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All Clear

Once a toolshed, now a light-filled, glass roofed greenhouse that’s become this West Village house’s favorite space.

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Open the front door to this 1827 Village townhouse (whose owners prefer to keep the address to themselves), and the first impression is of antiques, country, casual. But through the double-hung windows, you glimpse something much more modern across the garden: an eleven-by-twenty-foot conservatory framed in steel with a glass-block roof and oversize folding doors that has become “the most private and restful place in the house,” says its architect, Michael Haverland. The house is on a busy street and, because of its small windows and low ceilings, tends to be dark. Serene and light-filled, the greenhouse “sparkles and glows at night like a jewel box,” says Haverland. One that had to be built in a tight setting—grandfathered on the footprint of an existing toolshed. It’s given the owners impetus to leave the house’s back porch and make full use of their 51-foot-long yard. “It put energy at the back of the property,” Haverland says. “Now they go back and forth all the time.”


(Photos: David Allee)  

(1.) The Walls
The rough natural stucco on the walls is made from sand and concrete, and it is intended to crack and weather with age; the texture recalls the Peter Nadin painting off to the left.

(2.) The Folding Doors
They’re hung from a ceiling track and glide easily, despite their tremendous weight.

(3.) The Sofa
An Edward Wormley design, bought on eBay, it was upholstered in a nubby vintage Jack Lenor Larsen wool. The Paul McCobb stools are covered in ponyskin, and the rug is antique Caucasian, bought at ABC Carpet & Home.

(4.) The Patio
The bluestone flags connect the exterior to the interior, as do the walls.


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