project name : K Loft

location : New York City

year of design: 1993

client: Jacque Metheny/ Robert Kirchbaum

architect: George Ranalli

associates: Robert Silman Structural Engineer

design team: John Butterworth, Stephanie Rinaldi

photographer: Paul Warchol

The renovation of a residential Chelsea loft preserves the lofty expanse of existing space, while providing its occupants, two artists and their child, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a combined living and dining area open to a large kitchen, and workspaces for sculpture and printmaking. The architectural resolution centers on a unifying spatial theme not unlike a traditional courtyard house. The central spatial feature of two large sculptural elements is elaborated by architectural variation, within a soaring barrel-vaulted space.

Inside the 2,100 square foot rectangular loft, at the front, a central foyer leads into an artist’s studio, with a new bathroom expanded from its original configuration. A separate entrance leads to a piazza- like interior for living and dining, which includes a large open kitchen. Nestled at back are the family’s private quarters, including two spacious bedrooms, and a large bathroom. An antechamber outside the bedrooms, spacious enough for a private moment, or conversation, improvises space between more personal areas and the large expanse of living room.

Sculptural forms, defining the design of the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms, undulate rhythmically beneath an existing vaulted brick ceiling; geometric spaces, within cabinetry, provide sculptural movement across transitive surfaces. A balance of materiality, extended further by honey-colored wood furniture, light fixtures, and cabinetry, moves across walls, and around doorframes, emphasizing and protecting corners and edges. Each interior design element echoes the planar inflections of the architectural design, fabricated at the same high-level of craftsmanship, producing a composed atmosphere. A combination of delicate lighting against the substantial brick ceiling, smaller lateral light sources, and tinted transom windowpanes, introduce an essence of the ephemeral into an otherwise solidly constructed space.