Ranalli Studio Apartment
Project : Ranalli Studio Apartment
Location : Chelsea, Manhattan
Firm : George Ranalli Architect
associates: Silman Engineers
Photography: George Cserna
In a light-filled apartment, George Ranalli Architect placed a chalky bi-level element inside an existing space, inside an existing building, to compose an entry foyer leading to a tidy recessed kitchen and bathroom. The habitable form also sculpted a view from the front door across well-worn oak flooring to an open living space, and city views through the large wood framed windows beyond. Narrowness expands into the presence of a dinette space. This slightly elevated platform, near the kitchen, makes space for a table, upholstered banquette-style benches. Seating neatly conceals storage for tableware. Above the dining nook, a delicate circular line of light charms the evening meal. Further, an arabesque of a staircase, flanked by alcove bookshelves, ascends toward a spacious loft bed. The cantilevered sleeping berth created a canopy above the dining space, which overlooks a pleasant double-height living room and large arch frame window originally made to accommodate light manufacturing. These elements of utility have now been domesticated. A translucent sailcloth stretches from the top of the window frame to a the top of a tall handcrafted wooden desk. Diaphanous fabric defines another space underneath, while shading the sleeping berth above, and filtering sunlight throughout.The interior architecture for a small apartment renovation in 1972 marks the start of a process of abstraction to both liberate and incorporate portions of existing buildings adapted for new uses. An interplay of reflection and shadow among the bright white perimeter and ceiling, and a softer gray on the facets of the inserted form, creates an impression of comfort, function, and beauty.