Architect: Desai Chia Architecture
Location: New York City
Providing a serene live-work space for a photographer, this 5,000-square-foot renovated New York City industrial loft takes its lighting cues from the art of James Turrell. For the artist who owns it, the loft is a multifaceted space that allows her to create, entertain friends, display work, and meet with gallerists.
The design team capitalized on the existing cast iron column structures to create an open flow throughout the home, taking advantage of long axial views through the space. Concealed pocket doors can be deployed when privacy is needed. The design hinges on the library and reception area, which divides the loft into two discrete zones: the private domain of the photographer’s studio and bedroom; and the public domain of the kitchen, dining, and living areas.
"This is exquisitely detailed and crafted so much so that it appears one would be living in artwork." ~ Jury statement
The project’s lighting strategies enhance the architecture while giving form to the light. The team’s strategy of cutting and folding the ceiling planes encourages the light to bounce and anchor seating areas. The wall planes serve to sculpt the light and allow air and light to flow around them, making spaces without windows also feel airy and luminous. Extensive implementation of LED lighting that reduces energy costs provides compelling lighting throughout the home.
A feeling of lightness is enhanced by the minimal finishes found throughout. Raw steel, aluminum, solid oak, and white resin function as both minimal art moments and functional elements for storage, dining, and work. Locally sourced American white oak planks that comprise the majority of the flooring, wall paneling, and cabinetry were constructed and installed by local craftspeople. Envisioned as chambers of light and striated stone, the bathrooms offer a soothing respite from the bustle of New York, their custom sinks, shower areas, and toiletry niches seamlessly fused into the resin walls.
Warm and inviting, this adaptive reuse project pays homage to some of America’s most significant minimalist artists while creating a stimulating environment for the artist within.
"It has a beautiful implementation of light with a minimal palette." ~ Jury statement