A dark and divided interior in West Chelsea, Manhattan, was transformed into a bright and loft-like space. The apartment occupies the third floor of a small 1910 apartment building.
Measuring 11.5 by 50 feet total (520 sf), the apartment’s layout is typical to many prewar apartments in New York. Similar to the “Railroad Apartment,” it takes the shape of a long and narrow rectangle that draws light from the building’s front and rear sides. In its original layout, prior to BoND’s intervention, the apartment was divided into three distinct sections: a living room, a bedroom, and a closed-off corridor connecting the two - which housed the kitchen and the bathroom. The architects removed these partitions to create one continuous space, celebrating the apartment’s elongated proportions and maximizing the illusion of depth. The forced perspective is further enhance by a series of inset lighting fixtures that extend linearly from the kitchen into the bedroom, and a wood floor pattern which highlights the length rather the the width of the space. The renovation created a clear distinction between the western wall - along which the apartment's utilities, services and hardware are located - and the eastern wall, that was left blank to provide room for art display.
The renovation makes use of custom design details combined with off-the-shelf products. The fire place, for example, is an original (and functioning) fixture of the apartment. Its brick core is wrapped by a cut-and-folded sheet made of stainless steel, which BoND commissioned at a local workshop in Chinatown, giving the room a contemporary edge. The metallic effect is echoed by use of a lighting fixture made of brass, which hangs above the dining table. The kitchen features “hacked” IKEA cabinets combined with integrated appliances and a custom marble slab.
Photography: Eric Petschek