Parametric Tribeca House Clears Preservation Hurdle

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
187 Franklin Street (Courtesy Landmarks Preservation Commission)

187 Franklin Street (Courtesy Landmarks Preservation Commission)

A fanciful parametric design for an addition to a single family house in Tribeca made its way before the Landmarks Preservation Commission today and walked away with a stunning unanimous approval. Jeremy Edmiston of SYSTEMarchitects designed the new facade and addition to an existing three-story single-family house at 187 Franklin Street. According to its web site, the firm studies contemporary culture with “a focus on spaces that are multi-layered, overlapping, and intertwining — systems consisting of varying constituencies, economies and environments — systems both concrete and intangible.” From the looks of these boards presented to the panel, this project is right on the mark.

Current conditions at 187 Franklin Street (Courtesy Landmarks Preservation Commission)

Current conditions at 187 Franklin Street (Courtesy Landmarks Preservation Commission)

Currently a nondescript three-story building sitting in the Tribeca West Historic District, the addition adds two new floors and a new facade above the first floor. Preservation consultant Bill Higgins of Higgins Quasebarth related the dynamically morphing facade to the classic details of nearby art-deco buildings and the porous metal balconies to the ubiquitous New York fire-escape. While the comparisons may seem far-fetched to some, the Preservation Landmarks Commission approved the project 9 to 0.

10 Responses to “Parametric Tribeca House Clears Preservation Hurdle”

  1. NR says:

    What makes this parametric?

  2. michael pierce says:


  3. Ashley says:

    What an unfortunate lack of respect to one of New York’s last remaining neighborhoods with real charm.

  4. mike barlow says:

    ‘the Kings new clothes’ springs to mind !

  5. Darvin K says:

    Are the architects merely going to build a full-size paper thin graphic? If so, they seem well equipped. But if they are proposing a building, Landmarks should have demanded a more convincing idea of how this will be put together. Under Chairman Robert Tierney, Landmarks, once the protector of the city’s fine architecture and historic neighborhoods, has become a joke. Tierney’s legacy will be the buildings future generations demand to see knocked down.

  6. raising the bar says:

    it would seem that TriBeCa has become an incubator for progressive architectural propositions and buildings, congratulations LPC and Community Board No. 1 for setting a very high bar for the rest of the City.

  7. Elvin says:

    Are these junior architects equipped to detail this fantasy? Looking at their web-site I see only cardboard models and a few crude shanty-type constructions. There is no evidence that they have the knowledge or technical expertise to pull this off. And if this is done badly, it will be a disaster for the immediate block and the whole of Tribeca. Be afraid … very afraid.

  8. my office is on this street says:

    How could Landmarks possibly approve this horrendous project?? It looks like some second year design effort. It will be a sad day for Tribeca if this gets built.

  9. Vesna says:

    It’s time for LPC Chairman Robert Tierney to resign and step down. In his rush to seem progressive and open minded, he’s allowing the visual destruction of the neighborhoods he’s been charged with preserving. There are plenty of opportunities to build projects like ‘Parametric House’ elsewhere in New York. Tribeca should not be one of them. Tierney is looking like more and more like he’s lost sight of his agency’s goals. He’s arguably incompetent.

  10. kls/contentext says:

    apropos: photo of a creased printed photo – would love to see the plan & section, creases & all.

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