NYCXDESIGN AWARDS 2021 FINALIST
Built in 1903, 139 Huron has a special place in New York City’s architectural history as one of its seven public bathhouses. With a nod to the building’s historical significance, the developers tapped a firm with deep expertise in preservation and adaptive reuse, the Meshberg Group, to design nine condominium residences.
True to the City Beautiful Movement philosophy of his day, Architect Louis H. Voss designed the original Huron Street bathhouse in the Roman Revival style. The philosophy promoted beautification and grandeur to express order, dignity, health and harmony. By 1956, it was the last public bathhouse operating in Brooklyn. In 1960 it closed permanently. Today, careful exterior restoration appears in elements such as the original stone carved tablets above the portals, while illuminated preserved exterior details showcase original Roman Revival features.
Meshberg Group’s interior adaptation of the once neglected structure preserves its restored front facing facade and takes a holistic approach drawing on the building’s history of promoting well being. Integrating timeless elements with modern, the minimal design blends with tradition to evoke an air of relaxation.
A full floor penthouse addition crowns the stately edifice, while two triplex townhouses anchor the lower floors. With the focus on open space and natural light as pillars of harmony, the rear of the building has been reimagined as a contemporary juxtaposition in glass. The fully windowed facade looks out onto intimate rear gardens, which are enclosed in two-story brick walls preserved from the original 1903 structure. The townhouses’ double height living spaces feature two-story glass walls and access to the gardens and terraces, further bringing the outdoors in.
Bright, clean lined marble clad kitchens add to the feeling of creative renewal. The duo-tone custom Italian kitchens feature upper cabinetry in white lacquer juxtaposed with lower metallic cerused veneer cabinets and seamless appliance installation. White Italian marble backsplashes and countertops evoke the subtle grandeur of the past, while the modern island is a cutting-edge contrast in flush white powder coated metal and marble. Character grade wide plank bleached white oak brings additional visual impact. Faux skylights in both the kitchens and baths continue the airy and light ambience.
In the baths, the atmosphere is one of quietude and restoration. Inspired by the original materials of the structure, the baths are enveloped in a mix of hand picked Bianco Dolmetti marble and pure White Glassos marble. They are anchored by custom vanities featuring white Silastone and large soaking tubs.
Further integrating architectural elements of the past with materials and methods of the present, a mix of modern flush doors and lighting are blended with traditional decorative trim throughout. Custom brushed stainless topped glass railings and step lighting further the minimal aesthetic and sense of well-being.
One hundred and eighteen years after its first opening, The Bath Haus’ interior residences not only preserve the rich history of its iconic address, but also celebrate a well-lived modern life.