Project: Minimal Modern Flatiron Apartment
Architects: Echo Design + Architecture
Lead Architect: Ajay Chopra
Designer: Conor Brophy
Location: Flatiron District, New York City
Size: 1,200 s.f.
Text by Echo Design + Architecture
Meaning ‘dwell’ in Japanese, this minimal modern Flatiron apartment is based in Japanese and Scandinavian sensibilities. With tinted white walls, natural plank floors, and uncomplicated furnishings we sought to create a retreat from the clamor of New York’s streets. The renovation expanded the resident’s single bedroom apartment that was the rear half of the building’s third floor to now occupy the entire floor. With the challenge of designing a sanctuary within a tourist center of New York, we took inspiration from Scandinavian minimalism and Japanese interconnectedness.
The Foundation is a Continuity of Materials with an Understated Focal Point to Define Each Room. In addition to maintaining the 12-foot high ceilings and original crown molding, dating back to 1846, we kept the same principles of the former residence by connecting utilitarian and aesthetic elements of the design. This manifested as a centralized ‘cube’ that provides the amenities and storage required by each room adjacent to it. Each of the faces serves one of the three defined spaces; the living and dining area, the bedroom and office, and the kitchen.
The cube’s simple white panels and recessed pulls are as ubiquitous to each room as the Douglas Fir plank floors to provide a simple continuity that encourages tranquility in the resident’s otherwise enterprising life. To increase quietude, the street-facing living and dining room have a large high pile rug and are lined with curtains to reduce the murmur of the Flatiron District.
With a modest palette of white, tan, and grays we are able to highlight key elements in each room without any over-embellishment. As each space is comprised of a loose collection of furniture, we elected to use warmer oak and walnut furniture to contrast the white washed wood floors and avoid the distraction of an entirely foreign material.
The Result is a Home Whose Cornerstones are Wellness and Efficiency. Throughout the process, the client expressed the need to be able to wind down after long and demanding days. As the owner of small businesses, the entrepreneur lifestyle requires constant ingenuity that becomes very taxing. The simple interiors and efficiently organized space allow them to avoid unwanted distractions and focus on recovering physical and mentally from a day’s challenges.