The 106 existing slabs of Manhattan schist originally laid out in 1837 were recycled and rearranged as a gigantic puzzle to form split level terraces. Ranging in size from 6’ x 8’ to 1’ x 1’ the horizontal composition of stone and plants, inspired by the paintings of Piet Mondrian, allows mosses, ferns, and trees within the terraces to soften the distinction between garden and path. The layout of the upper terrace was calibrated to accommodate the installation of a Matthew Ritchie Sculpture titled, "Night Drawing" (Composition No. 3) 2014. To improve privacy, spatial definition, and views from inside the house six 30’ tall Tulip Polar trees were craned over the six-story brownstone to create and “green ceiling” for this elegant outdoor room. Chosen because of their vertical growth habit, stately form, dramatic fall color, and high canopy flowers, the Tulip Poplars are also recognized as the number one carbon sequestering tree in New York City. This instant three-story grove of trees also acts the year-round visual centerpiece from the second floor of the newly remodeled living room via a sweeping new 26’ wide window. The connection to the garden is further enhanced by the introduction of a new cantilevered outdoor staircase designed by Counts Studio. The steel and wood stair design visually recedes into the garden and delicately transitions from the historical character of brownstone to the contemporary design expression of the garden.
New York, New York
Counts Studio, Landscape and Garden Stair Design
Matthew Ritchie, Sculptor
Paul Scott Architect, Architect
Becker Engineering, Structural Engineer
Steven Dubner Landscaping, Landscape Contractor