New York City
The New York loft problem is a formidable design exercise. How many ways exist to program a loft for discrete activities without turning it into an apartment? MESH laterally divided the rectangular space into zones, putting public spaces in the front and private (bedroom) space in back. The space in between, though, is in constant flux. It is a library whose shelves can open completely or close to become a den, thus modulating the entire scheme. A 3-D concrete box contains the large bathroom and an indoor garden that serves as a gateway to the bedroom. The floor, walls, and ceiling of this bath are entirely in Panelite, a translucent, fiberglass composite panel. The lighting comes from outside the box – below the floor, above the ceiling – which creates an ethereal atmosphere within the bathroom, as if you are floating. In a somewhat surreal gesture, in this futuristic space the bathtub is a salvaged, old cast iron clawfoot model that perches, improbably, on the fiberglass floor. Meanwhile, the entire room acts as a kind of light fixture, illuminating and activating the space outside it, which is the central space of the large loft. Glimpses of activity within the bathroom are apparent, although the bathroom is generally private.