September 1, 2012

A River Runs Past It: A Loft Renovation by 212box Architecture

The Eagle Building, circa 1910, was part of the brawny warehouse district that received deliveries of meat, dairy, and produce via elevated train tracks. Now those tracks are the High Line park, the city’s favorite promenade, and the brick building contains loft apartments with Hudson River views. The media consultancy Naked’s cochairman Steve Gatfield bought a Tshape 2,300-square-foot unit for himself and his adorable wheaten terrier, Mopsy, to live in and his 13-year-old daughter to visit. A self-described design junkie, Gatfield knew of 212box Architecture’s chic shoe boutiques for Christian Louboutin, having read about them in Interior Design, and his first move was to bring in principals Eric Clough and Eun Sun Chun to fix the damage inflicted on the loft by its previous owner.“ Everything that was here competed with the space,” Gatfieldsays. 

“Having a client who knows exactly what he likes expedites the whole process,” Chun adds. After a gut job that did away with the gypsum-board walls, including one wall that made the kitchen a claustrophobic corridor, she and Clough implemented a materials palette that jibed with the oak beams and an imposing steel structural column, newly exposed. They chose reclaimed oak for flooring as well as pebbled glass framed by blackened steel for partitions that maintain the loft aesthetic while offering some privacy. Overall, the result of 212box’s interventions breezily incorporates both an open public space, at the center, and enclosed bedroom suites, at opposite ends of the T.

So, what has Gatfield’s reaction been? Judge for yourself. He just hired212box to design Naked’s new office, a brisk walk across town.

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