Apartment combinations should feel as if they’ve always been one coherent layout. Given the limitations of a pre-war high rises, this can be tricky. You have existing chases, risers, and columns, not to mention coop rules against wet spaces over dry. We managed to unify this layout by creating an axis of common spaces with daylight at both ends. Putting the family room at one extreme end of the unit and the living room at the other made the most of the new long view between them, resulting in common space that feels uncommonly spacious. The building’s infrastructure could have hobbled the layout. Instead, we exposed the column and pipes at the kitchen, adding character while screening the work zone. We also enlarged the kitchen and coat closets and added a foyer where once there was only a narrow hall.