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Private Residence - Apartment
The XSmall project entailed the gut renovation of tight 600sf 1-bedroom residential unit in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. With little opportunity to modify the primary layout of the apartment, the design aimed to expand the floor area as much as possible by removing inefficient closets and partitions that occupied precious areas of space and broke up the remaining space into awkward zones without any clear use. The new design redistributes storage to the perimeter of the space, using underutilized zones above head height, beneath and behind built-in furniture, and sleeved into previously undiscovered pockets within the poche space of walls. The kitchen area was also re-configured to anchor the living space in one corner, oriented to face the open plan living area. The L-shaped, open plan living area is then loosely divided into three adjacent zones each, supporting a different way to sit and interact. One of these areas is centered around a kitchen island, one around a dining/work table, and one with lounge seating pressed into the furthest corner. The fluid overlap of these distinct areas is designed to enable a mix of uses and visual orientations, with the end effect of a more fluid and adaptable space.
The bedroom and bathroom were updated following a similar strategy for storage and openness, incorporating a custom platform bed with integrated storage recessed into a full wall of closet millwork in the bedroom, and nesting bathroom storage over the shower and within unused wall cavities. The design also sought to better integrate the apartment’s core assets, like a functioning fireplace with original marble mantle in the living area, ample windows in each room bringing in natural light and with views of trees and sky beyond, and warm oak flooring laid in a diagonal grain that complements the newly open layout. White walls helped to absorb and conceal the storage-lined perimeter of the space allowing other materials and areas with exposed display of belongings to provide contrast and punctuate discrete spots. The kitchen achieves this color distinction through floor to ceiling herb-toned green cabinets, soapstone countertops and black tiled backsplash. Other areas leave exposed nooks and recesses for bookshelves, plants, artwork, textiles or furniture to nestle into the space and provide a critical layer of color, personal identity and liveliness.
Clever / Architectural Digest, 11 November 2022
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