This is a quiet street wall building on a corner in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan in New York City. It is primarily a residential building for a Catholic religious group. It may be seen as the functional equivalent of a convent and a rectory combined in one building; and including a conference center at the top. The program is extremely complex and requires that the architect deal with such issues as:
* Separate entrances for men an women, on separate streets. * The design of seven chapels and sacristies and their service requirements. * Six dining rooms, all served from one kitchen. * Separate on-site parking for men and women. * Generous lobby and foyer spaces with multiple staircases connecting levels. * Separation visually and acoustically of men and women within the building. * Bedrooms, living rooms, and offices for approximately 100 residents.
The solution responds to these requirements with a brick and limestone design, respectful of the rich residential tradition of New York apartment living. It establishes a street wall to 85 feet accommodating the larger chapels and living spaces and then sets back 15 feet to a tower which accommodates the office and bedroom requirements. The vertical slot on the south in the tower is symbolic of the separation of men and women and further serves to break down the scale. At the top is a 25-room conference center (used alternately by men and women) for religious retreats and meetings - this unit includes its own chapel, dining and living rooms.