RUSSELL/FONTANEZ. New York City, United States
In this East Village floor-through apartment renovation, the configuration of the two units--combined by previous owners to encircle the central staircase--resulted in significant wasted space, awkward connections, and dark interiors. Our challenge was to transform the difficult layout into an open plan, with more light and maximized space for storage. The solution turns the problem on its head by transforming the forgotten and least-interesting areas into the most important and enjoyable spaces.
The central staircase was then flanked with two ‘tunnels’ to capitalize on the underutilized square footage. Fashioned from 63 upcycled commercial steel doors, the tunnels compressed all functional and/or mechanical needs into the middle portion of the apartment, while freeing the front and rear areas. The original details of the doors -- hinges, as well as patina/wear on the ends – are left showing while cutouts, which formally housed door handles and locks, were outiffted with light fixtures to enhance door elements and provide ambient lighting.
One tunnel distributes all service areas – master bath, wardrobe, guest bath, laundry & storage. The other, wider, tunnel houses a custom dining area, centered around a LOT-EK designed table of reclaimed sassafras and steel which comfortably seats 12. A built-in banquette, also from salvaged metal doors, provides seating along one length of the table, and includes hidden storage. Tunnel surfaces are enameled in a continuous red shade, enveloping the spaces with a warm aura, while providing vivid shots of color from the completely open front kitchen/living area and rear bedroom suite.
DATA / CREDITS:
Building Type: Residential
Design: LOT-EK, Ada Tolla + Giuseppe Lignano, Principals, Virginie Stolz, Project Architect
Location: East Village, New York
Size: 975 SF
Contractor: Andreas Scholtz, Craft Workshop
Photography: Danny Bright