Text description provided by the architects. This apartment for a filmmaker reinterprets the use of poché to support Baroque theatricality and proposes a cinematic architecture of sequences and points of view. The use of “virtual poché” in the Baroque to hide service spaces and to create mystery and surprise is updated through a cinematic emphasis on thinness and surface instead of solidity and mass.
The apartment occupies the top floor of an 11-story Art Deco-era hotel that has recently been converted to apartment living with mix-use commercial tenant spaces on the ground floor. The lobby and many of the apartments in the building have been re-built in a style reminiscent of the Art Deco building. The owners of the top floor units, however, were given the opportunity to design their own spaces.
A challenge faced by our site is that although we had the opportunity to work with generous 15-foot ceilings the windows shared the same small proportions and 7’-6” head height with all lower floors. Our approach began with a desire to treat the major living space as a pseudo-exterior pushing all of the private and utilitarian spaces behind a large, flat wall of oak veneer – the inner façade of the unit. Above all of this is a private roof deck accessed from stairs and passages in the compressed space of the poché.
This strategy of poché is primarily evident in how we organized spaces in plan: we located utilitarian spaces such as bathrooms and closets at the inside of the backwards L-shaped condominium space (the footprint is 3100 sf). Bedrooms occupy the two extremes of the L leaving a large “inner L” that provides the owner with a loft-like environment for work, everyday life and entertaining. To contrast and highlight the wood wall surfaces of other spaces are treated with a volumetric application of color such as the “blue zone” of much of the virtual poché (spaces that inhabit the poché in plan). We treated bathrooms and bedrooms with unique color selections so that each space takes on its own personality.
Custom detailing such as cnc-milled perforated paneling, flush rolling doors with hidden hardware and many other features give the apartment an element of crispness and surprise.