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SkyHouse: The NYC penthouse with an 80-foot slide


March 26, 2013

The slide provides a playful point of focus for the inhabitants and any visitors (Photo: David Hoston)

The slide provides a playful point of focus for the inhabitants and any visitors (Photo: David Hoston)

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Even someone who lives in a penthouse in Lower Manhattan may feel the need to “keep up with the Joneses,” to some extent. One way to impress New York City's penthouse-dwelling elite is to choose a location which affords particularly stunning views, while another is to select only the finest interior furnishings. The SkyHouse penthouse renovation by architect David Hotson does both, but ups the ante with the addition of an 80-foot (24-meter) slide which sprawls throughout the interior of the home.

SkyHouse occupies the top four floors of a skyscraper situated in Lower Manhattan which was originally designed to be the headquarters of the American Tract Society (a religious literature publisher). Completed in 1896, the building remains one of the earliest surviving skyscrapers in New York City, and boasts impressive views of famous landmarks – including St.Paul’s Chapel, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building.

Visitors to SkyHouse are greeted with a private elevator landing, which leads to a stairwell shaft ascending the full height of the penthouse, visually linking the entry hall with the structural glass floor of the attic four stories above.

The multi-level main living space takes up the north of the penthouse, which sees the entire 50-foot (15-meter) height of the residence utilized. Decor was handled by interior designer Ghislaine Viñas, and a fully-functional climbing column fits neatly into the overall theme of the home.

Both main bedrooms make full use of available light, with the center bedroom offering views of the Woolworth Building’s spire. Also in the center bedroom, a glass desk sits atop a glass enclosure which reveals snatched views of the penthouse floors below.

However, while all the above is certainly impressive in itself, it’s the slide that sets SkyHouse apart from other high-end homes.

The entrance to the mirror-polished stainless steel tubular slide can be found in at the south end of the attic. Intrepid explorers are offered a yellow cashmere blanket from the pile beside the entrance, so as to gain maximum velocity on their trip.

On the journey down, the slide navigates through the attic, coils around the climbing column, and zooms past a guest bedroom, before slipping through a seamless glass window and over the stairs. Visitors then have the chance to take a stop at the third level, or re-enter the slide and continue down to the very bottom, with the entrance gallery serving as journey’s end.

Something tells us that the owners of SkyHouse won’t have a shortage of willing guests next time they throw a dinner party.

The video below features a walkthrough of the penthouse.

Source: David Hotson via FastCo.Design

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

Ah, the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Where's Robin Leach when you need him?

Chuck Anziulewicz

The pictures really dont do it justice, the video is worth watching.

Was going to say that it looks nice but its not really my style, id still say alot of the interior decorations arn't my thing but the layout really really nice.

Very creative and fun, very open and yet has lots of interesting little spaces, this how a house(or apt) should be in my opinion, atleast thats how i like my house to be. A living space should be somewhere where you can relax but also feel inspired and help create a frame of mind.


What an incredibly dull video about an absolutely ghastly home! Gimmicks everywhere, but no sign of warmth! I can almost picture the owners.

Marcus Carr

This is an attempt to give "Shallow" some depth & texture. The only merit this place and it's slide have is the limited merit of providing some work for the contractors renovating the place. In a few years the overly wealthy folks who own this empty space will no doubt re-conceptualize the place. And even then it will still not doubt look shallow and self indulgent.


Stunning I would love to know just how much the skyhouse cost to purchase and fit out. Heck how much did just the slide cost? And, when can I go spend a night or a week? :-)


Definitely a quirky, fun, and stimulating environment, it almost let's me overcome my jealousy of wealth and hatred of my indigence to be inspired. Lovely creation and use of rhythm that would get ol' FLW a tremble. Of course, she does a LOT to sell the space.

Tony Medlin

Stunning what a great house to live in dont no how safe that would all be after a few drinks but love it that would be a house to come home to party time

Paul Sheriff
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