443 Greenwich Street, originally built by Charles C. Haight in the 19th Century, has been restored and reimagined into 53 urban residences. The rehabilitation includes the restoration of the building’s street facades and large interior courtyard, as well as the adaptive reuse of the interiors for new and unique residential lofts that incorporate innovative, biophilic approaches to contemporary living in New York City.
The renovated landmark is not only a sustainable adaptive reuse building, but also doubles as a symbolic connection to its neighborhood’s past, celebrating the original structure’s distinctive architectural elements. The restoration allows the surrounding community to tangibly connect to its predecessors, serving as a reminder of the city’s complexity and culture, and an enduring link to the neighborhood’s multifaceted history. Completed in 1884, Charles C. Haight’s design for the seven-story building incorporated an interpretation of Romanesque elements found in the German round-arch style, or rundbogenstil. arched windows, corbelled brick, and polychrome sandstone elements distinguished the landmarked building from its surrounding context.
Vacant and in poor condition, the design team worked together to preserve the majesty of the original structure, while recycling existing materials. Highlights of the restoration work across the building’s exterior elevations include the cleaning and pointing of acres of original brick masonry, as well as patching brownstone and bluestone elements using restoration mortars matching the color, texture, and profile of the original material. Ground floor cornice and numerous capitals were fabricated in cast iron and restored on all three street facades. Hundreds of non-original windows were removed and replaced with new wood windows, painted in accordance with historic finish analysis, custom fabricated and installed across street, secondary, and courtyard elevations.
The exacting restoration treatments extend into the lushly landscaped interior courtyard that both respects and complements the sustainable approach to the renovation. Consistent with the concept of biophilia - the innate tendency of humans to seek connections with the natural environment - the residential building fosters a connection to nature in an urban environment with limited access to greenery. Featuring native plantings such as Tulip trees and a Red Maple, the garden is representative of the Hudson River Valley in the heart of TriBeCa. These softscape features are seen among a backdrop of restored iron shutters, wood windows, and brick masonry.
The design of the interiors actively engages with the volume and scale of the entire structure. Materiality and craft, such as bronze door pulls, custom metal strap detailing along the kitchen island, and repurposed original details allude to the former industrial building while adapting to contemporary living. The original oak beams have been restored in the residential plan, framing and unifying the design elements that distinguish each unique residence. They serve as totems of proportion, solidity, and strength, as well as history, functioning as a continual reminder of the layered history of the building. In a dialogue across time, the 19th century building has been remastered with innovative design strategies, fusing classic proportions and silhouettes with contemporary textures, palettes, and details.
Capping off the loft-conversion movement in TriBeCa, 443 Greenwich nurtures and embraces the neighborhood’s history while fashioning an urban retreat that promotes a sense of mindfulness and relaxation. The building provides a sanctuary in a public urban environment, creating opportunities for reflection, while introducing inventive approaches to urban living.
CetraRuddy is an international award-winning architecture, planning and interiors firm based in New York. For over 30 years, the firm has been led with a guiding principle that design must engage its context while enriching the human spirit. The firm’s portfolio, defined by analytic problem solving, contextual sensitivity and innovative use of materials, reflect an underlying commitment to the human experience at all scales and across all typologies. Founded by John Cetra and Nancy J. Ruddy, the 100+ person firm emphasizes a collaborative process, working with clients to apply a sophisticated understanding of programming, planning, and construction to each of the firm’s projects, developing technically excellent designs and providing an unparalleled level of service. We approach every project with a fresh perspective and goal of creating buildings and spaces that uniquely represent each client while adapting to evolving needs.