A Magical Manhattan Penthouse Terrace

corner-finalAll around the world, people know Manhattan. The glitz, the glamour and the power of the Big Apple just cannot be denied. But some of the most precious, beautiful spots in the city are hidden from view, perched atop the towering buildings that create New York’s iconic skyline. We’ve gotten special permission to share this look at a Fifth Avenue terrace that features some of Sam’s finest work.


The Call Came out of the Blue

long-planter-2-final“Sophie had Googled ‘beautiful copper planters’ and my name came up,” Sam explained. “They have a beautiful penthouse apartment.” The home had been purchased years ago to accommodate Sophie’s husband, renowned entertainment attorney Geoffrey Menin, large Bösendorfer piano. “The issue was that while you have a fantastic view from the terrace, the area leading to it faced a brick building.” A solution was needed to create a more welcoming entrance, seamlessly visually transitioning visitors from Sophie and Geoffrey’s lovely home to the pleasures of their penthouse terrace. Sam’s earliest copper creations were crafted specifically to address a less-than-satisfying view, so he was more than prepared to take on this new design challenge.

They Really Knew What They Wanted

manhattanterraceSophie and Geoffrey had a definite vision for their Manhattan terrace garden. Landscape designer Todd Haiman created the plans which included 18 planters of varying sizes; Sam was brought in to bring these plans to fruition by creating the handcrafted unique copper planters he’s known for. “I knew my plan would feature strong horizontal lines and a rich texture,” he said. Working with an axe, Sam spent hours creating the texture and went on to create the lush finished copper – a one of a kind patina that will last for generations. Every artistic choice, including the use of all natural materials, the exclusive use of hand tools to create the distinctive texture and patina, as made in the knowledge that these planters will last for generations. Serendipitously, “Sophie really likes cherry wood and there’s a strong visual relationship between the way this looks and the rough, shaggy bark you’ll see on a cherry tree. Thematically, it all comes together beautifully.”

Elements of Optical Illusion

step-planter-final-1“One of the requirements of this project was that there be no visible lines or seams,” Sam explained. That presented a logistical challenge considering the designs called for an extremely large planter grouping. Sam overcame this hurdle using his creativity, crafting 2, 8 foot large scale copper panels anchored by handmade copper planters to be installed in front of five more planters. “It appears to be a single unit, but it’s not,” Sam said. “The panels and the design together resulted in a compelling optical illusion. This was the sensible way to get the look Sophie and Geoffrey wanted while taking installation considerations into account.” Thanks to Todd’s design, another planter was configured to look like it is ascending a step, even though it’s not. Sam said. “Copper has a beautiful natural organic look that’s perfect for this one of a kind space.”

A Springtime Unveiling

upper-corner-finalSam spent four months carefully hand crafting the custom copper planters for Sophie and Geoffrey’s penthouse terrace. They were delivered during the winter, but it wasn’t until later in the spring, when they’d been fully installed and dressed with an array of different plants, that Sam was able to see them in all their glory. “I’ve been doing this for a while, but that moment, when I saw them, I got all choked up. I knew this time I’d done something really special.”

To see this project in process, please click here.