Horror movie director Marcus Nispel's Lafayette Street townhouse is usually off-limits to all but the very moneyed?the property has been on the rental market in the past for as much as $100,000/month. But this weekend, the place was open to the public through the Dwell/New York Magazine City Modern tours, and we couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a walk through. The owners are only in residence a few times a year, according to the tour docents, so most of the time the place is rented out for video shoots and various other uses (the living room can be seen in the video for Beyonce's "Halo"). The current rental rate is $80,000/month, $50,000/week, or $20,000/day.
The 1909 building is a former Con Ed switching station, but only the beams, vaults, and brick walls remain in the townhouse. The owners and architect Peter Guzy filled that shell with what Guzy called a "subtle" mix of old and new. Features like the light fixtures in the master suite are custom and new; the oak doors are French antiques, and there was at least one table made out of a massive door. Many of the antiques from Nispel's own collection of things he bought just because he liked them. "Design is too often artificial," Guzy told us, but in this case, the owner was involved "in a genuine way" with the project.
· Lafayette Townhouse [City Modern]
· 214 Lafayette coverage [Curbed]