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Rudolph's Manhattan high-rise gets makeover

The house in Beekman Place, Manhattan, which Paul Rudolph radically altered and enlarged over a 30-year period until his death in 1997, has just been restored and is on the market.

Like Rudolph's bestknown work, the Art and Architecture Building at Yale, which has 36 different levels, his house is best understood in section.This is certainly the case with the intricate four-storey penthouse which Rudolph added to the existing fivestoreys of c1900 - its tour de force is a doubleheight galleried living room that fuses with the master bedroom above. In the duplex underneath the penthouse is another doubleheight living room that now serves as a library.

Planes float in space, in best De Stijl manner, with the steel structure left exposed. Circulation is tight, increasing the impact of the larger volumes, which in turn are amplified by views through full-height windows - panoramas of the East River and the borough of Queens.

With the property's restoration, the penthouse looks pristine, as also do the lower storeys which had been in a sorry state. Changes include the sandblasting of transparent Plexiglas, which Rudolph used for stairs and landings, and removal of reflective Mylar from columns and beams, which are now painted white.Given that the walls, too, are white, and the floor is white marble (apart from some areas of stainless steel), the house seems increasingly ethereal as you climb from the entrance vestibule off Beekman Place to the generous roof terrace at the top.

Agent Insignia Douglas Elliman is asking US$10.5 millon (£7.3 million) for the property.

For details visit www. douglaselliman. com

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