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