Architect William Rogers Designs a Green Oasis in the Village

Architecture, Homes / June 23rd, 2011
Architect William Rogers used eco-friendly materials
Architect William Rogers used eco-friendly materials in the kitchen of this multi-story family home on Astor Place

Thanks to thoughtful architects and forward-thinking lawmakers and city planners, New York City keeps getting greener, particularly in the Battery Park City neighborhood (take a look at a piece in the summer issue of Downtown magazine on the greenest community in the city and its impact on the real estate market—the magazine is due out later this week). The newest buildings, like the Visionaire or Riverhouse in BPC where actor Leonardo diCaprio lives, are as green as they get. But talented architects like William Rogers are building green in other parts of the city, too. Will shared images of a project he recently completed for a family in the Village. Here’s how he describes it:

“Our Astor Place neighborhood project (a private Mews house hidden off of 5th Street) is entirely made of renewable materials. Rebuilt from the ground up for structural reasons, all the floors, wall paneling, cabinets, doors and their frames, as well as the moldings and details are made of bamboo. The rails, stairs, exterior windows and doors are all aluminum. Other surfaces are a mixture of glass or stone. We worked hard on bringing the owner’s love of gardening and nature as well as minimal modern design into the essential essence of the house. His wife, a pilates and yoga instructor, was a strong influence and I think we captured a good bit of her chi. One enters through a secret garden. The ground floor opens out into the garden with large French doors from a main living space paved in soft green English stone. As one ascends a series of stairs the upper levels become increasingly light and bright. The second floor uses warm brown tones of bamboo mixed with creamy whites and floor to ceiling French doors. The bedrooms on the top floor are surrounded in white bleached bamboo and at the very top a rooftop patio a patinated steel pergola rests beneath the shade of a neighboring treetop.”

The selection of  images here feature highlights of the project. To see more of William Rogers’ work, visit his Web site. Photographs Courtesy William Rogers Architect.

The living room opens onto the home's secret garden in back.
The living room opens onto the home’s secret garden in back.
The master bedroom on the top floor
The master bedroom on the top floor opens onto the rooftop terrace.
A guest with bamboo cabinets
A guest bath features bamboo cabinets. “In keeping with our natural theme we changed colors subtly as we ascended each floor. While the lower floors were more “earthen” – with dark stone floors and dark stained bamboo cabinetry, we lightened with each story. On the top interior level the floors, doors, moldings and cabinetry are all bleached bamboo,” says William Rogers.
Rooftop patio
On the rooftop patio, says Rogers, “the trellis was ‘recycled’ i.e. reused from a previous project. We hauled it up by hand and then completely waxed it to retard the rust/patina which had formed. The paving is of white Italian porcelain tiles, which reflect a great deal of noon solar gain during the summer months, but will warm slowly. Perfect to keep your toes toasty on cold spring and fall evenings. Terra cotta coping and capstones are fully renewable materials, which also help insulate against solar gain and allow the building to breathe.”
view of the entry
A view of the entry of the townhouse from the garden, looking up. “The walls are stucco coated, which has a high insulation factor while still ‘breathing’ naturally and releasing condensation, which might penetrate the wall,” says the architect.


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