This historic Chelsea commercial building had been gutted, to be reclaimed by new owners who relished the potential of its beautiful bones. With only two apartments to a floor, one was an architect's dream: empty loft space with high ceilings, flooded with light from huge windows at either end, destined to become a residence/office for a brilliant European businessman with vision and a real command of the modern idiom. In other words, an ideal collaboration between client and architect that would generate continuous inspiration and excitement, fusing custom designs with the highest-end contemporary Italian furnishings from B & B Italia, Flexform, and Poliform.
Initial construction closed off existing closet doors, and new openings in the walls made room for spacious customized closets. Then, with a blank canvas of 3,000 square feet, Mastro set to work.
An open plan for living and entertaining framed a sweeping kitchen, dining room, and living room. A library/office was placed opposite for flexibility in personal work and meetings. Intrigued by the client's need for a fireplace and a media center, Mastro designed a vast structure of stone as the living room's focus, ingeniously combining an original sculptural fireplace with housing for a television screen above it.
A sofa and two chairs defined the living room and marked an optical transition to the dining area.
Within it, a massive 12-foot-long table and eight chairs, visible from the entry, promised lavish hospitality. Bedrooms lay beyond the kitchen wall. Here, more generous space led to another original idea on the grand scale: the Poltrona Frau bed was set against a 17-foot-long, 5-foot-high custom headboard of wood to give the master bedroom character and warmth.
To feature the client's exceptional collection of modern art, Mastro created a complex lighting plan,and chose a palette of pale colors for walls and carpets neutral, yet warm throughout the loft.
The deeply satisfying synergy of client and architect had created large-scale drama in an elegant space that was light, minimal, and functional; its beautiful bones had been transformed into a sculpture for living.
Architect/ Designer: Giusi Mastro