Perhaps more than any other building type, lofts represent all that is unique and desirable about living in New York. Unshackled from conventional floor plans and room arrangements, and with the opportunity to retain the industrial character of these spaces, designers have myriad creative solutions available to respond to clients’ needs.
But the freedom created by missing walls and soaring ceiling heights also carries numerous challenges. “You need to make these spaces feel like you want to occupy them,” says David Howell. “How do you make it a house?”
DHD’s approach is always carefully considered and evaluates what can’t be removed and those elements that must remain — windows, flooring, columns, radiators. Exposed services can be a help or a hindrance, and sometimes industrial elements have to be recreated to maintain the language of the loft genre. The open-plan nature of a loft space is often what attracts people to these spaces in the first place. But then comes the challenge of inserting bedrooms and bathrooms, and defining more intimate areas within the loft landscape.
As the eight projects featured in this book attest, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and an individualized response leads to the most successful architectural and interior design outcomes. Layered plans, and carefully selected materials, textures and lighting define and energize spaces while allowing the unique NYC loft character to prevail.
Larissa received her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Miami, Florida. After graduating, she remained in Miami to work with RTKL on hospitality projects including hotels and spas. Following the desire to gain experience in smaller scale residential projects and construction site experience, Larissa returned to New York City to work as a project manager for a residential contractor. Larissa has now been with DHD since May of 2011, managing residential projects ranging from townhouse renovations to apartment renovations as well as aiding in the design of hospitality projects in developing areas of Brooklyn and Queens.