Sadler/Grill Residence

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A duplex penthouse atop a new building in SoHo, creating an urbane downtown aerie for a New York family.

Informed by James Sanders’ research on the city’s housing traditions, the Sadler/Grill project joins two of the city’s most appealing residential precedents: the downtown loft and uptown penthouse. The main floor offers a contemporary interpretation of the classic lower Manhattan loft. A “floating” staircase rises to the upper bedroom level and a landscaped roof terrace, an indoor-outdoor environment evoking the leafy upper reaches of the city’s classic penthouses.

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As in traditional New York duplexes, the staircase offers a special opportunity for architectural expression (above, left). A steel box beam carries a folded plate with mahogany treads, offering the warmth and tactile pleasure of wood underfoot. The gap between stair and walls glows in the wall’s striated marble surface (above, right).

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The staircase leads to the loft’s upper bedroom level and wraparound terrace, which offer the kind of gracious, house-like way of life that a penthouse brings to the heart of the city. Steel-and-glass French doors frame views of the landscaped terrace (above, left), whose greenery can be glimpsed through the windows of the bedroom’s dressing area (above, right).

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Inspired by the clients’ Asian art collection, the upper-level terrace offers a sense of serenity and calm through a simple palette of materials: Ipe wood decking, banks of grasses, and bamboo trees to screen an unsightly adjacent wall. Within this overall simplicity, the terrace layout contains a measure of complexity through subtle changes of level and a “hidden” path culminating in a Buddha statue (below).

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  • Architecture & Landscape Design:
    James Sanders Studio
  • Client:
    Catherine Sadler & Judd Grill
  • Interior Design:
    Gabriela Herzberg
  • Architectural Associate:
    Maria Alataris
  • Photography:
    © Henry Hargreaves
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