Refined Materials and Stellar Art Rule in an Apartment by Gluckman Tang and Nina Seirafi
Talk about “before” and “after.” Way, way before, in the 1920’s, this West Village building had been a commercial garage. The ’80’s saw conversion into apartments. Then, much more recently, Gluckman Tang Architects and Nina Seirafi Interior Design stepped in.
The starting point was a penthouse. Then, six months later, the project doubled in size and scope when the owners purchased the identical unit below. All of a sudden, Gluckman Tang had a 4,200-square-foot duplex to renovate. Planning, in broad strokes, encompassed public spaces upstairs and the master suite and guest quarters downstairs. North-facing windows would illuminate the entire place with a diffuse glow.
Despite owning stellar art by the likes of Yves Klein and Yayoi Kusama, the couple were not in the market for a hard-edged white-box aesthetic. Grayed tones were preferred. “They liked simplicity—but with beautiful materials,” Gluckman Tang principal Robert White says. The overriding mandate was, he adds, “layers of privacy as a retreat from the city’s intensity.”
Screening devices were therefore important. Gluckman Tang used white-painted battens both to surround the staircase, which connects the two levels to each other and to the roof terrace, and to partially enclose the library. Panels of stainless-steel mesh could slide across the front of the open kitchen, separating its expanse of white solid-surfacing from guests seated in the dining area. Even the master bedroom followed suit, with a mirrored screen demarcating the sleeping and sitting areas.
Nina Seirafi Interior Design went custom for nearly all the furniture, generally mid-century in spirit. Nina Seirafi says she aimed for “clean lines and super-tailored upholstery to create a clean canvas for the art and to complement the architecture.” Space galore, layers of luxury, abounding calm—in other words, life at the top.