An adaptive re-use project in NYC uses the Climate Skin
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From industrial to residential. An adaptive re-use project in NYC uses the Climate Skin

Archi-Tectonics NYC

An adaptive re-use project in NYC uses the Climate Skin
By Editorial Staff -

Archi-Tectonics' ( converted a long, narrow industrial structure in SoHo into a spacious, flexible 8-story family home. The project doubled the space by adding a 4-story structure to the original and unifying the 2 volumes with a 3D envelope— the Climate Skin.

Exterior - The Climate Skin

The townhouse is inscribed within the Climate Skina spacious lattice envelope made of lightweight steel and folding panels clad with Trespa™ slats. When closed, they appear as one smooth surface, but when opened, they fold out like feathers of a bird’s wing. Like an intricate lacework dress, the sheathing changes character and appearance at different times of day and view angles, and serves as both filter and amplifier between the privacy of the house and the public streetscape. The unique Climate Skin wraps up and over the multi-level roofs, creating a private outdoor space with green roofs and outdoor dining.

Extensive prototyping assisted in optimizing the movement of the trellis panels. The façade can fold and slide open to accommodate the residents’ changing needs providing privacy or connectivity to the outdoors.

The Climate Skin is a sustainable solution because it is operable and allows residents to adjust ventilation, light, shade, and temperature— the building adapts to environmental conditions. In warm weather, the Climate Skin reduces interior radiation and lowers the necessity for air-conditioning. In cold weather, opening the Climate Skin increases interior radiation and reduces the necessity for heating.

Inside The Skin

The project respects the building’s history by restoring the existing brick and up-cycling materials. The black steel in the original building is used in the staircase that connects all 8 stories of the house. The vertical circulation is highlighted by a flood of natural light from the glass roof above. At the top the stairs at the bulkhead there is a cozy meditation spot with a window box penetrating the Climate Skin to provide a magnificent view of SoHo.

To spatially enhance the building’s small floorplates, each floor contains a program connected through double-height voids as seen between the kitchen and dining area as well as between the study and master bedroom. This spatial interlacing provides long views throughout

Double-height windows, a skylight, and a dramatic south-facing continuous window slot bathe the narrow living space with natural light. Together, the fenestrations accentuate the extreme verticality of the space and create a dynamic spatial experience.

Eco-friendly impact

Archi-Tectonics' innovative approach to this urban residential project exemplifies a sustainable design solution that not only makes the most of the building's footprint, but provides the inhabitants with elegant living, working and outdoor spaces. The Climate Skin reduces energy costs while respecting the existing characteristics of the city. There promises to be more similar eco-friendly approaches to urban living where such city densification poses challenges.  

Architects: Archi-Tectonics
Principal in Charge: Winka Dubbeldam, Assoc. AIA 
Partner in Charge: Justin Korhammer
Archi-Tectonics Team: Hanxing Zu, Sarah Laulan, Filomena Nigro, Avra Tomara, Royd Zhang, Zhe Wen, Kristina Kroell, Elena Sarigelinoglu, Hsiang Wei Chen, Adin Rimland, Boden Davies, Nariman Kiazand, Robin Zhang, Thiebaud Nell
Main Contractor: Galcon Construction
Consultants Structural Engineers: WSP GROUP
Mechanical Engineers: 2LS Consulting Engineering
Location: New York City, USA
Photographer: Evan Joseph, Credit Federica Carlet, Surface Magazine

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