UPPER WEST SIDE APARTMENT COMBINATION

by LVM on September 28th, 2013
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This full gut renovation of what was three separate apartments was fully designed a few years ago and put on hold. I reconnected with the client and his son by chance while skiing and after a few icy black diamonds the project was back on. What started as a bachelor’s studio had now absorbed two additional apartments, one above the other, to accommodate a growing family of four. A new connecting stair seamlessly connects the four bedroom, three bath home.

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BEGINNING DEMOLITION (VERY CAREFULLY!) ON RIVERSIDE DRIVE

by LVM on April 1st, 2013
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Alterations within this historically significant building have begun in order to reconfigure the home to the new owner’s needs while respecting ornate original detailing and adding modern environmental systems.

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General Contractor: Paul Hartigan, Cortlandt Contracting

MEATPACKING DISTRICT TRIPLEX RENOVATION

by LVM on February 11th, 2012
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Just putting the finishing touches on this three story interior renovation inside a former bank building in the Meatpacking District.

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Walnut stair treads, risers and floors with glass and walnut railing.

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Master bathroom trough sink and tub.

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Solid oak sink vanity and skirt for soaking tub.
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Plumbing fixture valves and spouts by Watermark. Watermark is manufactured locally in Brooklyn, New York. This collection is inspired by the creative and industrial melting-pot from which they hail.

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Custom brass shower and toilet room doors are inset with wire glass.

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Exterior of the former New York County National Bank built in 1907.

Project credits: Design and Project Management by COLVM, Construction by L. Mullane of Bronzehill Construction. Furnishings, textiles, art and more by Jamie Supsic.

KIDS BATHROOM

by LVM on February 10th, 2012
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For this child’s bathroom a special step was made for the sink vanity that can slide under the cabinet when not needed.
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Red grout with a white ceramic lantern tile for the floor.
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A colorful shower curtain selected by interior decorator Jami Supsic.
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MADISON GREEN 99.9% FINISHED. JUST ADD FURNITURE

by LVM on July 1st, 2010
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“This is the first time I have ever seen a urinal installed in a residence.”  Ha, that’s a quote from the architect retained by the co-op board to review all proposed alterations in this particular apartment building. He grudgingly approved our design for this bachelor pad located on the 19th floor of the south side of Madison Square Park.

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READING LIST: IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS BY JUN’ICHIRO TANIZAKI

by LVM on March 31st, 2010
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From the foreword:  One of the basic human requirements is the need to dwell, and one of the central human acts is the act of inhabiting, of connecting ourselves, however temporarily, with a place on the planet which belongs to us, and to which we belong. This is not, especially in the tumultuous present, an easy act (as is attested by the uninhabited and the uninhabitable no-places in cities everywhere), and it requires help: we need allies in inhabitation.

Fortunately, we have at hand many allies, if only we call on them; other upright objects, from towers to chimneys to columns, stand in for us in sympathetic imitation of our own stance. Flowers and gardens serve as testimonials to our own care, and breezes loosely captured can connect us with the very edge of the infinite. But in the West our most powerful ally is light. “The sun never knew how wonderful it was,” the architect Louis Kahn said, “until it fell on the wall of a building.” And for us the act of inhabitation is mostly performed in cahoots with the sun, our staunchest ally, bathing our world or flickering through it, helping give it light.

It comes with the thrill of a slap for us then to hear praise of shadows and darkness; so it is when there comes to us the excitement of realizing that musicians everywhere make their sounds to capture silence or that architects develop complex shapes just to envelope empty space. Thus darkness illuminates for us a culture very different from our own; but at the same time it helps us to look deep into ourselves to our own inhabitation of our world, as it describes with spine tingling insights the traditional Japanese inhabitation of theirs. It could change our lives.

-Charles Moore, School of Architecture UCLA

AN EXAMPLE OF INSET MOSAIC STONE WORK AT THE FORBES RESIDENCE

by LVM on January 11th, 2010
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This stone inset was just completed and it came out great. Natural stone is cut into small pieces called tesserae. Each piece is then hand clipped with special tools to form the inset image. The choice of just one single dragonfly on the entire wall was meant to act as an architectural allegory. Tom Porter has a nice definition:

An allegory is a story where figures, in the form of humans, animals or super humans (gods and fantasy figures) are used to illustrate abstract concepts, qualities and situations. Showing one thing and meaning another, allegory is a mode of representation, usually naturalistic, that uses the veneer of one narrative to disguise the deeper meaning of another. Usually referring to some outstanding quality or exceptional situation, allegorical meaning remains hidden. Therefore, like illusion, allegory is elusive; it is a palimpsest that awaits its inner message to be disclosed and decoded.

An allegory can convey a message with moral overtones; allegory personifies the values of a culture that create it. The combination of the historical figure with symbolic object produces an abstract statement. For example the winged female form is the generally understood representation of victory and peace, the blindfolded female figure holding a sword in one hand and a scale in another represents justice, and the Statue of Liberty, carrying a torch for freedom to light the way, extends the hand of friendship to the displaced. These robed women are not merely symbols that connect the visible and invisible world but are an allegorical picture of a real phenomenon.

PART II OF NEW YORK POST ARTICLE – FINISH LINE

by LVM on January 7th, 2010
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Front page of the New York Post Real Estate Section isn’t too shabby. Take a look.

TILE ARRIVES AT MADISON GREEN

by LVM on November 1st, 2009
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Tons (literally) of dark grey-blue concrete tile arrived at Madison Green this past week. The 30″ long x 42″ wide tiles are 1″ thick and were custom cast by hand for this project.

THE NEW YORK POST IS DOING A LITTLE PIECE ON ONE OF OUR PROJECTS

by LVM on September 20th, 2009
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For the last several months Colvm has been combining two historic co-op apartments (one over the other through a disused airshaft) into one single family residence on the Upper West Side. The New York Post is running a blog piece to keep track of things. Fingers crossed.  Click here for the article.