Inspired by the rawness and rustication of stone and brickwork and the contrast between old and new, the layering of history are all important dimensions of the design. Despite the perceived impracticality, the threshold is an important spatial concept for the offerings architect who is drawn to the tension created by the juxtaposition of opposites. Throughout this dwelling, one sees the old counterpoised with the new, the rustic with the smooth, lines with curves, and the organic with the rational. Aged materials and acquired patina, change and accident.
Now a three-unit Fleming bond red brick trimmed in a brownstone in Greek Revival design the original building was an old dental factory with a carriage house. The house was gutted to its original shell which was then remade into this one of a kind loft that is subdivided into three distinct areas with transitional spaces in between, those being: a bridge, a moat, and a cantilevered second story. The intended design separates the basic functions with a two-story space, light, and water. A ground plan of the space presents the studio office in the front and the occupying area in the rear. The two rooms are separated by a "drawbridge" walkway that overlooks the library. The lounge area looks towards a moat and a waterfall that pours from the loft above (when turned on mostly for parties and print). To approach the metal stairs, one walks across water on "stepping stones" made from leftover shoring posts that were in the building when originally purchased. The industrial steel stair leads to the landing. In a loft filled with surprises, the modest second floor is perhaps the most particular: The mezzanine level is now an open space with bathroom, just sizable enough for a few small pieces of furniture. The platformed tiered space is cantilevered over the rear moat and shaded skylight; one of sundry unalike and special apertures noticed throughout the loft. A calla lily-shaped wall of galvanized metal forms the exposed bathroom shower. Corresponding to the water motif, the rear wall was painted in ultramarine blue and black. In contrast to the original whitewash brick timbered beams, both office and living are really metallic colored islands, surround by water. The block cement kitchen island and tatami mat platforms inhabit the living space. The two-story metal cone construction that hangs off the mezzanine which extends down to the living area, contains a suspended "throne" on the ground floor and open shower on the mezzanine. Installed on the floor are 4-foot by 8-foot mirrored acrylic sheets purchased from an industrial supply store on Canal Street. The living area is a repository of a European modernist furniture collection. Homemade fixtures hang in the stairwell that leads down to a library. The desks in the office are fashioned from salvaged materials. The acid-etched tempered table tops-are slotted into wall shelves made from beams and supported at the end by shoring posts.
This Lab loft is the ultimate eccentric adaptable space in a late 18th century building near Gramercy Park. As intended, architecturally it says things that have never been said before in a timeless way.
Flexible and adaptable uses of space and terms will be taken into consideration and pets are plausible on a case by case bases.