Client: Architect's wife, Christina Liceaga
Location: New York, NY, United States
Completion date: 2010
Artwork budget: $240,000
Uli and Associates LLC
Uli and Associates LLC
Uli and Associates
Ingo Maurer, Lighting Designer
With its grand bones and patrician façade, this 1848 Gramercy Park townhouse project was an extensive gut renovation. Previous conversions had left one large triplex crowned by three loft-like residences. Their dream was simple but ambitious: the reconfiguration of the building into two dwellings, one atop the other, of equal value and scale.The result is a Manhattan address that captivates like few others.
I believe that the result of architecture, including the designs within, is a sense of place. Our overall goal was to give this traditional 1848 land-marked townhouse a place within the new century. The grammatology of art, the inimitable lighting design of Ingo Maurer and the art of Emilio Garcia, a childhood friend back in Mexico City, were essential parts of re-configuring this historic building. Not only were many solutions actually solved through these various art forms but the presence of the art, I believe, only enhances one's emotional experience within the space.
The integration of the LED custom-designed lighting within the facade solved the issues regarding light and security. During the day we were able to gain ample sun exposure and at night,security-with the lights fully lit. Emilio Garcia's resin and plaster wall installations throughout the design add a playfulness that we sought.
This design process was a conversation with multiple design directives. Ingo Maurer and Emilio Garcia were extremely involved with trying to find their place within the space and making sure that everything flowed organically.
We chose to work with sculptor Emilio Garcia because his aesthetic is much grounded on organic forms and elements already found in nature- which we thought would be a nice fit to the stone, wood and stainless steel mixtures forming in the design.
I was first exposed to Ingo Maurer at an art exhibition in Milan while I was studying. His fixtures left a lasting impression. Years later we had the opportunity to meet and he visited the gutted townhouse and shared his design vision. Besides the glass facade, he also chose to implement the Porca Miseria! Chandelier over a custom-made our dinning room table.