The above image shows an overall wide perspective view of the whole apartment from the staircase, showing full view of the kitchen and breakfast nook as well as the mezzanine bedroom that floats above the living room.
This project involved the radical transformation of a tiny, awkward apartment at the top of a six-story building in Manhattan New York. With only 425 square feet of floor area to play with, but a ceiling height of over 24 feet, the new design exploited these inherent sectional possibilities, and created a flowing interior landscape that completely dissolved the notion of distinct “rooms.”
The kitchen area boasts an abundance of cupboard space and simple cooking and wash-up facilities as well as a work bench that continues round the wall adding an area for a breakfast nook or simple dining table.
The architectural strategy by Specht Harpman Architects created four “living platforms” that accommodated everything necessary, while still allowing the apartment to feel open and bright. The spaces are interleaved, with a cantilevered bed that hovers out over the main living space, an ultra-compact bath tucked beneath the stair, and a roof garden with glazing that allows light to cascade through the space.
The modern staircase possesses plenty of under stair cabinets and storage. The previous bare red brick wall can be seen behind the stairs now painted a brilliant white providing real visual impact and contrast to the dark timber floors.
Every inch is put to use, with stairs featuring built-in storage units below, similar to Japanese kaidan dansu. The apartment is crafted like a piece of furniture, with hidden and transforming spaces for things and people.
Manhattan Micro 425 sq ft Apartment Loft Project
Architects: Specht Harpman Architects
Project Category: Residential Renovation
Project Size: 425 sq. ft.
Completion Date: 2012
Who are Specht Harpman Architects?
Specht Harpman was founded in 1995 by partners Scott Specht and Louise Harpman, who began working together while classmates at the Yale School of Architecture.
An alternative view of the kitchen showing the working bench space and flow up a couple of steps into the living room.
A small company with rigorous standards for modern design, the firm’s award-winning work includes commercial, institutional and residential projects, as well as custom furniture. The firm maintains offices in New York City as well as in Austin, Texas.
Specht Harpman has been listed among the “Emerging Voices” by the Architectural League of New York, “Tastemakers” by House and Garden magazine, and as one of New York City’s “Top 100” architects by New York Magazine.
The entrance (now the kitchen) showing the red brick wall -Before Renovation
The firm has been honored with a number of design awards, including those from the Texas Society of Architects, New York AIA (American Institute of Architects), Austin AIA, and two Design Distinction awards from I.D. Magazine.
Stairs and Windows – Before Renovation
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