Regional Modern: Vibrant Layers in NYC of New and Old

15 Sep

Regional Modern: Vibrant Layers in NYC of New and Old

When considering the residential architecture of New York, it’s necessary to split it into two groups: urban homes and suburban/country homes. Here we look at the first, which encompasses apartments, lofts, and townhouses. The majority of the examples that follow are lofts, since they’re such a special part of New York City’s transformation from a commercial into a post-industrial city. New York is host to a good deal of stunning new architecture, but it also has a strong tradition of preservation that embraces conversions of old buildings into new uses. Dealing with that history inside is one factor of the interiors within this ideabook.

More regional contemporary architecture:
Boston | Chicago | Austin | NY Metro | Seattle | Oregon | No. Calif.. | San Francisco | L.A. | Coast L.A.

Jane Kim Design

The expression attic might be battered around by programmers serving up new construction or renovations, trying to appeal to the desire for open space.

A true loft is open since it was gutted from its previous use to its essential elements: columns, beams, windows, floors, and party walls.

This loft in Tribeca at Lower Manhattan retains the steel columns and the wood beams and joists exposed. New structure is limited to white drywall along with a steel-and-glass canopy over the kitchen. Raw, really. (Note the duct that’s tucked between the joists in the left-center of the photo.)

Ann Marie Baranowski Architect PLLC

Much of the nature of a loft space is derived therefore from the construction. In this case, another Tribeca loft, the wood columns and beams are whitewashed, providing them a distinct appearance that borders on the ancient. The articulation of the pillar is something of notice, as is the method by which in which the plan uses this row of columns to different kitchen and living/dining areas. It’s a porous separation but a powerful one nevertheless.

A lot of attic renovations focus on furniture since the way of layering fresh along with old. This Tribeca attic inserts storage in a variety of forms (cabinets, shelvesand counters). In some cases they actually intersect with the old structure. The lively forms, observable in front, reinforces the difference between old and new.

This former painting studio in Tribeca — what can be regarded as a attic twice removed out of its industrial origins — uses operable walls to shut spaces off and make some privacy.

Peter Tow

Another method of treating the existing is to give it a more constant finish, what then becomes the backdrop for furniture and some other new structure. The white columns, beams, and ceiling lighten the space. The translucent glass partitions on the left ensure that spaces far removed from the windows receive some natural light.

Specht Architects

A first view of the Tribeca loft shows a minimal space, perfect for displaying artwork, along with the ever-present columns.

Specht Architects

Another view shows an very important facet of loft living, what helps make them so attractive and pricey: large windows and lots of natural lighting.

Dufner Heighes Inc

Here is another view of loft’s windows, in this case in SoHo. Compared to the previous photo, we can observe how the shape and size of these windows impacts the space. Less character is found here in the shape, but the denser and larger openings brings in a lot of light.


Also in SoHo, this and the following example illustrate how even new structure adopts a number of the loft’s ideas. Openness and massive windows are found, but exposed structure is nowhere to be observed, especially because raw concrete doesn’t have the exact same charm as exposed steel or wood construction.

Elliott Kaufman

Located in a SoHo building designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, this house features large expanses of glass that are sometimes framed by coloured glass panes. Rather than the cast iron or brick of its neighbors, glass is the way of making a curtain wall more colorful and interesting.

Hanrahan Meyers Architects

This house overlooking Central Park is a sparse white area that’s triggered by “with ash finished in four distinct ways.” We see three or more uses here: the shelf beneath the bookcase, the ground, and the door in the distance.

Robert Granoff

However, not all Manhattan interiors are single-floor insertions among the piled floor plates pervading just about every building. Some manage to combine over one floor.

This triplex exemplifies the allure of vertical residing in the dense town, for people who can afford it : grand spaces and lots of light.

Mojo Stumer Associates, computer.

Another Tribeca loft and another triplex, this double-height living space shows something more house-like compared to apartment-like. The finishes could be minimal and the windows limited to the endings, but vertical living systems another side of NYC living: the townhouse. (Note the glass ceiling at the top left corner, skylights from the roof terrace upstairs)

CWB Architects

The most popular location in NYC for townhouses is readily Brooklyn, where rows of old brownstones are precious and fixed-up by people appreciative of the low-scale fabric they create. Since they’re basically rowhouses, windows remain limited to the front and rear (with the occasional lightwell on the side), but the largest appeal is located back…

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CWB Architects

Backyards at Brooklyn give city dwellers a slice of skies and grass to call their very own. Sure, they are small in contrast to suburban yards, but most NYC residents don’t have any outside area, save a stoop or bit of fire escape. And what better way to segue to another ideabook on New York’s regional modernism, next.

More lofts:
Geometry and Art in Chelsea
An Art Lover’s Inviting Abode
San Francisco Minimalist
Industrial Loft Meets Luxe

More regional contemporary architecture:
Boston | Chicago | Austin | NY Metro | Seattle | Oregon | No. Calif.. | San Francisco| L.A. | Coast L.A.

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