S-M-L Loft

Exhibit the ordinary

The gut renovation of this 2500sf cast iron SoHo Loft responds to the industrial history of the building. The plan of the existing loft provided a clean, rectangular geometry punctuated by a common entryway and egress stair. The design response embraces this geometry by wrapping these two volumes and a third created by the kitchen in a bespoke metal system, creating three standing objects - Small, Medium and Large. These volumes float within the pure geometry of the floor plan, straddling the original line of cast-iron columns and exposed timber beam, and generating a visual contrast of new against old from front to back of the residence.

The volumetric objects — S-M-L — conceal the ordinary functions of domestic life - kitchen, storage, entry. The S object conceals a coat closet and security system serving the reclaimed steel entry door. The M object conceals the storage and refrigerators which serve the pure white kitchen insert. L wraps and inflates the volume of the building’s egress stair, providing bookshelves, a built-in desk, A/V closet and powder room within the interstitial spaces of the mass.

The materiality of the three objects was an intense area of study, as these punctuating volumes became the highlight of the unit. Extensive digital and physical studies investigating various combinations of wood, glass and metal were performed, and in the end a perforated, patinated steel sheet assembly was selected for both its hard and soft qualities. The operation of the assembly was precise, heavy and industrial in feel, however the look of the panels from afar has a soft, almost suede-like appearance.

The balance of the loft is finished in pure raw materials, quietly providing a refined backdrop to the steel feature. Cast iron columns were painstakingly scraped of their fuschia paint, brick party walls were revealed and sealed and the raw timber beam structure of the original factory building was revealed and emphasized by a substantial ceiling reveal and indirect lighting. The white oak flooring running the length of the unit is 15-18” wide live sawn boards. Bathroom finishes consist of solid walnut millwork and raw concrete panels floating within a stark white porcelain tile.

Precision in both design and construction allow the unit to exhibit the S-M-L volumes as stand-alone objects floating within their pristine environment and in dialogue with the unit’s industrial past.


NYC Soho Loft Renovation

Completed 2018
Amy Barkow
SARA NY Design Award of Excellence 2020, AIA NY Interiors Design Award 2019
Awards, cont.
Architect Magazine 2019 Residential Architect Interiors Award, 2019 Architizer A+ Award Finalist
View East showing the M object and original timber beam piercing an industrial glass and steel wall
Corner detail of the custom metalwork
A view encapsulating the S object (left), M object (kitchen) and L object (right)
Razor edge indirect lighting detail at the ceiling
The custom library ladder can access the uppers at each of the objects

SOho loft renovation with attention to detail manifests toward a timeless aesthetic

Loft Plan
View to dining and Bulthaup kitchen
Custom concrete panels create the shower enclosure with a indirect lighting
The M object conceals a powder room, office, A/V closet and general storage