New York-based architecture firm MKCA has recently refurbished a post-war West Village apartment. Lightened and subtly textured materials and exactingly detailed custom elements create an elegant and informal living environment for a professional couple. A reconstructed kitchen, anchored by a sturdy block of richly figured Vermont marble and bleached ash establishes a functional and airy center that integrates an informal bar and entertaining zone, generous work area, and a pull-out concealed television.
The clients asked architect Michael K. Chen for something bright. “Organizing the apartment plan to maximize natural light was very important to them,” says Chen.
The kitchen is shifted to the center of the apartment creating a separate bar for casual dining and socializing. Concentrating all of the solid elements in the center of the apartment liberates the entire perimeter of the apartment facing Bank Street. A continuous sill running the width of the apartment provides a location for a rotating gallery display. A home office at one end can be partitioned from the rest of the apartment with an oversized pocket door.
A slide-out television disappears into a millwork enclosure. The living room effortlessly transitions between an open and visually porous state conducive to conversation and socializing, and one that allows the television to be front and center.
A built-in bar and banquette upholstered in a terracotta-hued wool and custom dining table are inserted into an awkward entrance gallery, converting a leftover space into a generous and gracious entertaining and dining space.
The master bedroom has been redesigned with an ensuite, while a powder room is now located off the kitchen. The placement of doors has also changed, drastically improving routes around the apartment.
all images © Alan Tansey