In this Chelsea/Flatiron neighborhood apartment renovation for a family of four, we reconfigured the apartment to create a central hub where the communal spaces, so integral to family life, interlock and communicate directly with one another.   Gourmet cooking, entertaining, quiet study, relaxing and playing music are all part of the regular routine this family sought to incorporate into this shared area. 

The kitchen was central to the apartment layout and serves as the nexus of activity.  In order to physically and visually open the existing plan, interior walls were removed or relocated. A diagonal wall surrounding the family office opens up the view from the living room to the kitchen, entry area and bedroom corridor beyond.  This connects the living room to the core of the house and creates a larger more open feeling throughout.   

The kitchen layout and forms are designed for open interaction.  Upper surfaces are clad with a variety of light reflecting materials including multiple types of aluminum (non-directional brushed panels, graphic printed aluminum, and expanded aluminum) and translucent resin panels.  In a playful reference to the importance of preparing the family meals, aluminum panels on cabinet doors above the sink are printed with subtle diagrams of different cuts of meat, as typically seenin a traditional butcher shop.  These light reactive material selections are grounded with walnut lower cabinets, black Richlite countertop and a large granite countertop on the kitchen island. 

The kitchen island is 12’ long and serves as the heart of the space. The dramatic granite countertop reveals a cross section of large pebble aggregate.  This bubble-like visual is echoed in the full height expanded aluminum foam wall, diagonal separating the den/office.  Half of this wall slides open to allow for more or less connection between this space and the rest of the house. Also adjacent to the kitchen is a large display shelf, designed for highlighting cherished collectibles (china, artwork and other things).  This display area features the same walnut finish surround with reflective aluminum interiors.   Here, the aluminum glows with reflected light from selected colored interior surfaces.