Luminous Apartment in a Historic NYC Building
Bart, the resident of this New York City house, loves to cook, but in his old home, that often meant spending a few hours alone in the kitchen, away from his family. So when he and his wife, Regina, purchased a 2,200-square-foot apartment in 2013, they knew they wanted an open floor plan. The block-long, cast-iron building was built in 1887, and while original details remained, the apartment had recently been subjected to rather bland renovations. The couple called on Jane Stageberg of Bade Stageberg Cox (BSC) to help them design a home to meet the needs of a modern family while paying tribute to the building’s history.
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"We immediately began to play around with ideas of enclosure," Stageberg says, adding, "We worked to maintain functionality while engineering openness throughout." The central living space holds two seating areas and a large dining table, so BSC used the apartment’s column grid and strong geometry to create distinct zones. The formal seating area is centered in the recessed rotunda; a sectional fits neatly in a corner bay. The dining area works as a natural buffer between the living room and kitchen. The kitchen features a custom screen of powder-coated metal and wood designed by BSC.
The architects paid fastidious attention to the way the use of the space would change over time. A closet-space by the entrance was measured to accommodate a stroller; one day it’ll house sports equipment and outdoor toys. Bienstock was concerned two bedrooms wouldn’t be sufficient. With a transom window to bring light into the hallway and some strategic closet placement, Stageberg turned the original two bedrooms into three. Just after the family moved in, their second child was born.