Sky Studios

About this project

This building is located in the NoHo Historic district of Manhattan.  The project consists of two parts: restoration of the historic building and facade, and an addition at the penthouse level for use as the client’s private residence.  The penthouse residence inhabits the 10th floor and the newly added penthouse, and creates a voluminous dwelling which would later become Sky Studios.

The Dandy:

Our first concern was to undertake a complete restoration of the historic stone façade, which would abide by the Landmark Commission guidelines.  In addition, the existing building was occupied by a restaurant at the 1st Floor, Cellar, and Mezzanine, and two IMD loft tenants at floors 4 and 8.  Our work included legalizing the three-story restaurant, and both of the IMD units in order to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy from the City.  The 2nd Floor was designed as offices for the client’s internet company, and the 10th Floor and Penthouse would be the client’s private residence.  The remaining floors would be sold as loft condominium units, along with the IMD units which the existing tenants had the option to buy.

We designed the 3rd thru 9th floors as open lofts.  Each unit was equipped with a minimum code-compliant kitchen, a fully built-out and equipped laundry room, two bathrooms with high-end finishes, and all the necessary bells & whistles to accommodate the prospective individual buyers’ fixture selections for each unit.  In this way, the buyers had the option to outfit the lofts with a kitchen of their choice after purchasing the space.  In the end, the IMD tenants chose to remain and purchase their respective apartments in order to sell them on the market.

Sky Studios at The Dandy:

At The Dandy, we also designed a new penthouse addition, which with the 10th Floor would become the client’s private residence, later known as Sky Studios.  The existing building was overbuilt according to the city’s zoning laws, so in order to add the penthouse level we had to calculate mechanical deductions at each floor throughout the building.  The area of these deductions would in turn be added at the penthouse level.  This strategy takes advantage of the way laws are written in order to add usable (and sellable) area to a building without, technically, “enlarging” it.  In The Dandy, we were able to reallocate 2500 square feet in this manner and create a generous penthouse.

The penthouse apartment provided the client with ample room and a wealth of amenities to satisfy every whim.  The client was very well-traveled and would scour the globe purchasing architectural artifacts to incorporate throughout the apartment.  As a result, each room became imbued with a motif embodied by the artifacts our client chose to place there.  The master bedroom incorporated a Buddhist pagoda imported from Thailand with intricate carved wood screens and Buddhist icons and artifacts.   The kitchen would embody a retro-modern aura with appliances and cabinetry that was built around old icebox refrigerator doors.  A monumental bathroom would incorporate huge slabs of book-matched marble on the floors, walls, and throughout.  Another bathroom, together with the imported Moroccan tiles used on walls nearby, would instill a cottage craft aura with hand crafted tiles and fixtures.  The main living area contained a fireplace imported from an old English Castle along with a new pressed tin ceiling.  The spiral stair used to access the upper terrace from the pool deck is from an old firehouse.  In addition a billiard room and a steam room are built into the apartment.  These are only some of the items we incorporated in the design that would eventually lead our client to allow the space to be prominently featured in Sex & The City as Richard Wright’s apartment, as well as in numerous videos, films, and photo shoots, and Sky Studios was born.

The penthouse addition enveloped a double-height space used as a party room outfitted with DJ equipment and elaborate lighting.  At one end of the space, we designed a sleek steel stair leading up and splitting-off to a library at right and a monumental bathroom with attached bedroom to the left.  The bathroom was finished with huge book-matched marble floors and a freestanding tub that overlooks the pool deck through custom 12-foot-high glass doors imported from Holland.  These doors would be used throughout the apartment to access the pool deck and upper terrace from multiple places.

The exterior of the penthouse was clad in bricks recycled from old buildings that had been demolished.  At the rear, the 8-foot deep, 15’ x 40’ pool was installed.  The pool is constructed of prefabricated stainless steel pieces that were assembled on-site, and all exposed surfaces are finished with glass tiles producing a comforting blue tint throughout the water.  The deck around the pool is built of teak wood, which is also used at the upper terrace.  At the upper terrace, we designed a barbeque pit large enough to accommodate two lambs at once.  In addition, we designed a teak sundeck using woodwork that would fold-in to trim the large skylight.  Our design also incorporates a 30-foot-tall tree that is planted in 3 feet of soil complete with a true grass lawn (that has since been unfortunately replaced with artificial grass), bringing the idea of having a “green roof” to a whole new level.

Date:  March 3, 2015
Skills:  Enlargements, Residential, Restorations