MARKS / caride RESIDENCE - new york, NY
New York, NY
The renovation of Melissa Marks and Vicente Caride’s Chelsea loft is the result of a thorough collaboration. Melissa and Vicente are creative professionals who were very involved in the design process of their space. The architects and owners worked together to develop a plan that would remain open while creating order amongst a variety of domestic and professional activities. A series of sliding walls each weighing over 500 lbs serve as alternating studio and exhibition walls that reveal or conceal different areas (studio, office and living room) according to the time of day and who is using the space.
Because artists and architects both use lines to express ideas it was decided that different household functions would be delineated and their use defined by a solid walnut line that circumnavigates the loft to become shelving, stairs, door jambs, window sills, desks and countertops, thereby unifying the space while differentiating the various functions that take place there.
A minimal pallet of walnut, carrera marble and white paint was chosen as a backdrop for Melissa’s drawings, some of which are made directly on the wall. Only two areas were given a color scheme: the stair railing in their son’s room and the bathroom walls in which a variety of blue tiles were hand- placed by the owners to evoke a spray of water.
The stair railing is made of nearly 20,000 LEGO® blocks. I-Beam designed the stairs, structure and Mondrian inspired openings based on LEGO® dimensions (measured by dots) while the Marks/Caride family worked with Sean Kenney, one of two licensed LEGO Artists based in New York City, to create a flow of receding or intensifying color up and down the stairs. The final design is composed of an evolving series of additions made by the people who live, work and play in the space.
Architect/Designer: I-Beam Design (Suzan Wines: Partner, Team:
Samantha Perry, Thomas Longley)
Artists/Owners: Melissa Marks, Vicente Caride
LEGO® Artist/Installer: Sean Kenney Design
General Contractor: Conelle Construction Corp.
Photos: Travis Dubreuil unless otherwise noted
Photos for New York Magazine by Thomas Loof
MUNTER RESIDENCE - Soho, NYC
Munter and Russel Residence by I-Beam Design, New York, NY
Casper Munter, a Danish lawyer, and Suzanne Russell, an American artist, approached I-Beam Design to renovate their 1500 square foot New York City property. The couple was interested in keeping the space as open and raw as possible which lead to the transformation of the cramped two-bedroom/two bath apartment into an open and flexible loft. Inspired by Suzanne’s art from the “Wallpaper,” “De Composition,” “Meditation,” “Soft Wood” and “Conflux” series as well as Casper’s keen eye for perfection and minimalism, we embarked on a collaborative journey to translate their desires into a three dimensional habitable space that reflects their personalities and ideals.
The physical properties and history of materials as well as layers and textures became a focal point of the renovation reflecting some features of Suzanne’s artwork. All walls were stripped down to the original brick exposing the history of the two row house buildings prior to their condo conversion in the 1980s. Old window openings, which had been a light shaft between the 2 buildings prior to the conversion, were reopened in the bathroom and hallway.
By studying the artist’s work and her interest in “a universe of interrelated parts that is always moving and changing,” incorporation of sliding doors, built-in cabinets and glass with the brick openings became one of the main features of the apartment, transforming and celebrating the visual and historical cross connections within the space. “Smart Glass” windows that transition from clear to frosted at the flick of a switch transform the views between the bathroom, kitchen and entry to illuminate and reveal the different spaces while providing privacy when needed.
The extension of materials between the bathroom and kitchen link the two spaces in unexpected ways. Reclaimed antique subway tiles in the kitchen also surround the bathtub in the bathroom. The Caesar Stone “pebble” kitchen countertop wraps around the cabinets and cascades onto sills and shelves in the bathroom creating functional continuity with materials. A third window connects the bathroom and bedroom with cabinetry that is accessible from the bathroom. A glass transom above maintains the visual connection between the two spaces and a reveal around the cabinetry emphasizes the original brick opening and wood lintel.
A hallway leading into the bathroom reveals its history as a former shaftway between early 20th century row houses. By keeping it exposed and incorporating a mirror on the bathroom door, the unique character of this interstitial space is extended beyond. Reclaimed white oak flooring and a recycled wood beam as part of the kitchen counter added another layer of depth to the existing materials and character of the apartment. A large sliding door separates the living area from the guest bedroom while a set of tri-sliding doors that pocket between closets divide the large bedroom area into two separate rooms as needed.
Photos by Travis Dubreuil
NESHAT RESIDENCE - SOHO, NYC
I-Beam was asked by the internationally renowned artist, Shirin Neshat, to renovate her loft where Shirin and her family could live and work productively, and entertain their international artist friends and patrons. We created a multi-functional yet open loft like space that accommodates both the private as well as the grand public space that serves social events, film screenings, private dinners and fund raising events. By repositioning the two small bedrooms that broke up the loft into dark and separate areas and relocating them to the back, a dramatic public space is created that is immediately entered upon stepping out of the elevator. Large transoms at the dividing wall provides light to be filtered into the family room from the South and magnificently high arched windows in the front illuminates the public space during the day. In addition to the guest bathroom, a small master bathroom was created adjacent to the bedroom, with a secret vanity concealed into the new closet, whereby maintaining a spacious bedroom. The minimal but functional kitchen, as the social center of the home, is integral to the main space with plenty of storage cabinets and a long island bar that is used for informal family gatherings and heated debates. The bar also functions as a buffet for the fundraising events that these culturally magnetic clients are famous for hosting. The kitchen separates the formal living room area from the casual family room where a state of the art projector and sound system is incorporated into the walls for film screenings. The dining area is defined by an ornate glass chandelier, a dramatic piece that animates the large open space and reflects Shirin's personal style. The desks at the work area,are incorporated within the library and ribbon around three adjacent walls as vertical support that turn into shelving. The stained oak ribbon in contrast to the white shelves and cabinets, matches the floor. The 10" wide oak wood floor planks and the fourteen foot high ceiling as well as the big metal clad industrial sliding door that separates this loft from the adjacent building maintain the raw feeling of the old loft that was once part of the manufacturing district in Soho.
Photos by Peter Miller
McFARLAND RESIDENCE - CHELSEA, NYC
The main focus of this project was inspired by a painting the client and his deceased wife had received as a gift from an artist, and which had a great sentimental value to him. We decided to incorporate the square painting that was composed of many different vibrant reds and pinks, into the wall of built-in cabinetry designed by I-Beam. The built-in cabinetry became a jig saw puzzle that accommodated all the various CDs and DVD collections the client owned as well a state of the art entertainment system along with his collection of ceramics, and objects. The cabinetry doors were painted to match the colors in the painting, and the painting became a door within the cabinet. All other cabinetry in the apartment was custom built to the client's needs.
Photos by Peter Miller
MILNE / OJITO RESIDENCE - NEW YORK, NY
The clients, Anne Milne and Jacob Ojito, asked I-Beam Design to invent a new kind of minimal white space to exhibit their art collection which includes works by renowned Cuban artists Wilfredo Lam and Amelia Pelaez as well as paintings from the South American "Escuela del Sur" and "Arte Concreto Invencion". The architect's proposed an intersection between home and gallery based on a spatial concept that would reflect upon the compositional strategies employed in painting. In order to achieve this I-Beam suggested working in collaboration with Joan Waltemath, a contemporary painter whose work is based on a matrix of numerical ratios that resonate beautifully with the proportions of architectonic space. The clients welcomed this idea.
Ms. Waltemath recently developed a computer program with Andrew Tripp whereby these harmonic structures could be projected across interior volumes. I-Beam worked with Joan to locate her proportional matrix in the space, first establishing a point of origin at the intersection between the Entry Hall/Gallery, the public space and the private areas of the loft. Ms. Waltemath decided to create a unique work of art that is at once a painting, a sculpture, a hearth, and a door. This multifunctional approach is typical of I-Beam's work as well and became a means by which to negotiate between the artist's two-dimensional rendering of space and the architect's three dimensional vision.
By exploding the matrix throughout the space and using its lines to generate various programmatic interventions, the art and architecture were set in dialog. The harmonic progressions radiate out from the origin point to generate a variety of spaces including a guest bedroom, a home entertainment center, an office, an open dining area, numerous cabinets and moving exhibition panels to accommodate an evolving art collection. A prime example of this may be seen in the temporary guest bedroom which appears by opening a sofa bed that in turn releases a cantilevered wall which swings out to privatize the bed area while projecting the matrix into space.
The only permanent enclosure in the loft contains closets and a new Guest Bathroom made of acid etched mirror, which gives the impression of expanding space and suspended gravity. The apartment is nearly void of doors except for Waltemath's hearth piece and a glass Duchamp Door that closes off the shower room as it opens the bathroom to the bedroom.
The 1900 square feet loft has windows to the East and West, leaving the middle section and origin point in shadow. Ms. Waltemath wanted to activate this area: "I decided to illuminate the moving panel in the center of the space to become in effect a cold hearth. I started my harmonic progressions from the center of the panel, which was also the center point of the wall section framed by a long hallway when seen from the point of entry."
Ms. Waltemath consulted Linnaea Tillett of Tillett Lighting Design Inc., who frequently collaborates with artists to create artworks with integrated lighting. Ms. Tillett, who has 25 years of experience in architectural lighting design, proposed a combination of phosphorescence and L.E.D technology.
"This cold hearth consists of 8 distinct panels (4 quadrants on each side) "made of clear and colored acrylic panels with L.E.D. lights hidden behind a white powder-coated aluminum frame. Phosphorescent acrylic sheets allow the work to reflect day and nighttime conditions and glow cerulean blue in dim light". The hearth, like the rest of the design, achieves grace and dynamism by employing a subtle pallet of whites and light as a means to render form and expand space.
Architect: I-Beam Design
Artist: Joan Waltemath in collaboration with Linnea Tillet, lighting designer and assistance from Andrew Tripp, software developer
Artwork Fabricator: Steve Sammuels at Work with Your Brain
Mechanical and Electrical Engineering: Fiskaa Engineering
Photos by Farzad Owrang Video by Glenn Lazzaro
ALIKHANI / PETROULAS RESIDENCE - NEW YORK, NY
This 3000 square foot loft renovation, in the heart of NOHO, was designed to accommodate the clients' modern design sensibilities and their openness to experimentation. The long living space remains free of walls, using custom built architectural events to define the spatial character and use of each area rather than partitions. These playful elements satisfy multiple functional needs simultaneously. The stainless steel steps leading from the kitchen to children's playroom and roof garden above function both as stair, kitchen cabinet, countertop and removable step ladder which may be rolled away in order to access upper cabinets, lighting or the retractable television screen and video system elsewhere in the penthouse apartment. The stationary steps are made of slip resistant glass and appear to float above the kitchen in temping provocation to the kids, who love to use them as a jungle gym. Similarly, the new mahogany mantle folds around the slate hearth of the fireplace and incorporates various storage cabinets for CDs, tapes and display drawers for the couples' antique collection.
There are three bathrooms in the loft, each with its own dynamic elements. The children's bathroom vanity is made of fluorescent colored acrylic cabinetry and illuminated from within like a big nightlight. The powder room's glass countertop extends through the living room wall and lights up when the room is occupied. The master bathroom is separated from the main entry vestibule by an aquarium made of liquid crystal glass. When electrically charged the glass becomes clear allowing a view of the bedroom and frosted mirror bathroom beyond while simultaneously flooding the formerly dark entryway with natural light from the bedroom windows. In order to maintain privacy, the liquid crystal glass of the aquarium may be switched off from the bathroom side, thus becoming opaque. The new stainless steel sink is recessed into a wood countertop that cantilevers over the custom built dresser/bed unit. The countertop incorporates reading lights on the bed side and retractable mirrors and drawers on the bathroom side. A matching built-in office desk/make-up table also has concealed lighting, mirror, printer, fax and file drawers, allowing the bedroom to always remain neat and tidy with plenty of storage, while still satisfying multiple purposes.
Photos by Silke Mayer & Andreas Sterzing
COLP / HABER RESIDENCE - NEW YORK, NY
This 2200 square foot apartment renovation, on the Upper East Side, was designed to accommodate the clients' modern design sensibilities and combine their work environment with their home. The apartment is located in the Sovereign Building on East 58th street, and was originally conceived as a 2-bedroom apartment with a maid's room, which was clearly defined as individual rooms.
The renovation attempted to open up the space from the existing traditional apartment to a contemporary open loft space, allowing more view and light to filter through. The prime objective was to maximize storage space and to minimize maintenance due to the presence of the client's dog. To protect the existing Eileen Grey sofa and all the new built-in furniture from the dog, an extensive amount of black leather was used for its durability. To offset the black, "de Stijl primary colors" were used in order to create a more playful environment. This was achieved by creating a band of birch cabinetry, toped with yellow Fincolor plywood with exposed dark stained edge that ribbon through out the apartment. It starts from one end as the office, and moves thru dining area to the other end as the living room. The living space remains free of walls, using custom built architectural events to define the spatial character and use of each area rather than partitions. These playful elements satisfy multiple functional needs simultaneously.
The yellow surface changes height as it meanders through the apartment functioning as the client's desk top in the office, counter top with storage underneath, built-in sofa in the living area, book shelf above the stereo system and office, sink counter in the powder room, and built-in seating in the kitchen.
As her desk surface turns vertical and then horizontal again, it creates a tucked in alcove with recessed lights that illuminate the work area. All her office equipments are hidden inside the built-in cabinets with the dark fincolor edge cutting through. There is a roller shade at the opening, which allows closing of the desk. The office may be closed off completely by a set of pocket doors made with translucent Panelites. The Panelite is used again at the corner edge of the powder room allowing natural light to get in as well lighting up when the room is occupied.
Photos by Silke Mayer
LAZZARO RESIDENCE - NEW YORK, NY
The award winning commercial director and editor, Glenn Lazzaro, had asked I-Beam Design to convert an existing 1000 sf, two bedroom apartment in the landmark "Amalgamated" building, into an open loft. To accommodate his modern sensibilities and lifestyle and his collection of mid century Eames furniture, I-Beam proposed a simple and minimal design reflecting the simplicity of his collection. Maple veneer plywood with exposed edges, being the primary material used in Eames furniture, was used for all desks and window seats. All built-in cabinets below the windows, at desk areas, and kitchen where kept white to create a neutral background for the furniture. A recessed aluminum reveal separates all plywood counters from the cabinets below. This detail ribbons at the underside of all upper cabinets which accommodates all recessed lights. The bathroom wall and door create a translucent corner, allowing light to glow through the living room. This mood setting light fixture animates as shadows move behind it. Materials used: "Sea Green" slate tiles, cleft finish Silestone counter and backsplash, matte finish Maple wood floor, matte finish Maple veneer on multi layer exposed edge plywood, matte finish GE appliances, stainless steel finish Lacquer cabinets, shiny white finish Kohler, "Architect series" plumbing fixtures, brushed finish Translucent panel by Panelite, AO/GCL
Photos by Peter Miller
TAJBAKHSH RESIDENCE - NEW YORK, NY
This one bedroom, 600 square foot apartment in Chelsea, New York City, achieves maximum spatial efficiency through the use of built-in furniture that performs multiple functions with a budget of under $15,000.00. The wall separating the bedroom from the living room is the focus of the renovation. Its main feature is a revolving steel drum that houses all the entertainment equipment, including television, video and stereo systems. The drum rotates within the wall enabling access to the equipment from the bedroom as well as the living room. The wall separating the two rooms becomes an animated jigsaw puzzle of parts, using the thickness of the wall to incorporate a desk, storage space, file cabinet, and bookshelves. The recessed desk on the living room side becomes a protruding bookshelf in the bedroom, while the window above the desk provides for natural light penetration as well as a visual connection between the two rooms.
Photos by David Frazer
Icahn Penthouse - (to be completed in 2012) new york, ny
a midtown penthouse with 5000 sf of outdoor terraces.