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March 9, 2023

Pyramid Apartment House, 1940

Every tenant has an outside apartment in a pyramid-shaped house designed by Edwin A. Koch, New York architect, in 1940. Some time ago, Koch planned a bank of apartments for a steeply sloping hillside. Then the bold idea occurred to him of joining four of the dwellings, back to back in a pattern like a cross, with the result shown below.

Carrying modern set-back architecture to its logical extreme, the huge building provides a private terrace, with penthouse airiness, for every tenant above the fourth floor. No windows face the interior, a naturally ventilated hollow core fourteen stories high. Its base of sixty-four-foot diameter provides ample space for cars to discharge and pick up passengers at passageways leading to the elevators. Pedestrians use exterior doors.

Apartments are supplied from a central plant with washed, humidified, and heated air in winter and with unheated air for summer coolness. Open corners of the building’s cross-shaped base provide a two-way automobile drive, a parking space for visitors, and two covered garages for tenants.


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