Project: Prewar Park Avenue Apartment Renovation
Architects: MKCA – Michael K Chen Architecture
Lead Architects: Michael K. Chen
MKCA Project Team: Natasha Harper, Michael Chen, Braden Caldwell, Justin Snider, Robinson Strong, Julian Anderson
General Contractor: THINK Construction
Location: New York City, New York, United States
Area 2800.0 ft2
Project Year 2019
Photographer: Brooke Holm
Located in a distinguished Carnegie Hill co-op building, the 2,800 sf prewar Park Avenue apartment has been reimagined for contemporary family life while retaining its original gracious formality. The renovation concentrated on maximizing the already well-proportioned formal spaces, including a generous entrance gallery, formal living room and dining room; while converting the dark and crowded storage and service areas into functional contemporary living elements. Because the historic layout was quite segmented, we set out to create enlarged openings to increase circulation between spaces.
The selection of furniture, finishes, and unique art and design objects played a large part in maximizing natural light, visual interconnectivity, and playfulness throughout.
The interiors throughout are a playful, graphic, and colorful mix custom and curated furniture, lighting, and artwork. MKCA is responsible for both architecture and interior design.
Off of the gallery, a powder room and cloak room duet. The sleek and moody new powder room inhabits a former closet, and is lined from floor to ceiling in handmade metallic black tiles from Heath Ceramics and features a floating custom console of barely pink Rosa Aurora stone, lacquer, and smoke mirror, conjuring images of nightclub naughtiness. In contrast, the generous new cloak room across the gallery boasts powdery pink lacquer built-ins, integrated LED lighting, and puffy flamingo wallpaper, projecting a sunny and playful disposition. The cloak room absorbs baby strollers, shoes, and coats for the family and their guests in crisply detailed millwork compartments.
The shaping of surface and shadow enlivens a sunlight-challenged kitchen on Park Avenue. After clearing away a warren of service rooms, we introduced a series of varied materials – glossy three dimensional tiles, Corian, white and black marble, wire brushed and ebonized white oak, and acid etched glass – into the space, each selected for their properties relative to light.
The total absence of upper cabinetry, and the reflective textures of the materials in the space all make for a lively and playful space that is the heart of the project.