This Boston loft - nearly 5,000 SF with 18-foot high ceilings - presented a number of amazing opportunities and more than a few challenges. Chief among the opportunities was amplifying the immensity of the central living space - perhaps the largest in the city - while making an understandable and livable family house. Two monolithic organizing walls and a floating ceiling anchor the space and orient the occupant without disturbing its vastness or disrupting sightlines. These walls - one of matched Koto wood panels and the other a billowing sail of polished plaster - define and enclose the central living area, creating a 'stage set' on which life's daily activities are played out. Gaps between the walls, along with fissures in their surfaces offer glimpses into 'back of house' spaces, including bedrooms, an office and a wine cellar. Because the organizing planes never touch the building enclosure, the resultant open corners allow the eye to travel and take in adjacent spaces, a move which intensifies the experience of unbroken space and encourages the user to wander and discover its edges.
Light is always at a premium even in a loft with this many windows. At the entry, a stair is veiled in expanded stainless steel mesh lit from above as well as washed with programmable LED colored light for an evening effect. Both sources also back-light an acrylic and steel panel which pushes just slightly through a curved plaster wall, punctuating the dining room.