Life Among Books and Works of Art: New York Loft
Architects of UN Studio have recently designed a loft interior in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. The interior space thoroughly explores the interaction between an art gallery and a living area. The loft walls float throughout the space and articulate with the ceiling, delivering hybrid conditions, where exhibit areas blend with the living space.
The previously existing space had challenging proportions: it was long and wide but, at the same time, low. Softly curved and floating walls have been erected in order to virtually divide the main space in subspaces with counterbalancing proportions. Comfortable areas have thus been developed to address domestic activities, being at the same time suitable for exhibiting works of art.
Sinuous walls mark an open space and are double oriented towards the two distinct spaces, delivering long perspectives and enclosing niches that can be furnished and decorated according to the space they address. In this manner, a curved wall serves both as exhibit area and bookcase shelving. The place meets all the beneficiary’s needs – it is a comfortable place to live in, enabling the interaction between the everyday life activities and the art objects gathered over the years.
Whereas walls form a discrete backdrop suitable for exhibiting different art objects, the ceiling has a much bigger impact within the transition. Luminous and opaque surfaces interchange to create a network of local and ambient lighting sources, forming an organizational element in the exhibition and the living areas.
The opaque surface of the ceiling consists of subtle arched elements that induce the illusion of indefiniteness, without marking the true height of the space. The luminous surface is an 18,000 LED membrane that creates the illusion of height, being at the same time a discrete element of space separation that can be programmed to illuminate at different intensities of light.
The architects chose to replace the old windows with fully glazed walls, framing captivating views of downtown Manhattan. Some of the partitions are also glass made, the spaces interchange and the furniture elements float, giving the illusion of an increased volume of the interior space.
Project name: Collector’s Loft, New York USA, 2007-2010
Location: Greenwich Village, New York USA
Built area: 550 sqm
Architecture: UN Studio
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