Architect Adam Kushner of KUSHNERstudios is best known around here for the Barrow Street penthouse that he redesigned using subway doors and tiles (among other features). Kushner sold that duplex for $1.9 million in 2011. So what will his next project be? Something even better: Kushner and his wife are the new owners of 16 Minetta Lane, the infamous house that previously belonged to event designer Robert Isabell. The home has been on a bit of a pricing roller coaster for the past few years, but the Kushner family paid the asking price of $3.75 million. The house is known for some of Isabell's quirky design choices, which including covering the windows with ivy and employing Tibetan-born sherpas to hand-chip the basement.
Kushner filled us in on some of his plans for the house, which will be accomplished in three stages. The first task, of course, is getting the house habitable, with a working kitchen (relocated up to the home's great room) and hot water. Then Kushner will work on some medium-term plans, including a 50-foot rock climbing wall in the courtyard with a hot tub at the base. In the longer-term, Kushner has no plans to change the carriage house or facade but may build out more space?and that could include a repurposed subway door or two. "What struck me and my wife the most was that when we walked in, we saw our old apartment on Barrow Street?in spirit. Metal stairs and glass bottomed catwalks?outdoor showers and the like?except it was on the scale of a building," Kushner explains. The couple made an offer immediately, beating out another architect for the property. (Million Dollar Listing will feature the building this spring, so perhaps we'll see more of this particular drama.)
Isabell's ivy won't live on in Kushner's incarnation of the property, because Kushner "wouldn't know where to begin and do not feel it is relevant to the times and life that the current occupants enjoy." And maybe that's okay: "When I left my?Barrow Street apartment I had similar concerns of legacy and such. But I came to terms with the fact that (perhaps in a very Buddhist way) its only ours for a short period of time," Kushner explains. Isabell's ideas "will be more inspiring and effective spread through alternate medium than anything the view who were fortunate enough to visit the site could glean from it."
For now, the house's prior look lives on in the recent listing photos: