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Photographer's Loft

Desai Chia Architecture

Shared By

Katie Gerfen

Project Name

Photographer's Loft

Project Status


Year Completed



  • Rodkin Cardinale Consulting Engineers
  • Noranda SP


Room or Space

Home Office

View all (12) images

2016 Residential Architect Design Awards
Architectural Interiors: Award

This 5,000-square-foot loft in New York City is a minimalist composition of white, light-bathed ceilings and walls, with accents of oak, steel, aluminum, and resin. It is the studio and residence of a photographer, divided into public and private zones that come together in a library and reception area off the entry.

Inspired by the work of James Turrell, Desai Chia Architecture’s Photographer’s Loft—which juror Kevin Kudo-King called simply “beautiful”—makes extensive use of LED lighting, cutting and folding ceiling planes to give the light form and bounce it around. The open, flowing layout allows for long axial views. Functional elements like the steel kitchen island and resin work tables in the studio also have a sculptural quality. “I appreciate how the spaces were divided—it shows a sensitivity to detail,” juror Anne Decker said. “I also think the handling of light in the space was incredibly well done.”

The loft’s public zone revolves around a living/dining/kitchen ensemble lit by windows on two sides. In the private zone, the bathrooms are quiet retreats from urban life, with waterproof white-resin walls and custom sinks, shower areas, and niches, complemented by floors of striated stone.

Project Description

We designed this Tribeca loft as a home, work space, and gallery for a photographer. A library/reception area immediately off of the entry vestibule allows her to meet with gallerists and research new themes for her work. That space serves as a hinge for two distinct zones in the loft: the east zone flows directly into the ‘private’ domain of her photography studio and back to her private bedroom, while the south zone flows into the ‘public’ domain of her kitchen, dining, and living areas.

The loft also has a guest bedroom suite and a large master bathroom. The master bath is an immersive chamber of light and striated stone, a soothing respite from the intensity of the city.

We crafted raw steel, satin aluminum, solid oak, and white resin design features throughout the loft. They are designed as minimal art moments as much as they are functional elements for storage, dining and work areas. Inspired by the art of James Turrell, we designed several  lighting strategies to enhance the architecture while giving form to the light. By cutting and folding the ceiling planes, we were able to gently bounce light into the living areas, kitchen, bathrooms, and library. Even rooms that do not have windows feel airy and luminous. The proportions and materials of the new architecture complement the client’s collection of Donald Judd and mid-century furniture.

-via Desai Chia Architecture

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