Built to showcase a family’s extensive art collection, this 8,300-square-foot penthouse loft residence in the SoHo Cast Iron Historic District is washed in natural light from numerous windows and skylights. Its open interior centers upon two triple-height atria or light wells with a reconfigured mezzanine level and floating staircases. New garden terraces on the east and west offer views of the urban landscape and the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.
The apartment’s layout enables the client, a professional couple with three children, to enjoy both privacy and openness. The transition from public to private space unfolds from east to west, as the interconnected kitchen, dining area, and living spaces flow into the more intimate family AV room, library, private gym, and children’s bedrooms. The master suite is positioned on the floating mezzanine platform, where translucent glass screens separate the dual bathrooms and dressing areas from the open bedroom.
As in a gallery, lighting is paramount. Large clerestory windows lining the top of the atria allow sunlight to cascade in while offering glimpses of the terraces beyond. Operable, translucent glass skylights bring in soft light from above, while internal clerestory windows filter daylight into the family room and playroom. Ambient cove lights along the ceiling perimeter emulate diffuse natural light, while the artworks receive their own museum-grade illumination. Backlit dropped ceiling planes in the atria provide a warm glow that can be seen from the terraces. Sustainably harvested Danish douglas fir wood is used as a finish on floors, walls and ceilings, including the floating staircase treads. Washed in a lye and soap solution, the natural colored wood lends warmth to an otherwise graphically white interior. Furnishings reflect the client’s regard for Scandinavian design and include new, refurbished, and custom-designed pieces to enhance the comfort and performance of the home.