Size: 400 sq. ft.
Location: East Village, New York City
Architect: Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture
Storage, restraint, and efficiency were key in carving this bachelor’s studio in the East Village into a live-work sculpture for a grown-up.
Living and working in just under 500 square feet, Michael Pozner, Head of Retail Development for American Apparel (which is based in LA), had been pushing the limits of what his apartment, in its current configuration, would accommodate. He’d purchased the studio back in 1999, before the boom of the last decade, and wasn’t anxious to move. But between his office needs and his many toys and quirky art pieces, the apartment was jam-packed and nothing had a place.
The solution was ultimately about exploiting every opportunity for storage, and then combining those spaces and the kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping loft into an intricately sculpted wood-paneled central service core. The space outside of the core area would remain as flexible as possible, and all surfaces and cabinetry would be finished in a high-gloss white to emphasize their adaptability.
Michael is always working on several projects at once. To accommodate his reliance on “visual filing” methods which had overtaken his floor, JPDA designed a desk with multiple desktops- sliding trays on which documents can remain spread out, but slide out of the way when switching between projects, or when it’s time to entertain.
The apartment was previously a plain sheetrock box with objects added into it, the new built-in millwork reads as a wall which has been subtracted from, in order to create space for the TV, desk and credenza.
White Oak planks wrap the service core of the apartment, including the kitchen, bathroom, closets, and sleeping loft. The resulting sculptural volume appears to have been dropped into an otherwise clean white box, creating a focal object and organizing the space into public and private areas.
Every opportunity for storage was exploited, including drawers built into the stair risers, cabinets that go to the ceiling, and a new walk-in closet under the sleeping loft.
The kitchen cabinet doors continue the wood plank walls around the corner to give the sense that the space is carved from a heavy wooden mass.
The standard toilet was replaced with a compact wall mounted unit to create more floor area. Matte black powder coated lav and shower fixtures, were special ordered as the finish was not yet available in the US.
Storage areas became the driver for the design, influencing the forms within the space.
All of the private functions of the apartment - cooking, cleaning, dressing, sleeping - are contained within the sculptural wooden volume.
+ Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture
+ Thanks to Chris Gsell for throwing this my way