115 Norfolk Street is a 27,000 square foot 24 unit multifamily residence on Manhattan's Lower East Side. We worked within a very constrained budget on the project and were able to produce a condominium product that compared well with competing developments with far higher construction costs.
The adaptation and interpretation of the prevalent typology in many high density european cities of a large inner courtyard in both single and multifamily residences was a fundamental component in our formal approach. While small lots and current New York City Building Code preclude central courtyards, we expounded upon a provision that allows for a narrow outer court wherein it's depth is limited by it's width, in an attempt to achieve the effect of a private interstitial outdoor space - a bridge between street and residence. Our court grows both wider and deeper as it rises (the area of the lobby and other common space is not required after the ground floor) which also lends a special quality of both augmented perspective and perceived scale to the void. We wanted to continue the continuity of the street wall, so we spanned the unitized curtain wall across the interior and exterior portions of the facade. The ceramic frit on the glazing provides privacy to the residents and lends a gauzy subtlety to the distinction of solid and void behind it. Variable lighting conditions throughout the day and night alternately celebrate and conceal the semi enclosed court.