I recently redesigned the elevators at The Townsend Building at 1123 Broadway, which is a historic building in the NoMad neighborhood of Manhattan. Kew Managment featured this project on their website, which I include below.
The building was designed in 1896 and has Historic Landmark Status. There are great architectural details inside and out. I chose to draw cues from both the original structure and some of the changes that have occurred over the last 120 years.
You can see from the photos that there are many gorgeous details that remain.
Stair hall, facade and lobby of The Townsend Building at 1123 Broadway
The lobby walls are Calacatta marble, with gray accents and there are details in the floor of a copper colored stone. This is where I drew inspiration for the elevator materials. I interpreted this with a man-made product from Porcelanosa that will be extremely easy to maintain, as it is not porous like stone. There are elegant brass reveals that I used in between stone in the same manner.
Details from the existing lobby of The Townsend Building at 1123 Broadway
The design intent was not to replicate the past, but to create a bright, modern elevator that uses cues from the existing, yet feels fresh and new.
The new elevators which have given this building a lift.
The article below from Kew Management explains more.
Barry Goralnick Gives the Townsend Building a Design Lift
Goralnick was inspired by architectural elements, details, and aesthetics from the Cyrus L.W. Eidlitz building built in 1896: its gracious lobby is sheathed in white marble, bronze colored stone details on the floors, brass reveals that frame the exterior of the elevator doors, and the square wooden corner elements on the mirrors opposite the elevators.
For those who knew the elevators now being replaced, the transformation is remarkable. The updated elevator cabs are handsome and true to the spirit of The Townsend and its lobby. The fresh look of the cabs emphatically reflects the faster, more efficient service delivered by the new elevator system, equipped with the latest technology.
Goralnick explains, “The goal was to create a look that honors the existing structure, but is both modern and functional. We selected two porcelain materials from neighboring NoMad business, Porcelanosa – a white slab for the walls and a bronze colored stone for the floor. Harkening to square wood pyramidal details of the corners of the mirrors in the lobby, we laid out a grid defined by brass inlays and reveals. The corners are highlighted by brass at the top, with contrasting bronze tile at the base. These new axes on the walls were carried through the floor tile and were used to create rectangular modules for LED lighting panels overhead. A brass control panel and new railing complete the overall look.”
In a simple stroke of genius, Goralnick literally created more standing room by replacing the over-scaled back railing that made the cabs feel even smaller. The previous cramped feeling of The Townsend Building cabs, with muddy colored curved walls and dim incandescent lighting has given way to a fresh new look – bright and clean – with a design that both preserves and advances the building’s aesthetics.
About Barry Goralnick
Barry Goralnick, a graduate the Harvard Graduate School of Design, is a tenant in the St. James, 1133 Broadway. His first job at Wayne Berg Architects was at 1133 Broadway, before it became the NoMad we know today. In addition to architecture and interior design, Barry also designs home furnishing products for Visual Comfort Lighting, Stark Carpet, Vanguard Furniture, and Ferrell Mittman Furniture, with new categories constantly gestating in his studio/lab on the eleventh floor.
Barry has honed his signature style of “Blended Modern” into a nationally recognized lifestyle brand. His essence captures a luxurious style of casual living. Simple lines, rich materials & textures, and distinctive comfort are inspired by the quintessential classics. Modern and Classic design elements are reinterpreted for a softer, more casual livable kind of modern design.