Additions & Alterations

West 20th Street

Project Manager/Designer: Eugene Drubestskoy

Completion Date: November 2003

Location: Chelsea

Visit: www.blessoproperties.com

The owner of this Chelsea building wanted to maximize it's potential. Our solution was two triplex apartments, for which the fifth floor was gutted and renovated, and new sixth and penthouse floors were added.Breathtaking views of the midtown Manhattan Skyline and Empire State Building on one hand, and the picturesque neighborhood on the other were a guiding factor in the design, which was based on capturing views.In order to provide equal views to both apartments, they are built in a "zigzag" pattern rather than front and back apartments, resulting in equal exposures.A grand room with a kitchen, dining and living area is located on the fifth floor, with two bedrooms leading to a roof terrace on the sixth floor.Rather than a straightforward continuation of the existing 19 th century brick and fenestration rhythm, the addition creates a dialogue between its neighboring buildings by bridging them visually in height, materiality, and scale.Materials used include applied cement stucco, aluminum cladding, glass, and restored brick. The 2700 s.f. addition brings the building to 9500 s.f., at a total cost of $400,000.The exterior of the building introduces a breath of fresh air as the slanted window reflects the empire state building, and the new angled façade literally takes a bow to the neighborhood. On the interior, people standing inside the apartment can look down into the neighborhood and onto the skyline through a single opening, observing both the immediate context and the Skyline in a true hierarchy of views.

Penthouse on the Bowery

Project Manager/Designer: Ilana Kushnir

Completion Date: December 2003

Location: Lower East Side-Manhattan

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The Bowery of Manhattan, long since known as Skid Row, is undergoing a transformation into the hip and trendy residential community of the expanded Lower East Side.With the Landmark Commission armed to help the process along, this small stretch of the Bowery has been designated as a place worthy of preservation.This title given shortly after the project was filed, presented a complex issue to everyone involved since the addition could not be looked upon as a disruptive process to the stability of the block.In the final conclusion, it was given approval and with minor changes was allowed to be constructed. Probably what will be the last new work to be executed for the next few years, this eclectic two story additions created the look in bricks and mortar of what is happening by changes in flesh and blood.