West Side Townhouse | O’Neill Rose Architects
Brooklyn-based architecture practice, O’Neill Rose Architects, were asked to renovate an Upper West Side townhouse, one in a row of nine townhouses designed by George H. Budlong in 1880s. The result definitely restored the undeniable elegance of the space.
The townhouse is located behind a landmarked Victorian facade on the Upper West Side. It was completely reconstructed from several apartments into a large five-floor house, with a garden rental apartment below.
The architects were inspired by historic townhouses for details and materials, from herringbone floors, to marble mantels for the working fireplaces. They worked closely with the builders and craftsmen to insure that every detail was well made and respectful of the house’s proportions.
The building itself went through almost twenty different renovations over the course of its existence, meaning that the initial proportions were drastically changed. To go back to the initial state, the architects removed the whole interior and replaced it with a steel structure. They also repaired the façade and renovated certain exterior details based on the nearby Budlong-designed townhouses.
We wanted to recapture its elegance, but create a totally contemporary home, describes Devin O’Neill.
The practice collaborated with a team of Polish craftsmen, specialised in the old-fashioned art of plasterwork. “The key is finding people who also enjoy making things, and working closely with them,” says O’Neill. “They are the real artists of this project.”
O’neill Rose architects is a small firm with a versatile approach to architecture seeking to create spaces that reflect and frame the aspirations of their clients. The practice was founded in 2008 by partners Devin O’Neill and Faith Rose a decade after graduating from Yale Graduate School of Architecture.
Photography: Michael Moran