“I wanted to create my own world.” Those are the words used by architect David Ling when describing the design inspiration for his Manhattan-based live/work loft. And he most definitely succeeded. As one meanders through Mr. Ling’s “rough-around-the-edges-on-the-surface-but-oh-so-refined” dwelling there are surprises at every turn, all beautifully orchestrated into three distinct areas (work/live/sleep) with the bridge and moat, plus a cantilevered second story, providing the transitional elements.
In a home like this, which reflects Mr. Ling’s life journey through touches like mementos from his time with Richard Meier and pieces of luggage used during his parents’ emigration to the States from China, it’s hard to know where to start. But that waterfall is as good a place as any.
An ultramarine blue wall, which serves as a backdrop for the cascading water, incidentally developed an interesting patina (a fascination of Ling’s) by naturally peeling away over time from the effects of the moisture. The moat can be traversed by way of wood blocks that serve as stepping stones of sorts, or you can simply sit atop it in a concrete hammock.
A kitchen island inspired by the monolith in Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, concealed-frame sheets of glass in place of windows and skylights, and four of Philippe Starck‘s Ghost chairs arranged around a negative table in the waterlogged floor beneath the stair are just a few of the unique ways Ling transformed this 1880s dental factory into a place where a person can “live and discover new things the entire time they inhabit a space.”
Mr. Ling’s riskiest design choice—more literally than figuratively—may be his sleeping quarters. The small space cantilevers over the waterfall and is accessed via a “bridge” attached to the stair—it has no front barrier to speak of. Although a few things have found their way over the somewhat precipitous edge—a lamp, a remote control, and his cat (but hey, they have nine lives)—no real casualties have been reported.
To see more of Mr. Ling’s work, click here.
Photos courtesy of David Ling Architect.