A semi-detached house between design and modern colors

There Park Avenue in New Yorkk, from 57th to 96th streets East, is as much an address as a literary and cultural allusion. This Manhattan boulevard, a little over 3 miles long and with a neat midway zone, is lined with elegant beige apartment buildings to earthy bricks, with doormen in cladding and Renaissance and neo-Gothic exterior decorations. Designed largely between the gilded age and the Great Depression, by architects such as Emery Roth And Rosary light, this stretch is devoid of the quaint townhouses and upscale shops found in nearby Madison or Lexington. Author Gay Talese he described it in the seventies as “Parc Avenue of poodles and polished brass; it is the land of taxis, the tip of the town, Glassville, the paradise of window cleaning”. If you stroll around this neutral brick place one early summer afternoon, an atypical building will catch your eye: In one corner stands a white, four-story stucco-on-brick structure, a cheerful cube built in the 1990s that cuts through this stationary neighborhood like a liquor. With almost 40 windows (with steel frame) on its robust facade, it seems to be fortezzto be ready.

The entrance to the house leads to a balcony overlooking the double height living room. The bespoke bench and shelf are by Rob Pluhowski; the wall lamp is from Allied Maker

Stephen Kent Johnson

a family room with double high ceilings has a noguchi pendant over a lounge area with two armless chairs in purple velvet, a side table and a round cocktail table and a dark burgundy sofa and a large work of art

The corner sofa is made to measure and upholstered in Holland & Sherry linen. This year’s swivel armchairs

Stephen Kent Johnson

This building of almost 650 square meters it has seen many incarnations and owners since it was built in 1880. It was built as a building complex to house Victorian apartments, then rebuilt in 1908 to incorporate three storefront storefronts. In the early 2000s, it was reborn, in a somewhat relaxed way, as a single-family home. But it’s the latest reinvention, made by Ashe Leandro with the Venezuelan architect Reinaldo Leandro and the American designer Ariel Ashe, to demonstrate how a modest building can rise along the historic avenue that simultaneously alludes to the past and celebrates modernity. “We didn’t want to emulate anything,” Leandro says. “We had very few restrictions and it was really liberating.”

through a curved frame a dog with dark brown fur lies on a wooden floor next to an island with a sink, and there is a round wooden table and chairs, and shelves with books and dishes along the back wall

The miller’s dog sleeps in the kitchen next to Jean Prouvé’s chairs in Hive Modern

Stephen Kent Johnson

a living room has three windows, white walls, a fireplace with carved fireplace and large mirror over, two armchairs, a lounge chair, two cocktail tables, a long green curved sofa, wall lamps and works of art

In the living room, organic shapes are combined with an original fireplace. The bespoke sofa is upholstered in Rose Uniacke wool; the Danish armchairs from the 1930s are by 1stDibs. The armchair is from Moving Mountains and the wall lamps are by Ignazio Gardella. The artwork (center) is by Aythamy Armas and the drawing (right) by Pedro Reyes

Stephen Kent Johnson

in a dining room, several candlesticks sit on a rectangular travertine table with eight chairs and a minimalist chandelier above it, a cabinet with glass doors and two sculptural figures upstairs and a work of art

The Travertine dining table is by Denis Nelson and is surrounded by chairs by Rob Pluhowski, upholstered in fabric by Pierre Frey. The brass lamp is by CVL Luminaires, the Alma cabinet is by BACD Studio, and the soldiers on it are by the Han Dynasty at Throckmorton Fine Art Gallery. The artwork is by Véronique Lafont

Stephen Kent Johnson

The owners, Adam Miller, a media manager, and his wife Jennifer, who is in charge of public relations, were looking for designers willing to start without preconceived ideas. With two teenage children, the couple had previously lived in the center of a loft and were eager to bring their minimalist sensibility to this residential area. Several studies wanted to recreate other sober townhouses that they had remodeled nearby or “had no idea what to do,” says Adam, “their solution was to ask us if we had any good ideas.” Only Leandro and Ashe, in their forties known for working with young and curious customers, seemed to be on their wavelength. “If we had any inspiration, it was John Pawson,” Leandro says, referring to the famous British ultra-minimalist. “We wanted to evoke that purity”.

a spiral staircase, looking down from the fourth floor to the first, has wooden stairs and a matte iron railing against white walls, at the bottom is a bench and a burl wooden shelf with a vase of flowering branches

The spiral staircase in the heart of a Manhattan townhouse transformed by Ashe Leandro

Stephen Kent Johnson

a common area for children has sofa in multicolored sections in blue, gray, green and yellow, a green oval cocktail table with a chessboard, a snack table with stools, a framed photo and works of art on the white walls

The living room for teenagers is equipped with a Rose Uniacke corner sofa in cotton velvet in different shades. The cocktail table is from Nortstudio, the Alvar Aalto stools are from Artek and the carpets are from Souda. The photograph is by Elizabeth Cecil and the paintings by John Zabawa

Stephen Kent Johnson

a bed has a headboard of oatmeal that extends along the wall with a reading lamp attached, a side table with three drawers and books and a vase of flowers on top, curtains hanging on the window

In the master bedroom, a padded headboard runs throughout the room. The bedside table is by Rob Pluhowski, the wall lamp is by Lites on West, the bedding is by Matteo and the rug is by Area Home

Stephen Kent Johnson

The couple suggested one complete reorientation of the house. The original doors have been removed (in their place there are now windows, symmetrical in relation to the existing ones), creating a raised entrance from the avenue, which is accessible via a series of large concrete stairs. The change made the property wider than it was deep, making it look like a large mansion on a quiet side street than a narrow townhouse on Park Avenue. At the entrance there is now a round staircase that forms the core of the home, with oak steps and a single matte black iron railing. The palette is a mix of dark gray and ebony with warm wood and white walls. “The most important thing when you want to minimize everything is the textures,” Ashe says. The designers also found an innovative solution for the ground floor, which was previously very visible from the street through the windows. For a long time there was a kitchen with the curtains continuously lowered. Leandro and Ashe moved it to a new location and were inspired by Chelsea’s home of art dealer Matthew Marks to remove a level of space and create a double-height lounge in the basement, not visible from the street. Now, during the day, the sun floods the room through the windows near the ceiling, while at night, with a plum-colored corner sofa, the room is lit by a pendant lamp from Isamu Noguchi 6 meters high.

in a penthouse terrace room is a round wooden plinth table with five modern chairs and a light pendant, dark cabinets and shelves hold bottles, glass and candles, with arched windows above

In the garden room on the roof terrace, Gijs Bakker chairs surround a tailor-made table. The lamp is from YLighting …

Stephen Kent Johnson

a new york city terrace overlooking nearby high-rise buildings, with a teak armchair, a red metal side table, a round dark metal cocktail table, an off-white sofa, an urn with plants and grass and flowers

The roof terrace overlooks Park Avenue. The outdoor sofa is from CB2, the chair from Black Wolf Design, the cocktail table from Shoppe Amber Interiors and the coffee table from Fermob

Stephen Kent Johnson

The rooms on the upper floors are characterized by a careful selection of furniture. IN dinning room, a travertine table is surrounded by bespoke wooden chairs by Rob Pluhowski. It meandered green sofa in the living room it overlooks an original stone fireplace that has been moved here to another part of the house. The whimsy of Leandro and Ashe’s approach is perhaps best seen on the top floor, where a glazed living room is flanked by terraces. In this newly renovated room, light enters through the curved windows of the conservatory, and Adam prepares his morning coffee on a black counter. After dark, the couple’s children and their friends take over this majestic oasis with the lights of Park Avenue beneath them.

a woman and man around a kitchen island in wood with a white table and a sink and two stools, wooden shelves from floor to ceiling hold books and tableware, black cabinets with glass fronts are above the stove

Jennifer and Adam Miller in their kitchen. The table top is from Caesarstone, the accessories are from Brizo, the hobs are from Wolf and the stools are from Danish Design Shop

Stephen Kent Johnson

Made by William Li and styled by Howard Christian


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