New York, NY
A warren of small rooms was opened up and reconfigured to create a large living space (or great room) in an extensive renovation of this classic-six apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side. SMA’s design challenge was to create a home for a contemporary lifestyle while retaining the graciousness of pre-war detailing. The owners, empty nesters relocating from the suburbs, wanted a peaceful oasis for the two of them that would also be a welcoming and comfortable place for family gatherings and overnight stays by their adult children.
Located on an upper floor, with a Hudson River view, the apartment, built in the early 20th century, reflected the living style of that era: the service quarters (kitchen and small maid's room with tiny bath) were tucked away from the living quarters, which consisted of a series of small rooms (living room, formal dining room, two bedrooms) that were connected by a narrow corridor. In the redesign, the living room, dining room, and corridor became a single large living space, anchored by a long open-island kitchen. A third bedroom and large bathroom with laundry facilities were carved out of the original kitchen and maid's quarters.
The apartment's original architectural detailing, including French windows opening to a Juliet balcony, and nine-foot-plus ceilings, is showcased in the redesign but updated. The woodwork and moldings are light and clean; the artisanal plaster cove ceiling that unifies the great room is a simplified reinterpretation of the original.
Stephen Moser, principal
Nicole Anderson, project manager
PA Collins, P.E.
Marek K. Construction