Renovation / Merit
The opportunity to purchase side-by-side apartments on the top floor of a Chinatown building allowed these clients to build the light-filled loft they really wanted. Although a structural partition between the two units had to stay, Höweler + Yoon Architecture made abstract interjections that open the core to the elements.
Large skylights illuminate a bathtub and a shower, translucent room dividers disperse the natural light, and a clever interior courtyard invites the owners and their two children outside for morning coffee, moonlight conversation, or water fights. The 8-foot-by-8-foot courtyard is lined in red South American mahogany slats that slip inside on the adjacent kitchen wall. Opposite sets of sliding glass doors create an open-air thoroughfare. “At one point it's a cube, at another point it's a corridor,” says Eric Höweler, AIA.
One judge cited the courtyard as “a fabulous example of how an economic insertion reprograms the whole space. It's exquisitely detailed and achieves a level of poetry.”