Set in historic Greenwich Village, the residence is composed of two low buildings, originally one was a metal shop and the other a garage. The late artist Roy Lichtenstein and his family converted the buildings into their residence and studio in the late 1980s. In 2007 Caliper was brought on board as architects for the restoration and renovation.
The buildings had between them eight roof surfaces totaling 6,000 square feet of aging roof. The two larger surfaces were transformed into a quiet landscape of wall to wall sedum plants within which are set two of Roy Lichtenstein’s sculptures—Brushstrokes and Endless Drip. This newly formed urban sculpture garden is framed by the tall rugged neighboring buildings of Manhattan’s west side. The kitchen and penthouse were rebuilt with dark reflective brick, connecting them is a black locust wood deck curving and stepping above the landscape. This warm wood surface forms a path, a viewing platform and a resting area to enjoy the new garden. The sedum planting continues onto two new concrete shell skylights whose curved form gently diffuses light into the studio below.
Preservation of the artist’s studio was a primary design objective of the project. Careful technical detailing of the building’s envelope along with new climate controls help ensure the longevity of the studio. The quality of the space and its character have been maintained through original artifacts including the artist’s built-in wall easel system and paint splattered floor.
View additional photos of the skylights in fabrication here: Berm Skylights.
General Contractor: Riverside Builders
Structural Engineering: GMS
Landscape and Planting Design: VertNY
Photography: Ty Cole