Railroad Appeal

No one puts at the top of their real estate wish list, a one hundred by fourteen-foot loft. Our client, a psychiatrist, a New York Times columnist, and a pianist and his partner lived in half that space. When the unit across the hall became available, they decided to take on the challenge of combining the two units. This 12th street loft building, known as University Mews, is in the heart of Greenwich Village. Built in 1900, as a shirt factory, the structure has lovely vaulted ceilings that were left fully expressed in the renovation. The challenging plan was tackled by a zoning program across the plan with baths and the kitchen in a central core and the living spaces layered toward the natural light. Paint was used to “color-block” the core in a warm gray color, differentiating this volume from the architectural shell. The eastern wall was stripped back to the structural brick and left exposed to unify the loft from front to back. The palette, drawn from the existing brick wall, consists of warm greys, rust reds, burnt oranges and grays. These were combined with natural materials like oak, walnut, granite, and slate. Humble material selections, to evoke the historical context, were combined with more exotic ones, like encaustic tile, to conjure the couple’s travels in Southeast Asia and the middle-east.