Charles Rose Architect Joshua Bell Flatiron Penthouse

The Renovation of a Flatiron Penthouse

For the third consecutive year, Dwell Home Tours took place across Manhattan on Saturday, October 11. It’s a rare opportunity to experience a group of private homes curated by Dwell’s editors, from a converted industrial building in Tribeca to a green renovation in Harlem. Dwell Home Tours allow design seekers to immerse themselves in “Dwell-like” domestic spaces. These unique homes are specially selected by Dwell to reflect the rich diversity of livable, innovative modern architecture and design found throughout New York City.

Today, we feature the renovation of a Flatiron district penthouse for Joshua Bell by Charles Rose Architect.

Charles Rose Architect Joshua Bell Flatiron Penthouse

When violinist Joshua Bell hired Charles Rose Architects to turn the upper floors of an old manufacturing plant in the Flatiron District into his home and salon, he had an unusual request: Make this contemporary penthouse feel like a 300-year-old Gibson Stradivarius violin. And while the central design features of the 4,000-square-foot apartment—like a dramatic oxidized steel-and-glass stair, rooftop atrium, outdoor spa, trellised pergola, and copper-clad chimney—aren’t a strict interpretation of the brief, Rose has replicated the richness and graceful details of the prized wood instrument. Light pours through the atrium into a central living space, open to the dining and kitchen area separated only by a limestone-and-patinaed-steel fireplace whose cantilevered mantel doubles as a bar. On the northern end of the space is the study, which converts to a private performance space. The rooftop terrace stretches to the north and south and is connected by a narrow passage beneath an iconic New York City wooden water tank.

Charles Rose Architect Joshua Bell Flatiron Penthouse

Living/Dining Room
Light pours through the atrium into the centrally located living room, which is defined by a change in the floor level and further separated from the adjacent dining and kitchen area by a limestone hearth. Photo by Chuck Choi.

Charles Rose Architect Flatiron Penthouse Joshua Bell

Roof Deck
A stainless steel hot tub is sited along the east edge of the roof with views to the north and west. Photo by Chuck Choi.

Charles Rose Architect Joshua Bell Flatiron Penthouse

Roof Deck
The penthouse includes the south and north ends of the roof, connected by a narrow passage beneath a classic New York City wooden water tank. The north end of the roof has several sitting areas organized around an outdoor fireplace and spectacular views to the west and north. Photo by Chuck Choi.

Charles Rose Architect Joshua Bell Flatiron Penthouse

Steel and glass staircase
The spaces on the upper floor are organized around a dramatic oxidized steel-and-glass stair situated along the east wall and leading to a rooftop atrium. Photo by Chuck Choi.

Charles Rose Architect Joshua Bell Flatiron Penthouse

Violinist Joshua Bell’s Flatiron penthouse
The spaces on the eighth floor of the penthouse are minimally delineated so as to allow for a continuous visual and acoustical expanse which accommodates residential spaces as well as a larger space for performances. Photo by Chuck Choi.

About Charles Rose Architect

Charles Rose Architects has created award-winning buildings of exceptional quality and value for more than 20 years. Design principal Charles Rose aims to ensure that the firm’s work remains at the forefront of American design while meeting the unique parameters of each project. A Harvard University graduate, Rose has dedicated his practice to innovative cultural, institutional, residential, and civic projects in a wide variety of settings, while focusing on the relationship of architecture to site. For each project—whether urban, suburban or rural—the site and environment are closely studied to create an architectural language that responds both formally, functionally, and materially to the surroundings.

For more information: Charles Rose Architects

About the Editor:

RJ Diaz is a renovation and remodeling construction management executive in New York City. RJ is passionate about high quality, well-crafted construction and requires the same from every member and subcontractor on his team. RJ started RenovatingNYC in 2010 to share the best of renovation and remodeling in New York City. For advice about your own renovation or remodeling plans, preliminary cost estimates and project opportunities, please contact RJ using the form below.