A Wood Boat Hull Makes Up the Mezzanine of This Colorful Chelsea Loft

Posted On Fri, December 11, 2015 By

Posted On Fri, December 11, 2015 By In Chelsea, Design, Interiors

There is an abundance of cool lofts in Chelsea, and we love exploring the interiors of these impressive open spaces. The best part is that the design of each individual unit is often left up to the tenants, resulting in some truly unique layouts. However, it’s not so often that we see two units with different owners following they same program, but for the families living in these two adjacent apartments it was the perfect solution. Together they hired SYSTEMarchitects to create two bedrooms in each of their narrow spaces, as well as access to an exterior deck that maximizes natural light and air. Plus, both spaces’ 11-foot ceilings gave the design team enough room to create a sleeping and storage mezzanine, which was inspired by a wood boat hull.

SYSTEMarchitects, chelsea loft

SYSTEMarchitects, chelsea loft

The result is called Boats 2E + 2N, and within each unit a wall was added to divide the space into two rooms. The wall also added the necessary surface area to allow for the rooms’ mezzanine and closet space.

SYSTEMarchitects, chelsea loft

SYSTEMarchitects, chelsea loft


The dividing wall is partially made of glass to facilitate access to the outside and increase exposure to sunlight and views. As it moves away from the glass section it gradually increases in width, making space for the mezzanine level. The smooth transition makes the structure look as if it were the hull of a boat emerging out of the wall.



The wall in 2E is clad on one side with smooth plywood, while the other side exposes all of the structural ribs, giving both sides different surface and spatial qualities.


In addition to the diving wall, unit 2N features a wall of separate panels made from material that’s 1/16 of an inch thick and covered in lead. This material was selected because the surface quality feels alive in the way it absorbs and reflects light.

See more work from this innovative firm here.


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Neighborhoods : Chelsea



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