Whole-House Over $500,000

1st Place Winner
Turett Collaborative Architects, New York, N.Y.

Second Place:
Brim Consulting LLC, Architects, Northbrook, Ill.

Third Place:
Marrokal Construction Company, San Diego

Honorable Mention:
Kohler Homes, Burke, Va.

In a three-year project, Manhattan architect Wayne Turett and his team, reimagined, reengineered and recreated a drab three-story 19th century commercial facility. The result is a sleek, modern and ultra-cool Greenwich Village single-family home, fully tailored to the living desires of its bachelor commissioner.

Those needs included: three guest bedrooms, a master suite, outdoor living in multiple locations, a three-car garage, a media room, and an abundance of natural light despite being flush against neighboring buildings on three sides.

“The owner of the house is a young entrepreneur and successful businessman with a wonderful design sense and the ability to visualize a final product that had no relationship to the starting point,” says Turett’s summary in his award entry binder. “The project objective was to design a vertical luxury home that is designed around the lack of light and air typically found in NYC. The design temperament was to be understated luxury.”

In short, the building was gutted. The original ground floor was lowered and the second floor raised up. The third floor was demolished and a two-story penthouse addition was built on top. The entire rear-facing side of the renovated building is composed of window walls at each level.

At the very top is the master suite with a private, street-facing deck accessed via the master bath. Off the second floor is the main outdoor living space, with a floor composed of a large structural skylight above the main kitchen/dining/living area located at the rear of the ground floor. Complete with a garden along the perimeter, this space is accessed via a light-filled, second-floor office. (The front of the second floor is comprised mainly of a media room.) Beyond the ground floor main room is a Manhattan-esque backyard, tiny yet open and serene. Every inch of it is covered with gray riverstones.

One of the Master Design Award judges was agape as he paged through the photos of this home. “Awesome project,” he exclaimed, “very creative.”

At completion in early 2004, the owner was left with a home very much in keeping with his original request, explains Turett. “Each floor has a different configuration, but relates to the others because of the openness of the plan and the transparency of the design.”