This triplex loft within the Soho Cast Iron Historic District was designed with several guiding principles: to preserve the character of the historic building and its large spaces; to create a functional space for a couple with three children; to serve as an at-home gallery for the client’s extensive art collection; and to showcase in the decor the American and Scandinavian heritages of the homeowners. To tackle this long list, designer Gabellini Sheppard decided to take advantage of the home’s soaring ceilings by installing an open sculptural staircase that punctuates two triple-height atria, as well as two vertical light wells that not only let in massive amounts of light, but create continuity and openness within the 8,300-square-foot apartment.
At the top of the atria are large clerestory windows that connect the roof terraces and mezzanine and filter light throughout the entire space. Additionally, operable skylights and clerestory windows were added to the office and children’s bedrooms, diffusing light into the family room and playroom. The public and private areas are defined by sliding translucent doors that also act as light filters.
The importance of light also has to do with the client’s art collection. According to the architects, “The ephemeral natural light is supplemented with ambient cove lights along the ceiling perimeter, creating a further sense of airiness. Backlit dropped ceilings in the atria heighten the illusion of space while giving the interiors a warm glow that can be seen from the terraces.”
The interior is further unified by the Danish Douglas Fir wood flooring, which is used on all the floors and the staircase treads and adds warmth to the otherwise white canvas.
Sustainability was another key factor in the design. The ample daylight that filters in minimizes energy usage, and all of the windows are energy efficient and include operable shades. Plus, there’s the 720 square feet of roof gardens, which feature indigenous plants that require minimal irrigation. On the top terrace there’s a vegetable garden, composting bins, and a rainwater collection system.
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Images via Gabellini Sheppard
Neighborhoods : Soho