This project consists on the renovation of a small pre-war unit in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The building, originally an extended-stay hotel built in 1910, faces Morningside Park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux at the end of the 19th Century. The building was converted into apartments in 1917 to become one of the first Co-ops established in New York City. The unit itself was in need of a complete overhaul after the previous owners had lived in it for almost six decades. The main concept behind the renovation deploys a number of carefully controlled moves, or ‘surgical operations,’ through which the alteration of interior partitions achieves spatial unity and programmatic integration thus fostering a sense of social and communal experience.
Floor-to-ceiling shelves hold an extensive collection of literature, art and design books, creating a divider between the living room and the study. At each end of this element, large-format sliding glass doors are integrated into the partition allowing natural light to filter in. The hallway is conceived as an elongated gallery to display diverse artwork in a manner inspired by traditional art salons. The opposite wall contains integrated storage spaces, niches and voids carved out of the thickness of the wall. The utilitarian quality of this elements is concealed behind large panels of marine-grade plywood that provide a seamless and continuous elevation.