We were approached by an art collecting couple with two young daughters, who had recently purchased a large duplex apartment on the Upper West side. The duplex had been converted in the 1980’s from three one bedroom apartments into exceptionally bland corporate accommodations for out of town executives. Spread between the 37th and 38th floors the views to the North are spectacular, unobscured to the George Washington Bridge and on up the Hudson River.
Project Name: Wesst 67th Street
Studio Name: Messana O’Rorke
Location: New York, United States
Photography: Elizabeth Felicella
Surprisingly the views to the South and West are blocked by the equally massive buildings of midtown Manhattan. The duplex portion of the apartment only occurred at the South side, where the original apartments were stacked and for reasons of structural integrity we were not permitted to increase the size of the stair opening that had been punctured through the slab.
Our first instinct was to flip the floor plan of the 37th floor, shifting the living room and kitchen to the North to enjoy the expansive views, and converting the existing living room and kitchen into a master bedroom suite below two bedrooms on the 38th floor. This created a large windowless space in the core of the apartment, a transitional space into which the entry hall opened, it became our gallery for the art collection and into which we placed a sculptural stair.
To the East side of this space hidden doors and panels disguised access to closets, a bathroom and laundry room, a wall of frosted glass to the master bedroom brings in muted natural light from the South and the space opens up into the Living room on its north side. The kitchen is essentially an elongated galley along the to the West side of the gallery and has a counter which becomes a breakfast bar as it protrudes on into the living room
The apartment was conceived to be a livable gallery space both to view the couples art as well as to experience the views of the city. The apartment feels like a tree house as it sits high above the city. The floor in the main level is a 6 inch wide dark Wenge and the walls are painted white and change color as a result of the surrounding atmosphere.
The kitchen cabinetry is a riffed cut white oak with a Pietra Bedonia stone counter top. All the appliances except for the cook top and the oven seamlessly disappear into the cabinetry as the panelling matches the cabinetry. All closets through out the apartment are white lacquered from floor to ceiling with walnut interiors.
The master bedroom suite closets are integrated into the space with floor to ceiling doors allowing for the bedroom to feel large and spacious. the head board is also built in storage. In the Master bathroom the floor, bar sink and tub enclosure are all Pietra Bedonia and the walls are a natural waterproof hand plaster.