The private elevator landing opens into a tall vestibule, tapering upward to a seamless rectangular oculus which provides a view of the sculpted summit of the adjacent skyscraper. From the elevator vestibule, the floor slopes gently upward, passing under the twisting shaft of the stairwell to arrive at the main level of the penthouse. The stairwell shaft ascends through the full height of the penthouse, visually linking the entry hall with the structural glass floor of the attic four stories above. The stair itself wraps around the stairwell. The facetted surfaces of the stairwell converge on apertures, trimmed in mirror polished stainless steel, which provide views into and through the stairwell from the surrounding spaces. At the third level a structural glass bridge traverses the stairwell shaft passing through stainless-trimmed openings at either end. The original riveted steel structure –clad in intumescent paint- threads through the faceted stairwell slipping through apertures into adjacent rooms.
The entrance to a tubular slide, constructed from mirror-polished stainless steel, emerges through a circular hole cut in the seamless sloping glass partition at the south end of the Attic. The cylindrical helical slide flares to an ellipse which is sectioned on the angle of the inclined glass wall resulting in a circular opening where the slide emerges through the glass. This circular opening creates an illusion of flatness contradicted by the sideways path of the slide as it begins its descent. Visitors are invited to select a yellow cashmere blanket from the pile beside the entrance to speed their trip to the bottom….
The first leg of the slide passes through the attic glass, coils around the column and over the double-height guest bedroom, then slips through a second seamless glass window and out over the stair. Windows in the slide admit natural light from the dormer windows and provide a fleeting vistas through the entire length of the penthouse. To compete with the drama of the slide as it sweeps through the space and out the window to the stair, interior designer Ghislaine Vinas installed a startling mural, inspired by Michael Jackson’s Neverland, in the only vertical wall in the room. The saturated colors of the mural are fractured in the mirror polished facets of the slide, scatting patterns of color along the inner surface of the slide. At the bedroom entrance a landing provides an opportunity to make a local stop at the third level or to re-enter the slide to continue down to the entrance level. The lower slide coils down through the ceiling and into the Library on the main level, suspended from a single point within the floor structure above. As it reaches the end, the helical slide tube flares out to create a distorted rectangular mirror which forms the wall of the Library and deposits the intrepid visitor back in the Entrance Gallery at the foot of the staircase.
Description by architect