Perched atop the American Tract Society Building near City Hall sits what could be New York City's most architecturally interesting home. A lofty claim when we've seen condos in clocktowers, churches, and former gymnasiums, but the Skyhouse, as it's called, is a whole world unto itself. Architect David Hotson and interior designer Ghislaine Viñas created the penthouse, which was recently profiled by Interior Design magazine and named a finalist in Architizer's A+ Awards. The space has 360-degree views of the city, a 1,500-square-foot terrace, and 45-foot ceilings in the living room. It was a blank slate when purchase by a couple in 2007, lacking even heat and basic plumbing. Hotson transformed it into a surreal four-story, four-bedroom home with a fun-house like interior that purposefully disorients vistors.
Looking at photos of the 6,600-square-foot home, the most striking feature is the ultra-shiny 80-foot-long stainless steel tube slide that wraps through the space. Holston writes on his website, "As it reaches the end, the helical tube slide flares out to create a distorted rectangular mirror which forms the wall of the library and deposits the intrepid visitor back in the entrance gallery at the foot of the staircase."
The walls, floors, and staircase all have geometric shapes, creating interesting sight lines, and windows on the upper floors are strategically placed to frame pieces of the outside world, like the Statue of Liberty or Empire State Building. The orignal steel structure was left visible in much of the house, and in the living room, it's been reimagined as a climbing wall. One can climb up the beam to reach the "nest," a lounging space tucked within the structural girders above the living room. There's also a third-floor glass bridge that gives the illusion of floating people when seen from below.
Photos and text do little to convey the awesomeness of this home, so we highly recommend watching the 11-minute video that SilverLining Interiors, the general contractor/builder, created about the space for Interior Design TV. It also features architectural drawings and models of the house to help you better visualize the layout.
· High-Floor Heaven [Interior Design]
· Walk Through: Skyhouse [Interior Design TV]
· David Hotson [official]
· Ghislaine Viñas [official]
· SilverLining Interiors [official]