With the help of Freyer Collaborative Architects, a private collector's Asian antiques find a New York kitchen and bath.
Abby Bussel -- Interior Design, 10/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
A Tribeca apartment, where monolithic stone surfaces serve as the backdrop to a collection of Asian antiques, brings new meaning to the concept of import-export. The gut renovation of the 3,000-sq.-ft. space involved the combination of two apartments to create a loft-like residence in a former industrial building. Designed by Freyer Collaborative Architects with Lisa Pak Interior Design, the project required new floors, ceilings, windows, and plumbing to house the rugs, furniture, and objects from Hong Kong, where the client lived for five years.
Natural materials and neutral finishes characterize the interior. Shoji screen-like sliding doors mark the threshold between kitchen and guest bathroom, between master bedroom and master bathroom. The oversized doors—seven ft. high in the kitchen and ten ft. high in the bedroom—are of synthetic rice paper and linden wood, 11 1/2 in. thick. The synthetic translucent material combats condensation in the bathroom, while the linden wood, a hardwood similar to maple in its dimensional stability, was selected for its strength.
While the main event in the kitchen is the ten-burner professional stove set within an English slate countertop, the center of attention in the master bathroom is a very big tub, designed by the architects and carved from a single piece of granite by a firm in New Mexico. With its hammered exterior and polished interior, the 2,500-pound bathtub required special treatment that involved increased structural support and a crane. A four-to-six-in. layer of light concrete that covered the building's original clay tile arch structure was removed, replaced by rebars and concrete able to support 3,000 pounds. That may have been the easy part of the process. The next challenge was installation. Because the building elevator was rated for 1,500 pounds, far less than the tub, a crane was required for the heavy lifting. Six hours and seven men later, the bathtub was imported through a 3-ft.-by-6-ft. window opening.
The design team from Freyer Collaborative Architects included principal Warren Freyer, project architect Alexander Harrow, and de-signers Robert Lanni and Leigh Christy.