Completed in 2013, this 5,000 square foot duplex penthouse is located on North Moore Street in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. Designed by BKSK for an Upper East Side couple transitioning to an empty-nest downtown lifestyle, the space began as a somewhat uninspired blank slate. Partner-in-Charge Joan Krevlin and Project Architect Stacey Jattuso, who leads the firm’s interiors group, chose to celebrate the loft’s spacious volumes and expansive views while thoughtfully creating new moments of intimacy and warmth. An essential decision in this transformation was the resituating of the stairwell, which was originally tucked away in the unit. Now a defining feature of the main living area, the stairs subtly divide the first floor’s dining room and sunken den. As the main sculptural element visitors see upon entering the loft, the stairs work with an elongated entry corridor to establish a cozy but simultaneously momentous arrival experience.
While Krevlin and Jattuso intentionally sought to create a screening effect with the new staircase, they did not wish to sacrifice the loft’s inherent sense of airy continuity. Unobstructed movement of daylight between the floors, semi-transparent tonality, and a seamless finishes all became important guiding elements in achieving this vision. A dramatic section cut allows for the staircase to directly connect a new outdoor terrace upstairs with the main living areas downstairs, and a specially commissioned blown-glass pendant by Brooklyn sculptor Graham Caldwell further draws light from floor to floor. A 2” thick resin from 3form’s Chroma line, in the champagne-like color “Sable,” is the staircase’s defining material. Custom painted steel plate holds the resin rails in place, with a thoughtful structural design that minimizes surface area and eliminates the need for visible fasteners. Rift white oak was used for the treads, risers, second floor railings, and decorative ceiling and wall accents. The wood’s custom finish matches the loft’s existing flooring, while meticulous attention to the grain creates the effect of employing one single piece of wood. The completed staircase is luminous and elegant, and almost seems like a solid form carved directly from the loft itself.