In a duplex on the top floor of a well known building, designed in 1966 by Harris, Abramowitz and Stevens, the client had an opportunity to expand into the apartment next door, almost doubling their living space.
The apartment already had spectacular views of the East River and the UN, and this new acquisition gave them a northern exposure with an aerial view of the most beautiful of Manhattan’s landmarks.
When Giusi Mastro came on board, this project was already in its demolition phase, with a design concept that was not entirely appealing to the client. The client had a passion for interior design with a sophisticated and minimal aesthetic.
A black slate floor throughout and a free standing spiral staircase, were two strong requirements from the client. They also had an extensive collection of art in various mediums, which needed a complementary backdrop.
Working with these guidelines, Mastro’s challenge was to create elements of unity that made sense within the confines of the client’s wishes. A dual sided marble fireplace connecting the kitchen and an informal living room creates a seamless transition.
A custom designed wall unit in addition to a floating ceiling with recessed lighting identifies the dining area as the center of the space.
Adjacent to is another imposing fireplace characterizing the formal living room.
The kitchen included an additional staircase, accessing the top floor, which was uninviting and devoid of light.
The decision to demolish part of the staircase wall and encase it in glass, gave it some light and a new view to the bedroom area, enhancing the flow of the two floors.
A warm feeling is evoked upstairs by the placement of a grey oak floor throughout. A private corridor leads to the master wing, setting it apart from the other rooms on the top floor establishing the master bedroom as an oasis with a grand sense of privacy.
This corridor also provides another opportunity to display art. By maintaining a neutral palette of white, black, and grey, and an oak floor throughout, the color in their art collection takes center stage.
Through close collaboration and constant dialogue with the client, an extremely high quality of detail was reached, that not only created a warm inviting home, but a living art gallery. A bond was developed, and this opened a dialogue for future collaborations.
Architect/designer: Giusi Mastro