SHoP Architects

SHoP Architects

New York


Mulberry House

Located at the corner of Houston and Mulberry Street in Manhattan's NoLita neighborhood, Mulberry House consists of 8 full-floor, 3 bedroom residences, and one triplex penthouse.  Its proximity to the Puck building, notable for its decorative brickwork, as well as contextual zoning regulations dictating a “predominantly masonry” façade, led to the contemporary reinterpretation of this ancient art form as a design objective.  The rippled brick façade treatment acknowledges the fact that the brick is panelized not load bearing, and at the same time pays tribute to the highly articulated historic brick façades in the neighborhood.

This design approach provides an energetic contradiction between the inherent solidity of masonry and the suspended nature of a curtain wall, evoked through the undulating and highly textured pattern of the embedded brickwork.  In its unusually decorative application of a solid and structured material, Mulberry House takes cues from the architectural style of the Vienna Secession movement, established in the late 19th Century. Known for pushing aesthetic boundaries and exploring the use of decorative ornamentation while working outside of traditional and established academic practice, this movement informed Mulberry House’s distinctively mannered application of durable and functional materials.

The building’s interior calls on that era's sense of opulence and luxury while providing durability of material, maximizing available space, and taking advantage of site requirements. The façade’s diamond-like pattern is carried through to the building’s lobby, which features a material palate of black lacquer, solid whites, and richly figured marble. These colors and textures continue throughout the building’s residences.  Honed Jet Mist granite was selected as a kitchen countertop material for both its durability and its visual softness in comparison to the high polish of white glass cabinets by Schiffini. The unit bathrooms feature custom solid wood vanities and concrete tubs designed by SHoP.  All residences at Mulberry House include private keyed elevators, radiant-heat walnut flooring, and oversized double-glazed windows. There is a landscaped common terrace accessible to all residents at the second floor, as well as a private rooftop terraces at each floor of the penthouse.

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Status: Built
Location: New York, NY, US
Firm Role: Architects