This mid-nineteenth century townhouse is the official residence for the president of a major urban university. The scope of our renovation included complete structural reinforcement and new building systems as well as full exterior restoration, redesign of all interior spaces and creation of a new garden and conservatory at the rear of the building. By excavating the rear yard, adjusting heights of the interior and exterior, and introducing the conservatory as a dramatic transitional space, we were able to combine a formal dining room overlooking the garden with a family kitchen below, giving both rooms privacy as well as direct access to the splendid new garden.
Our transformation explored the interrelationship of public and private realms applied to a particularly small footprint. At the lower levels we opened up the building in section, connecting functions at different levels and overcoming the isolation of separate floors. We maintained the separation of the upper floors, but rationalized the planning and circulation. The combination of private and public arrangements of space allows the structure to be used simultaneously for official functions and as the home of the president and his family.