This project began with a simple wish--the desire of two book lovers to live comfortably among their collection. Then the downstairs apartment became available. Our design restores the detail of the floors and plaster ceilings, while supplanting the insubstantial and awkwardly placed walls. In their place, sculptural masses of cabinetry contain the book collection. Framing views between rooms, the cabinetry enhances the library’s alternate function as an entertainment space. Slate-topped cabinetry runs along the windowed wall, housing the mechanical systems and providing occasional seating. The restored fireplace provides a focal point for a painting of the owner’s bookstore. By pulling the stairwell's steel stringers to the center and treating the oak treads as a folded "ribbon," a paradoxical sense of lightness is achieved in a compressed space. Nearby, we could not resist adding a secret passageway.


Photos: TAD MIKE


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