Alexander Gorlin, who designed Stairway to Heaven, a townhouse in Ruskin Place, has been honored as one of Architectural Digest’s New AD 100.
A modernist who draws extensively from traditional lexicons, Alexander Gorlin crafts soulful, sanctuary-like homes that emphasize comfort and light. In recent years the architect has spread his wings and tackled a variety of building types, designing affordable-housing projects and renovating Louis Kahn’s Temple Beth El in Chappaqua, New York.
The Seaside house was conceived both as a critique of the architectural style that developed at Seaside as well as an affirmation of its urban plan. A corner unit, the house opens up on the diagonal to Ruskin Place. It also faces a small, forested public park. The public gesture of an open stair leading to the living area above the shop recalls the open loggias of Italian houses on piazzas as well as the traditional brownstone stoop, a place for public interaction. The double-height glass cube of the living area both frames a view of the square and creates an intermediary zone between the public space and the internal private realm. An internal facade faces the living area, behind which the master bedroom opens out to a terrace facing west.
In his current collaboration, Gorlin is teaming with musician Pharrell Williams on prefab housing in Detroit. Up next, Homes in Los Angeles, Miami Beach, and Tuxedo Park, New York, and converting Eero Saarinen’s Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey, into a mixed-use complex.