When Sonja Bata, the matriarch of the Bata Shoe empire, purchased the top floor of the One Bedford condominiums, it was a 2,500 sq. ft. raw space that needed a complete fit-up. Instead of the expected traditional layout with a multitude of rooms defined by walls and connected by corridors, Sonja wanted a flowing space that took advantage of the incredible panoramic views from the 32nd floor. She also wanted to showcase her artifacts, art and vintage modern furniture collected from 50 years of working and traveling around the world.
Trained as an architect in her native Switzerland, Sonja understood that this project would need an atypical approach to the design. She hired Heather Dubbeldam of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design to create a space that met all these needs. Understanding that this home would be like an autobiography of Sonja’s life, Dubbeldam created a flowing, minimal space that took advantage of the sweeping views of the city, and gave Sonja’s treasured belongings an opportunity to tell a story about her life. Dubbeldam designed an open plan with mediating elements instead of walls, such as custom cabinets and a large tapestry mounted on a floating panel, allowing dramatic views between rooms and through openings in the cabinets to the large floor to ceiling windows beyond.
White walls and whitened oak floors throughout help to unify the space and focus attention on the art, while the richness of walnut brings warmth and character into the otherwise cool material palette. The warm, soft tones of the white oak table and floating bench compliment the sleek bulthaup kitchen, while the white, marble clad bathroom directs the eye to a dramatic view of the skyline. Moving from a large house with a beautiful garden, Mrs. Bata was initially concerned that the penthouse would feel too detached from the ground. Instead she has commented that “the city is her garden”.
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The warm tones of the white oak table and floating bench compliment the sleek Bulthaup kitchen in Bata Penthouse by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design.