Old soap factory home features a “terrarium” room that opens up to the Manhattan sky

new york architecture, dwell on design, home tours, nyc interior design, green renovations, eco interiors, bring nature indoors, eco-friendly apartment design, new york city apartments, andrew franz, tribeca real estate, building restorations, adaptive reuse

Image ©Albert Vecerka/Esto

The circa-1884 landmark building was a former soap warehouse, designed by architect George B. DaCunha in the Romanesque Revival style. Its large timber columns rise like trees to meet 16-foot beam ceilings, while brick lines its expansive walls. In this adaptive reuse, Franz’s main goal was to “to bring nature indoors” while retaining as much of the building’s historic features as possible. The residence’s industrial aesthetic is complemented by handmade tile, midcentury antiques and the pièce de résistance – a botanic-filled inverted courtyard.

Related: Tour the Eco-Renovated Harlem Home of Orange Is The New Black Star Alysia Reiner

The greenhouse-like courtyard contains all of the trappings of an outdoor retreat, even though it is housed inside of a loft. To walk inside this life-sized terrarium, one cannot help but feel utterly and completely filled with life. Its floors are covered in natural stone and slate, and large, thriving plants infuse the space with vitality. A 150-square-foot retractable panel glides overhead to reveal an even more lush rooftop retreat that can be opened with a single push of a button.

new york architecture, dwell on design, home tours, nyc interior design, green renovations, eco interiors, bring nature indoors, eco-friendly apartment design, new york city apartments, andrew franz, tribeca real estate, building restorations, adaptive reuse

Image ©Albert Vecerka/Esto

The remainder of the design incorporates contrasting elements such as steel, glass, and lots of reclaimed wood, including a winding staircase railing and coffee tables formed from the timber of an elevator shaft. Even with its towering ceilings, the beautiful combination of industrial materials, natural light and greenery successfully achieves a feeling of home sweet home. In fact, it wasn’t very easy to leave!

+ Andrew Franz

+ Dwell on Design NY Home Tours

Images ©Albert Vecerka/Esto

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