Team: Julián Palacio, AIA and Juanita Vasquez-Armstrong
Type: Residential Interior
Area: 800 sf
Location: New York, NY
This project consists on the renovation of a park-facing unit for a young couple in an Upper West neighborhood of Manhattan. Originally built as an extended-stay hotel in 1910, this pre-war building was later converted into apartments to become one of the first Co-ops in the city.
The character of the space is preserved by maintaining the linear sequence of rooms, each of which is accessed from the corridor. The perimeter of the hallway is activated on one side with the installation of artwork of various dimensions, and on the other, with a series of storage closets and niches whose depth is achieved by carving a series of voids out of the thickness of the wall. The utilitarian character of this element is concealed through large marine-grade plywood sheets with exposed edges that provide a seamless and continuous elevation. The axiality of the hallway is balanced through surface-mounted light fixture cans which are installed on the ceiling that extends into the social areas.
The kitchen, which was an independent room in the original layout of the apartment, is turned into an open and central space that amplifies social interactions. Additionally, this strategy enhances the uniform distribution of daylight coming into the unit through the large front and side windows. A floor-to-ceiling shelving system acts as a room divider to define a study room that doubles as a guest bedroom. This divider is punctured on both ends by two large openings with full-height glass panes—one functioning as a sliding door—to establish a choreography of visually interconnected rooms, merging the study room, with the social area and open kitchen.