This project had a sad back story. The last owner of this imposing limestone row house had chopped it into four mean apartments. Much of the original woodwork was lost.
We salvaged the woodwork that remained and re-created the rest. Our new layout restored the rooms to their grand scale. But we juxtaposed period rooms with modern spaces. In contrast to the heavy oak at the stair halls and common rooms, our kitchen is a clean composition of cream-colored ash and white quartzite. At the new rear wall, we relocated a copper bay window, while giant steel windows open three floors to the garden.
To defend against a neighbor’s failing retaining wall, we terraced the entire backyard. Tiers of board-formed concrete planting beds climb upwards to the rear lot line. Each tier holds a different landscape: a paved seating area at the base, a cherry tree on a lawn, a row of flowering shrubs, and finally climbing vines. From the top, a linear fountain cascades down to a reflecting pool.