September 25, 2013

The Roman Empire: Contemporary Hudson Yards Haven

It took a decade for Antonio Pio Saracino, a transplant from Rome, to put down roots in New York, where he operates his namesake firm in addition to working for Steve E. Blatz Architect. When the time finally felt right, Saracino purchased an apartment across from where the massive Hudson Yards development is rising and a block from where the final phase of the High Line park will terminate. “I like the idea of a neighborhood in the making,” Saracino says.

He appreciates history, too. The art deco architecture of his building, completed in 1929 by Sugarman & Berger, was a main reason that he chose this particular one-bedroom—which also came with a gracious 900-square-foot layout, sunlight, and skyline views to the north and south. “I’m not afraid of tradition,” he says. “I like to transform it with my vision, which is very contemporary.”

Antiquity-inspired antiques and pre-Columbian artifacts mingle with chairs by Charles and Ray Eames as well as Saracino’s own photography and prototype furniture. The latter includes a chair made with 3-D printing and cocktail tables made by filling the ends of cardboard tubes with multicolored liquid ceramic, then bundling them together.

Architectural intervention was minimal. Opening up the kitchen allowed for a dining area that flows into the living area. To punctuate function zones—he calls them “volumes”—he painted strategic sections of wall a midnight blue. One separates the entry from the kitchen; another defines the bedroom’s doorway and generous closet; the last identifies the short hallway to the bathroom and linen cupboard.

Storage of a more decorative variety, the living area’s white shelving is a jigsaw puzzle of compartments. Saracino designed them to incorporate light boxes for showcasing books, art, and examples of the fossils, antlers, and shells from which he draws inspiration for his more unusual creations. Take the bedroom’s lamp: He made the shade from a pair of horseshoe-crab shells.

Project Team

Nycon Interiors Corpor­ation: General Contractor.

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