Architects: A+I Design Corp
Location: New York City, New York, USA
Project team: Brad Zizmor, Anastasia Amelchakova, Eliane Maillot
Project area: 4,100 sqm
Project year: 2010
Photographs: Magda Biernat
The main challenge of the design was to create flow between the two obviously separate East and West halves of the apartment, which were a result of combining the two buildings in the past. To open up the space between, a new wide arched opening was added in the demising brick wall, seamlessly integrated by proportionally mimicking style of the existing arches. A synonymous window was installed on the east wall to create maximum light exposure in the new “great room”. Care was taken to preserve the loft’s history as a warehouse, and later an artist’s studio by keeping and accentuating its inherent openness, large steel skylights, material textures and exposed structure. To accentuate the mass and presence of the exposed brick wall, the new stair was cantilevered off of this inherently structural element. The wall was extended up to the top of the stair bulkhead, clad with re-used brick recovered after demolishing part of the wall for the new arch. New skylight above stair now brings in more light, inviting to enjoy the new outdoor roof terrace and garden. The Kitchen and family Breakfast room were positioned in the most brightly lit part of the apartment with two large existing skylights, which flood the space with natural southeast light.
It was important to separate public from private, however instead of hallways and closed doors, large sliding “partitions” allow for uninterrupted flow throughout the day, with option to screen off the children’s’ play area and family bedrooms. With 3 children and 2 dogs, it was critical to plan for ample storage throughout the apartment, custom built-in benches, credenzas and bookcases work well to keep clutter hidden while seamlessly integrating with surrounding finishes. In the children’s playroom a new lofted platform with ladders, trap doors and writable walls was designed for playing and storage, while child-friendly low ceiling spaces where they can explore, read and study under an existing skylight.
All of the new materials were selected to accentuate the authentic quality of the space enhancing with warm, rich natural finishes such as oiled old-growth walnut floors and cabinets, cold rolled steel stair and doors, earth tone tiles and bamboo counters. While the finishes feel high end, all of the tactile surfaces are child and pet friendly, durable and will develop in character as they age.