Loft in Manhattan is an Artist loft with a natural and simple beauty, located in the Tribeca neighborhood in Manhattan, designed by Dieter Vander Velpen Architects for a young family.
The couple are French-Belgian, living and working in New York, and just had their first baby. They discovered Dieter's designs via Pinterest and chose to work with the firm because they wanted to combine the quintessential New York vibe of their home with Belgian craftsmanship.
The clients purchased the property directly from an artist who had been living there since the 1970s. The space was open with a separate bedroom and in dire need of an update, but the elements were promising: ample light, no less than 9 windows, high ceilings and a stunning view of One WTC.
The goal was to open the space up, with the main focal point being the chef's kitchen and living room opening up into the master bedroom. The family needed one extra bedroom for their newborn daughter.
As a solution, the wall between the living room and master suite was demolished and replaced with a ceiling high bookcase in oak with built in lighting of 3.5 m / 11.5 feet. The bookcase doubles as a multifunctional wall, with sliding doors on both sides. When the sliding doors are open the master suite feels connected to the living space, making the apartment feel extra spacious. At night, or when the clients have guests, the sliding doors can be closed for added privacy. The clients say that to them, this makes their bedroom have a 'hotel feel'.
The ceiling beams have been left exposed in the entire apartment to create a maximal feeling of space and height.
Adjacent to the bedroom, is the hidden gem in this apartment: the bathroom with striking features in Statuarietto Marble. The bathroom was manufactured in Belgium by Il Granito and shipped to New York by container. It includes a marble bathroom sink of 3.3 m / 10.10 feet, marble floors and shower wall. The sink hides a barely visible detailed marble drawer with power outlets.
To contrast the pure feel of the marble, the walls are covered in Mortex, a cement-chalk wall coating for a warm, textured vibe. The interaction of pure and raw elements is a recurrent theme in the design aesthetic of Dieter Vander Velpen Architects.
The use of colors and materials was focused around a bright and airy feel. A warm white have been chosen on the walls, light oak for the bookcase, and an oak broad floorboards in a pale tinted oil.
The big kitchen island is made to measure in Italy, with a Corian countertop and stainless steel faucet by CEA. The stove is completely integrated in the wall, with wall high built in shelving for extra storage. The alcove is covered with black Nero Marquina marble from Spain, processed in Belgium.
The table is designed by Dieter Vander Velpen as well, with custom made brass trestles and a walnut tabletop, accompanied by a long bench under the windows that doubles as storage space. Brass is a returning feature in the finishing touches of the space: the modern brass chandelier above the table, the kitchen lighting designed by Michael Anastassiades for Flos above the kitchen island, but also brass details in power outlets, doorknobs (designed by David Chipperfield), etc.
The project turned out to be a beautiful canvas for the personal objects and artworks the clients have acquired on various exotic travels trough South America and Asia, doubling as precious souvenirs. The wooden stools are antique African thrones cut from a solid piece of wood. The perfect symbiosis between modern design and heritage.