FROM THE AIA:
Located in New York’s Soho Cast Iron Historic District, this 8,300-square-foot loft was designed to preserve the character of the building and its generously proportioned spaces while fulfilling the programmatic needs of the client, a couple—one an American, the other a Dane—and their three young children. The design reflects a balance among American and Scandinavian sensibilities, functional preferences, and models of domestic living.
Light is the organizing principle for both the spatial and programmatic design. Two vertical light wells punctuate the continuously open floor-through space. The existing loft’s assets of uninterrupted daylight streaming from the east, south, and west exposures and the panoramic views of Lower Manhattan were enhanced by adding a series of light apertures throughout the space. The two existing skylights were reconfigured into stair atria with clear glass clerestory windows, which act as triple-height light wells connecting the roof terraces and mezzanine. A series of operable skylights and clerestory windows with translucent glass was inserted in the office and children’s bedrooms, allowing diffused light into the family room and playroom. Sliding translucent doors define the thresholds between public and private areas and act as light filters.
Urban garden roof terraces make the residence an extension of the entire neighborhood. More than 720 square feet of permanent and loose planters feature indigenous and well-adapted species, which require minimum irrigation. An organic vegetable garden in planters, including composting bins and rainwater collection, is planned for the upper terrace.
The sustainable design intent of the project was guided by a “less is more” approach to construction and material selection. The quality of simplicity in the space results from a careful layering of lighting, materials, and technical infrastructure.
For more information on the 2014 AIA Honor Awards, please visit http://www.aia.org/practicing/awards/2014/interior-architecture/soho-loft/