The Walker Street Penthouse was designed as a respite in lower Manhattan from the urban environment that surrounds it. This retreat is facilitated by an undulating wooden screen composed of 1” x 4” reclaimed lumber, the terminus of which is a teahouse. Building on the penthouse terrace presented a unique set of logistical problems; roof access was limited to what can fit in the building’s elevator. Furthermore, the client emphasized quick, cost-effective construction, during the winter months. ORE determined that in order to meet these challenges, we would not only design the terrace, but coordinate and carry out its construction.

Crucial to this process is a design that affords simple construction. ORE responded to this challenge by designing a panelized construction system predicated on a custom-designed threaded tie rod. This allows for panels that can be assembled off site, carried to the roof via elevator, and rapidly erected. The pre-cast custom tie rod engages the complex curves of the screen, permitting each member to be individually positioned, creating rhythmic visual complexity. As each member is threaded onto the tie rod, its position can be minutely adjusted, defining planters and seating as well as enclosures.

Client: Ik Joong Kang
Program: Rooftop Terrace
Area: 5,000 sf
Status: Partially Completed 2012
Project Architect: Thomas Kosbau