This project is a transformation of four separate apartments into a single unit in a building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The design strategy plays upon the apartment’s panoramic nature by inverting the traditional notion of viewing in the city; rather than rendering the space’s panoptical position as a static station for looking out, the design establishes the interior as the primary stage for moments of seeing.
The design strategy was to retain a ‘service core’ on the interior of the apartment, housing bathrooms, laundry and closets. The remaining L-shaped space, lined with windows affording dramatic views of the Midtown skyline and Central Park, was stripped of interior walls to create an open plan. Large furniture pieces—desks, shelves and a hearth—in conjunction with a series of sliding and pocketing doors, were inserted into the open plan to give division to the apartment’s spaces without closing them off entirely from one another.
A series of interior spaces that flow into each other obfuscate the notion of boundary and, in so doing, trigger moments of drama and surprise. Rooms are not entered, but revealed, flanked by moveable furnishings and translucent surfaces that engage the inhabitant rather than simply frame the scene. The flow of space and blurring of borders offers a variety of (looking) experiences, while the exterior urban panoramas become a breathtaking backdrop for this multiplicity of interior views.
Photography by © David Sundberg / Esto