Our goal in renovating this penthouse duplex for a young bachelor was to maximize the impact of the light and views that the penthouse floor-through configuration afforded. The existing apartment had terraces on both levels but the windows and interior partitions limited the impact of this exterior exposure on the interior spaces.
Our design is driven by the desire to capture and modulate light and to open views through the depth of the apartment creating a diaphanous, light filled perch above SOHO in New York City.
Materials throughout are selected and placed to provide a rich range of sensorial qualities and to maximize the impact of the light that we have brought deep into the space. In terms of light, conceptually each material is considered an emitter or a receptor. Aluminum, frosted glass, translucent resin and sheer curtains all seem to glow or emit sunlight. Stone, wood, thick draperies and tile all come to life as receptors of the same light. The range of tactile qualities of each material is critical as well as the range of color/darkness.
The forms throughout are very clean and modern, the materials range from an almost rustic finish on the wood floors, the more refined finish on the kitchen cabinets and the silky smooth finish on the dark panels in the corridors on both floors. Materials range from bright aluminum and resin to dark wood on interior corridors- meant to accentuate the light revealed at each end.
The lower level has an east facing living/dining/ kitchen and an entertainment room that can be transformed into a guest suite at the other end. The service core between these spaces contains two bathrooms, laundry and a stair to the second floor.
The second floor is set back from the main floor at both sides of the building (east and west) and contains the master bedroom suite. Because of the setback, the stair is in the middle of the lower level at the eastern end of the upper floor. A new window wall at the top of the stairs floods the stair opening with light spilling down into the center of the lower floor. The stair itself is a light aluminum cantilevered structure that bridges across a stone platform at the bottom and a stone and wood stair/kitchen “wall” at the top. The wall of the stair is a 1” thick 3form resin panel that captures the light and diffuses it so that the interior wall appears to be glowing with the exterior sunlight coming through the new full width glass opening.
The operable glass walls at both ends of the upper level allow this floor to be completely opened to the terraces at the east and west ends of the building. To further accentuate this feeling of openness the walls of the bathroom are 1” thick 3form resin panels allowing light to fill the master bedroom from both sides, transforming and softening the light as the sun moves from east to west throughout the day.
A small desk and work area is also carved out of this central core on the second level turning the former corridor into a small book lined study.