Brief: In a newly constructed iconic limestone building on ManhattanÍs Central Park West, create a floor thru penthouse duplex with east/west views and north/south party walls.
Solution: In order to create a sense of verticality, dematerialize the north south opacity of adjacent units and celebrate the cubic potential of the space, a column, slab and elevator were removed to make room for a sizeable-scaled two-story opening. The new double height space contains a gracious sculptural stair surrounded by upper and lower level circulation. The opaque 65-foot long party wall that separates this unit from its northern neighbor links the terrace and outdoor space on Manhattans Central Park to the eastern exposure of the Hudson River on the West End. The goal became how to link both the east and west views and the abundance of light and views. An architectural triptych defines three bays of activity and is a backdrop of Italian surrealist artist Piero FornasettiÍs Metaphysical Room, now divided into three sets of panels or bays. Each section drawn by Fornasetti is like a three-dimensional etching of an idealized city though the imagery of Piranesi-like drawn architectural elements. This had the potential to link the views of the Park to urban silhouette of the Hudson River. The floating processional staircase with the red VÍSoske rug foreshadows the staircase drawn by Fornsetti that occurs just beyond it, in the center triptych of the Italian masters work. The organic custom freestanding fireplace separates living room and library, is informed by the shape of the stairs and the Fibonacci Spiral. The VÍSoske rugs that unify the spaces are inspired by the shadows created by the trees of Central Park and are edged in Magritte surrealist red as a continuous tab along that unify the outer edge of tall the spaces. The column acts as a canopy that rises two stories thru the center of the stair and provides cover below and generates cove lighting above. The creation of a new two-story space, sculptural stair, back circular stair and Fibonacci shaped fireplace, animate and create forms in the space that unite what was once two disparate disconnected spaces. The views of Central Park are linked to the views of the Hudson River through the artwork, architecture, interiors and context.