Messana O'Rorke
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415 West 55th Street

415 West 55th Street Apartment

415 West 55th Street Apartment

New York, NY

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415 West 55th Street Apartment

415 West 55th Street Apartment

New York, NY

This 1,000 square foot loft was caught in a 1980’s time warp, grey carpet on concrete floors, split level bedroom overlooking a cramped living room separated by Shoji screens. Grim dark and dreary.

The client had been living in the apartment part time for many years and was ready to settle down and make it into somewhere to live. The space was stripped back to the perimeter walls and the sliding brown aluminum windows were replaced with clear aluminum fixed panels, casements and hoppers; a new through wall AC Unit was installed under the windows.

The open rectangular space lent itself to a simple design parti. Floor to ceiling storage along the West wall, with blocks of storage and program sliding out from under a new storage loft set at the a back of the space. The blocks separate the living room and bedroom from the kitchen and bathroom and the loft provides a more intimate scale for the bedroom. Frosted glass panels separate the bedroom from the living room and these slide the width of the space and can be arranged so that either the bedroom or the entry vestibule can become a light box.

The floor is a continuous field of light oak and the walls are white allowing as much light as possible to be reflected in the space. The shower room has a limestone floor, white ceramic tile walls and white corian detailing, and its frosted glass door acts as a light box to the dressing area and kitchen. The storage loft is accessed by a retractable ladder hidden in the vestibule ceiling and also houses an air recirculating system to prevent the the bedroom from becoming stuffy. The high concrete and beamed ceiling was laminated and furred out to accommodate lighting and to avoid having to scrape the spray on texture so popular in the 1980’s. A beam along the back of the space was conveniently located to create a light pocket between it and the wall of the storage loft. This and the exposed partially recessed florescent light fixtures in the living room and vestibule are the main sources of artificial light in the space.