Travel and Leisure
1100 Architect designs a kitchen and bath in a Tribeca duplex for a globe-trotting client.
Jen Renzi -- Interior Design, 7/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
After residing in 19 locations in as many years, the owner of a Tribeca duplex was finally ready to build a place to call home. An avid outdoorsman who had lived previously in China and Japan, he desired a space "that would combine Asian influences with conventional Western ideas about place and domesticity," says partner-in-charge David Piscuskas of 1100 Architect, who remodelled the apartment with project managers Calvert Wright and Carmen Lenzi.
Organic materials and an offbeat geometry predominate in the serene interior. The oversized galley kitchen is "very compact and state-of-the-art. Everything has its proper place," says Piscuskas. "We wanted a dark counter with a softened, sculpted edge, to seem as if it had been coursed out by water"—a design strategy applied throughout the residence. Bluestone was chosen for its affordability and workability, although the supple material required numerous coats of a waterproofing sealant. Poured-concrete floors with a modeled, steel-troweled finish were enlivened with crushed, tempered glass that injects a bit of sparkle. A strong visual counterpoint against the earthen tones and massive countertop, the backlit cabinets have thinly-framed doors of brightly-hued acrylic.
Sliding steel-and-glass panel doors demarcate the threshold between the master bath and bedroom, "allowing for several layers of openness and closure." Inspired by the client's globe-trotting, the interconnected rooms dexterously meld Middle-, far-, and near-Eastern influences, "defying the belief that you can't mix these cultures together in one small space." The sunken, marble-trimmed tub and the sink—cut from two limestone blocks—are treated with a sculptural reverence. The rough-hewn sink is supported by a cantilevered mahogany bench that seems inexplicably to defy gravity.
Like much of the firm's work, says Piscuskas, "there's a mystery to this project. Things that are complicated appear simple and graceful."