Deep Focus Apartment
New York, New York

The spatial quality of this project was determined by a series of views threaded through the existing rooms. The west-facing apartment on the top floor of a turn-of-the-century building had the structure of a railroad flat, entered at its midpoint. Our intervention was inspired by a small moment in the building’s plan, where the two ends of the apartment protrude in order to engage each other by means of small windows which open a north-south view corridor parallel to the apartment’s length.
In order to open the relatively small apartment spatially while leaving its inherent character intact, we created a series of cut-outs in the same north-south direction which begin in the kitchen, with a framed pass-through. They continue through the shower, which is perforated by two windows, through the study and into the master bedroom. A balance between old and new was the basis for the decision to leave the existing wainscotting but to bleach it.
While the spatial structure and new woodwork are clearly modern and open, the wainscotting and the structure of rooms are witnesses to the apartment’s original qualities. The theme of framing is repeated in the bathroom, which is clad with a light, neutral tile in its private portion and with a vivid, gold-tinged blend in the perforated shower. At entry, a structural column clad in stainless steel and an entry cabinet with fretted glass screen provide a balance of separation and continuity between entry, living room and primary corridor. Photos: Paùl Rivera, ArchPhoto

Date of Completion: February, 2004
Total Area: 800 ft. sq.