potter's pad of planes
new york, NY
Located in New York’s neighborhood of Chelsea, this loft renovation responds to the client’s reductive lifestyle. The plan is formed by an open volume for entertaining that spills past a central kitchen and bathroom core to two bedrooms in the rear.
The main volume is sheathed by a series of planes intended to articulate the edges and thresholds of the space. Within this volume, zones of use are suggested by the placement of specific planes of material. A raised plane of concrete ceiling panels identifies the living zone. Flanked by an anchored wall of steel and a floating wall of plaster, the dining zone is registered by a penetrating wedge of light from above, while a slipped plane of stone defines the fireplace to one side. Kitchen cabinets and appliances occupy a bite out of the central core and form another edge to the main open volume.
Kitchen and dining zones are unified by a series of dancing rectangular bars of light that are carved into the ceiling above. Apparent sometimes as objects and sometimes as voids, the twenty bars of light respond to four dimming controls that can be individually adjusted to reinforce specific movement or occupation, while accommodating the personal mood of the client.
Thresholds of the space are layered with planes that slide, pivot, and roll. The sliding “front door” provides security as a custom steel panel notched for hardware and light switches. The pivoting bedroom door provides privacy from within, while allowing light and a continuous brick wall to slip past, connecting the full length of the loft. Rolling perforated window scrims diffuse sunlight and provide privacy from the outside, while maintaining a view of the street.
Additional “planes of use” fold, cantilever, and divide. An additional sleeping plane for guests folds into a concealed cabinet in the living zone. The master bed is composed of several cantilevered planes, and storage cabinets are accented with aluminum dividers. Sliced with Aluminum, a slab of Baltic Ply is used as a dining table that is equipped with industrial casters. It has the ability to roll up against the Kitchen Island and clear the space for impromptu dancing.