Caliper Studio have given a new look to the late artist’s Roy Lichtenstein residence and studio by redecorating the rooftop in a completely modern styled manner.
We can nowadays see a great deal of brilliant architectural projects over the Internet or in magazines. Architects have incorporated modernism and post-modernism in their designs and have learned to take it to perfection in most cases. But with this new style dominated by logic, straight lines and simplicity, I believe that designers have lost their artistic touch and that what used to define good architecture a few centuries ago, it’s now forgotten. They are in most cases preoccupied by functionality and fail to address properly the aesthetics of a project, they fail to understand the sublimeness of art and architecture. The redecoration of Roy Lichtenstein Residence and Studio involves a gesture that appeared from the need of lighting, a functional reason. However, the way that Caliper Studio have treated this need is very innovative and gives away the scent of a rare artistic touch; the two eyebrow like illuminators suggest a strong and unique creative sense which all designers should posses.
Their task with Roy Lichtenstein’s Residence and Studio involved more than just finding a solution to the lighting problem; the designers were asked to attend a series of interior and exterior changes concerning the studio, the penthouse office, the guest apartment but most important, the addition of a new garden. The skylights take part in the design of the exterior and the interior of the studio/residence but its the garden that benefits the most from their effect. Atop the studio the designers have decorated a total of eight rooftops with grass, curved wooden pathways and artificial hills, which are all part of the same organic design meant to reinvigorate Roy Lichtenstein’s Residence and Studio.
Here are some more details from the architects:
West Village Residence and Artist Studio
A renovation at the studio of the late artist Roy Lichtenstein includes 3,000SF planted roof and sculpture garden.
After the artist’s death, a private operating foundation, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, was established in accordance with the wishes of the artist and his family. Ever since then, the Foundation uses the studio space for part of its operations. A new sculpture garden connects the 2nd floor roof level of two existing buildings used by the late artist Roy Lichtenstein and his family. Still the West Village home of his widow, Dorothy, the new garden features two of Roy Lichtenstein’s outdoor sculptures. The project also includes the renovation of a guest apartment and penthouse office with views of the garden.
The planted roof’s sedum carpet partially covers two eyebrow skylights over the artist studio below. Designed to modulate light, the thin shell skylights were built using innovative fabrication technologies. Their complex geometry was realized through computer milled formwork coupled with a sprayed‐on concrete technique often used in the construction of tunnels.
Preservation of the artist’s studio was a primary design objective of the project. Careful technical detailing of the building’s envelope help ensure the longevity of the studio. The quality of the space and its character has been maintained through original artifacts including the artist’s built‐in wall easel system and paint‐splattered floor.
Planted Berm Skylight
Caliper Studio designed, detailed and installed these steel and glass skylights. In addition to the steelwork, Caliper also worked closely with Riverside Builders to ensure that the sprayed concrete shell construction would meet the exacting tolerance of the skylights. To that end, Caliper Studio provided an accurate 3D model that was used directly for CNC milling of the formwork. Automated drawing procedures developed in-house also aided the fabrication of the complex system of steel reinforcing buried in the concrete.
The gentle curves of the skylights and in fact the entire project made me realize that this is not common architecture and that even if the project is quite small it is full of meanings and ideas, a truly inspirational design.
Architects: Caliper Studio
Location: Greenwich Village, New York, United States of America
Structural Engineer: Gilsanz Murray Steficek
Mep Engineer: D’Antonio Consulting Engineers
Waterproofing Consultant: James Gainfort
Landcape Design: VertNY
General Contractor: Riverside Builders
Photographs: Ty Cole