Messana O'Rorke
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New Project

Jewel Box

Jewel Box

69 West 9th Street, New York, NY

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Jewel Box

Jewel Box

69 West 9th Street, New York, NY

The Jewel Box is a study of space efficiency, creating the illusion of a larger space through multiple experiences within a 430 square foot New York City ‘Studio’ apartment.

The client’s wanted a pied-à-terre that felt like a room at a boutique hotel, a program that could accommodate cooking and entertaining and they did not want to see their bed. Our goal, was to maximize the physical and atmospheric size of a singular space, its storage capacity, while creating multiple experiences that all fit efficiently into an organized structure inspired by such objects as jewel boxes, steamer trunks, and recreational vehicles.

The apartment is located in a drab white brick building built in 1957 and converted into a coop in 1983. The apartment has 8’ ceilings, a band of West facing windows with an incredible view of the Jefferson Market Library Clock Tower, the West Village and beyond to New Jersey. The existing program consisted of two built in closets, a bathroom with a tub, a living space with a band of three windows and an enclosed kitchen with one window. All walls, plumbing fixtures, appliances and interior finishes were removed, leaving a bare open space. To maximize the given space, European fumed oak faced storage was introduced along the north and south walls which also increase noise dampening between apartments. The northern storage unit which is 15” deep contains, books, clothing, AV, and a television. The southern storage unit contains the refrigerator/freezer, kitchen, closet and general storage. 9” wide European character grade white oak floors were used to create a calm and cohesive space. In order to hide the bed, create multiple spaces and additional storage, the bed container was inserted into the space 3’ from the entry door and 3’ from the northern storage unit creating an entry vestibule and a hallway. The bed container is clad on the outside in un lacquered brass and the inside is clad in grey dyed Italian cow hide. The base is raised creating additional long term storage underneath. The bathroom is clad in slabs of Carrara marble.