One common drawback to apartments is that views are often unidirectional. This apartment was different. Located in New York City, it had views in three directions, including sightlines to Central Park, but it failed to fully exploit their potential. That's the principal problem the owners sought architect Louise Braverman's help to correct. “The main goal of the project was to open it up and bring in the light,” she says.
Braverman first gutted most of the interior and positioned new walls to achieve uninterrupted sightlines. “I wanted to create axial and cross-axial views to get the sense you are in a tower,” she says. Now the owners can sit in one space and see into a second or third area of the apartment. The spatial trick “makes the apartment feel expansive and gives the illusion that it is bigger than the square footage.” Sliding doors open it up even more or, when needed, sever the space into private sleeping alcoves for visitors.
The apartment has an ethereal quality thanks to an abundance of windows bringing in copious daylight. The quality is underscored by a combination of strategic artificial lighting, including downlights for the clients' art collection and general purpose up-lighting. Additionally, light trays built into the ceiling further augment the illusion of ample space while also contributing architectural interest. This was an enjoyable project, Braverman says, because the clients were open to ideas like the light trays and floating glass shelves. “These contribute to the lightness of the space,” she says. “The design makes it seem as if everything is floating.”
Tower Apartment, New York City
Louise Braverman, Architect, New York City
T. Fox Contracting, New York City
1,900 square feet