GRAMERCY DUPLEX

LOCATION / NEW YORK, NY

COMPLETED / 2008

SIZE / 1,300 SF INTERIOR RENOVATION

PHOTOGRAPHER / JORDI MIRALLES

This duplex apartment renovation combined two existing one bedroom duplex units into one two bedroom duplex.The client is a single mother with a young child. She was very interested in having a healthy and environmentally friendly renovation. 

On the lower level we created a living space that spanned the footprint of the two existing apartments along the exterior wall.  On the interior of the apartment,  the separation between the two units was maintained to create a kitchen and powder room on one side and a master bedroom suite on the other. 

A deep wall of millwork on your left as you enter the apartment contains man program elements and support functions.  The first part of this long wall is an entry closet with built in seating and a shoe storage drawer.  This helps keep dirt and dust from entering the apartment and marks the entry into the space. The wall them becomes part of the kitchen service space with the refrigerator, ovens pantry space and additional kitchen storage all concealed behind the millwork panels. Past this area the wall contains entertainment systems, games and other living room storage. At the end of the run a bench is cut out of the deep wall with overhead storage above that also contains an automated drop down LCD TV that can be remotely activated.

The kitchen is designed to be part of the living space with walnut base cabinetry, Richlite countertops (recycled paper) and satin etched glass upper cabinets to help reflect the light from the windows directly across the apartment.  This borrowed light helps eliminate the need for lighting during most of the day. A movable walnut and Richlite island allows the owner to reconfigure the space for entertainment or quite dinners with her daughter.  The millwork was all locally fabricated using low VOC and replenishable materials and substrates.

A new stair was created in the location of one of the existing stairs.  The new stair starts as an extension of the kitchen cabinets.  The line of the drawers becomes the first few steps of the stair.  Above that the risers are glass to allow more light into the kitchen area.

The master bedroom is conceived as a single space containing bathroom and sleeping functions.  The vanity floats in the middle of the space and doubles as the headboard and side tables for the bed.  The toilet and bath/shower are built into the back wall of the space. 

A wall of closets separates this master bedroom from the kitchen.  The bedroom has a glass partition that allows the user to sleep in privacy; most of the time the bedroom is open to the living room.

Upstairs we created a bedroom for the daughter and a guest room which functions as a study/ playroom most of the time.  All of the storage is located behind full height sliding glass partitions in the daughter’s bedroom.  Full height glass partitions and sliding glass doors are used to divide all of the spaces on the upper floor while allowing for abundant natural light and a sense of openness. 

All materials were specified as low VOC materials, and harvested wood was used wherever possible.  These included: recycled denim insulation (ultratouch), recycled paper countertops (richlite), FSC certified hardwood floors, Low e glass on all of the new exterior windows, Eco Spec paint (Benjamin Moore), energy saver appliances, and felt on walls.