FRANK O. GEHRY & ASSOCIATES
Wosk Residence 1984
Situated on a quiet residential street in a predominantly two-story neighborhood, this project is a renovation of an existing four-story apartment building. The owner planned to occupy the top one and a half stories and rent out the remainder of the building, so the renovation was focused on these upper areas. The exterior of the third floor has been minimally altered but the fourth floor of the building was completely and the various rooms rebuilt as a series of objects set back from the existing building's perimeter. The remaining three stories were refinished in pink stucco (in accordance with the clients request) and act as a pedestal for the penthouse sculptural forms.
The dense rooftop composition of "appropriated" forms is suggestive of a miniature city and echoes the scale, detail and eclecticism of its surroundings. The kitchen is housed within a blue-domed form topped by a stained glass skylight. The dining room occupies a gabled greenhouse structure and the adjoining livingroom is housed in a block-like structure whose corner chimney is clad in custom blue shingled tiles. A ziggurat form coated with gold auto-body paint contains the den. The vaulted corrugated aluminum shed at the far end of the rooftop contains the owner's studio. A sweeping curved stairway, enclosed within a black granite baldachino form, links the third floor master bedroom, guest room and two large bathrooms to the upper living/working areas.
The owner is an artist and collaborated extensively on the interiors which, in contrast to the colliding forms of the exterior, are continuous and expansive. Generous use of glazing allows for an abundance of natural light and extensive views of the city. In addition, most of the exterior elements are visible from within the building and create an unexpected landscape. The client's colorful tilework complements the spacial simplicity of the interior spaces and also defines an outdoor bar area nestled within the rooftop composition.