April 12, 2017

Workshop APD Designs a Chic Home in the West Village Complex Known as the Printing House

Workshop APD gives a 100-year-old building new life in the West Village.

by Deborah L. Martin interior designer Workshop/apd photographer Donna Dotan architecture Gunn Landscape Architecture


When Andrew Kotchen first saw the West Village building complex known as the Printing House, it was, as he said, "beyond dismal." Originally an industrial building erected in 1921, it had subsequently been converted into dark windowless apartments in the 1980s. The mews fronting the building was paved over, with no greenery. Says Kotchen, a principal at Workshop APD, "We immediately knew we wanted to make it softer, create a unique garden that is so rare in New York. We worked with Gunn Landscape Architecture to create the new mews, which changed the whole project."

The buildings were developed in two phases. For the first several years, the firm worked on the apartments in the main buildings. On the heels of that project, the second phase began: developing the mews garden and the adjacent townhouses and maisonettes. Originally, the building had five townhouses and eight maisonettes, and Workshop APD was tasked with converting it into two townhouses and three maisonettes. "The challenge was, how do you create something that is a luxury townhouse, but isn't traditional? What we did was transform the homes into vertical loft living."

The center townhouse has five floors, and has windows only on the mews-facing side. Workshop APD created a wall of glass on the first floor where the public spaces are. The living/dining/kitchen area is flooded with natural light and fully connected to the exterior for a sense of indoor-outdoor living. The home has a central core staircase, lined with baguettes to create privacy and maximize the light. The exterior beige stone façade continues in the stair core, to further break down the boundaries between the indoor and outdoor spaces. The second floor has three bedrooms, and the third floor is the master suite where a light-filled office creates a transition from the public into the private space. The penthouse floor is designed as a lounge and entertaining area, and it opens to a lushly planted terrace. The basement is set up as a media room, with large screen televisions and a modular sofa designed by the firm.

Says Kotchen, "This project was our opportunity to bring outward- facing progressive architecture to the neighborhood. But we still wanted it to be very contextual to the West Village character."

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