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Upper East Side Townhouse

A reconstructed Landmarked 1870’s townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

An entirely new ground-up building has been inserted into the existing historic footprint. An exceptional attention to craft, transformed through use of digital tools for design, coordination, and collaboration characterizes all aspects of the building from architecture to interiors to landscape design.

Particular emphasis has been placed on sourcing materials and furnishings from American manufacturers and designers. MKCA is responsible for the entire architectural design as well as turnkey interior design and was responsible for securing both zoning and Landmarks approval for the project.

The project includes a full-height expansion of the building at the rear with an entirely new masonry and glass skin that is unapologetically modern but respectful of the existing material and geometry of the surrounding brick and brownstone buildings. The facade is comprised of custom formed and glazed terra cotta elements with an undulating texture. MKCA worked with the manufacturer to develop a production method for the terra cotta that is at once fully bespoke and artisanal in its nature but efficiently manufactured and installed.

Completed! Stay tuned for updated photos.

High-precision digital and hand craft are a predominant feature throughout the house. A delicately carved wood ceiling in the entry vestibule takes cues from the carved egg and dart moldings of the original facade, scaled and shaped into billowing and converging surfaces. A braided railing of bronze, steel, and walnut is integrated into faceted white oak and travertine stair treads. A luminous formed white oak and glass screen separates private dressing space from the main stair on the master bedroom level.

The terra cotta facade includes an integrated vertical garden executed in glazed slip-cast terra cotta and featuring native New York woodland ferns and mosses. The double-height rear stair hall is clad in a custom terra cotta tile with a charcoal and bronze dual glaze.


Project Team
Michael Chen
Alan Tansey
Justin Snider
Braden Caldwell
Elena Hasbun
Michelle Frantelizzi
Julian Anderson

General Contractor
IA Construction Management

Engineering Consultants
Buro Happold

Landscape Architects
Local Office Landscape Architecture

Preservation Consultants
Prudon and Partners

Lighting Design
Brian Orter Lighting Design



2016 Architect R+D Awards