This project is a renovation of a duplex loft in Soho, NY, also known as the art gallery center of Manhattan. It is a typical "artist loft" with high ceilings, particular of the cast iron, industrial buildings of this district from the turn of the century.
The intention here was to keep the characteristics of the existing loft while transforming it to develop a habitable space for the client. We kept the lower level basically open and organized the required spaces around two parallel walls. The fireplace wall and the dividing wall between the study and living area. The fireplace wall is treated with hand trawled stucco, rough in texture with a punched in log-box and a linear marble mantle.
The dividing wall is a freestanding plaster wall, which we emphasized by designing two oversized doors of steel and glass for the full size openings on either side. These doors were designed to continue the lines of the library shelving in closed position and as lighting units for the dining area in the open position.
Resolving the vertical circulation between the two levels, we created a challenging situation in replacing the existing spiral stair. Due to the number of rotations and open grating treads, the existing spiral vibrated beyond the norm and caused a frightening experience going up and down. However we were not allowed to enlarge the opening (5'x5') in the ceiling to accommodate for a larger stair. After many attempts, we came up with a hybrid stair, partially straight and partially spiral.
The two stairs are structurally independent but are unified with a single sheet of steel curving in a logarithmic spiral. The experience of moving through this stair is like being on a mobius strip. One is simultaneously inside and outside of the steel sheet. The stair railings terminate in a circular pattern of rings which gets carried into the design of the pendant light fixture and bar stools.
The bar unit shields the kitchen, using similar materials, while introducing color via its blue marble counter and mahogany support. the owner's passion for color blue is accommodated through out the loft in variety of shades. The wood floors are stained in light blue-gray while the library walls are in deep Florentine blue and the doors are painted steel-blue.
On the upper level, where the master suite and the roof-garden are located, the blue tint is softer. The roof-garden is composed with a rose arbor and a wisteria trellis, all made of cedar wood and a spiral stair completing one's journey upward terminating in the private sun deck area above.