The Loft is the most romantic archetype in New York City domestic architecture. Those fortunate enough to live in lofts often trade them--with some regret--for cloistered rooms once the demands of children, visiting grandparents, and working from home collide. What if you could have it both ways? That is the goal in this flexibly planned space that opens and closes as needed to suit dynamic living arrangements. As grandparents (and pandemics) come and go, a Rube Goldberg-like array of pivoting and sliding planes allows for dynamic inhabitation.

 

Our initial canvas consisted of three cobbled-together studio apartments, constructed at a time when Lower Manhattan housed fewer families. The primary technical challenges involved dodging a tangle of columns and risers while crafting a new space that conveyed ease and "inevitability." A second set of owners then engaged us to make surgical changes to the original renovation while adding two more studios upstairs. A curved stair snakes past structural columns to stitch the duplex together.

 

Although this is a large apartment in a dense neighborhood, it proposes an efficient alternative to the sprawling townhouse and suburban options that larger families often contemplate.

Project: THE ELASTIC APARTMENT

Photos: TOM SIBLEY

Location: NEW YORK CITY

Décor, Public spaces: RAWLINS DESIGN

 

Décor, Study and Bedrooms: BUTTER AND EGGS

Stair Consultant: OFFICE MIAN YE

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