Talk about “before” and “after.” Way, way before, in the 1920’s, this West Village building had been a commercial garage. The ’80’s saw conversion into apartments. Then, much more recently, Gluckman Tang Architects and Nina Seirafi Interior Design stepped in.
The starting point was a penthouse. Then, six months later, the project doubled in size and scope when the owners purchased the identical unit below. All of a sudden, Gluckman Tang had a 4,200-square-foot duplex to renovate. Planning, in broad strokes, encompassed public spaces upstairs and the master suite and guest quarters downstairs. North-facing windows would illuminate the entire place with a diffuse glow.
Despite owning stellar art by the likes of Yves Klein and Yayoi Kusama, the couple were not in the market for a hard-edged white-box aesthetic. Grayed tones were preferred. “They liked simplicity—but with beautiful materials,” Gluckman Tang principal Robert White says. The overriding mandate was, he adds, “layers of privacy as a retreat from the city’s intensity.”
Screening devices were therefore important. Gluckman Tang used white-painted battens both to surround the staircase, which connects the two levels to each other and to the roof terrace, and to partially enclose the library. Panels of stainless-steel mesh could slide across the front of the open kitchen, separating its expanse of white solid-surfacing from guests seated in the dining area. Even the master bedroom followed suit, with a mirrored screen demarcating the sleeping and sitting areas.
Nina Seirafi Interior Design went custom for nearly all the furniture, generally mid-century in spirit. Nina Seirafi says she aimed for “clean lines and super-tailored upholstery to create a clean canvas for the art and to complement the architecture.” Space galore, layers of luxury, abounding calm—in other words, life at the top.