, but throughout the building—are also notable. Take it away, WORKac….

From the tessellated green wall at the lobby to generous planters and balconies at the second, sixth and seventh floors, connections to the outdoors are emphasized. Within each apartment, a “third space” between bedrooms and living spaces is created at the top of the volume containing storage and bathrooms. Less than four-feet high, this “bonsai apartment” is outfitted with a futon, seating areas, and an herb garden above the kitchen. Its main feature is a fern garden connected to the master shower below. Steam from the shower collects on the glass walls of the garden and waters the plants.

The penthouse combines sleeping spaces and a family room within the old fifth floor of the building with new entertaining and dining spaces under the new roof at the sixth floor. A secluded terrace is sunken behind the pediment with views to the Woolworth Building; the old elevator bulkhead is repurposed with a hot tub. The height afforded by angle formed by the cone-of-vision allows for a rear mezzanine with views toward downtown and the Freedom Tower.

More photos by Bruce Damonte:

93reade_photobybrucedamonte_4293reade_photobybrucedamonte_3093reade_photobybrucedamonte_2793reade_photobybrucedamonte_2493reade_photobybrucedamonte_23obsidianbuilding_photocbrucedamonte_0593reade_photobybrucedamonte_43These renderings, courtesy WORKac, might give a better sense of how the “bonsai apartment” works….

06_section-01-1 160920_Simplex Axonometric 160920_Bathroom SectionAll in all, it’s pretty exciting—and a shame more of it can’t be seen from the street. Maybe the penthouse will show up on the Inside Tribeca Loft Tour some day….

P.S. The building’s columns are also worth reading about.

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