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In the News: Celebrating the Outdoors in a Manhattan Penthouse

What's the first thing you do when you buy a $4 million penthouse in lower Manhattan? If you're Matthew Blesso, you don't move in; instead, you allow two Yale professors to use the space as a giant experimental classroom.

Fred A. Bernstein's recent New York Times article In the Penthouse, a True Garden Apartment, celebrates this collaboration between architect Joel Sanders, landscape architect Diana Balmori, and real estate developer Matthew Blesso. The professors teach a course called Interface that integrates architecture and landscape architecture, the latter of which is often overlooked in projects. And so, with Mr. Blesso’s blessing, the two professors turned his $4 million apartment into an extended classroom. Luckily for all parties involved, the results were more than satisfactory for everyone, with Sanders and Balmori getting their living lab, and Blesso a truly unique living space.

To find out more about this penthouse, read more.


After renovating the penthouse for around $1 million, Blesso moved back in. Now, he performs his morning ablutions at a sink that's overshadowed by a large vertical garden on one wall. Striped dracaena add life to the staircase; outside, an outdoor shower and lush vegetation mingle, and mint plants climb up the bulkhead. The effect is soothing, design-forward, and wild at the same time.

Of course, I can't forget about this home's other design elements. The interior design is also a mix of chic and wilder elements, with products such as Tom Dixon lamps framing a graffiti mural, Livingstones scattered on the sofa and floor, Hans Wegner shell chairs lending a mid-century vibe, and other lovely pieces, which are wonderfully integrated in the home. Blesso, who's currently working on affordable housing developments in Central America, among other projects, definitely has a coveted crib. If you know what's good for you (and your need for real estate eye candy), head over to The New York Times to check out the full slideshow of his home.

Laurie Lambrecht for The New York Times

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