9th Street loft / Messana O’Rorke

© Elizabeth Felicella

Architects: Messana O’Rorke
Location: New York City, New York,
Design Partners: Brian Messana and Toby O’Rorke
Design Team: Christopher Courtney
Lighting Designer: Zerolux
Mechanical Engineer: M.A. Rubiano
Photographs: Elizabeth Felicella

© Elizabeth Felicella

An unforgiving block in the Far East of the East Village provided the location for a unique living space for an alternative couple and their collection of art and contemporary furniture. The harsh streetscape of public housing and a neighboring tenement squat, melt into oblivion upon passing through two large steel doors into the new apartment, where another architecture has been established.

© Elizabeth Felicella

Needless to say the original storefront space had nothing to recommend it, with the exception of scale. The twelve-foot ceilings, steel columns and thick wooden beams, were the only features. From the outset the intension was to crate an abstract space with its own urban form; blocks of program divide the living spaces in the same way that buildings define a city. A wall of opaque plastic simulates sunshine opposite the entry hall. The kitchen is unperceived in a white lacquer and stainless steel orthogonal form. Passing through a square arch one arrives into a large open space, with a high-level slot window, which provides views of the sky to the south.

© Elizabeth Felicella

A fifty-foot linear light fixture runs the length of the space, passing from the large gallery type space through a narrow gap between enclosed spaces into another space beyond. Each area is defined by architecture, but function is abstracted, hidden and obscured. A sofa, a table, or a bed, becomes the only elements that describe the domestic function of each space.

Cite: "9th Street loft / Messana O’Rorke" 07 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 Apr 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=108772>

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