SoHo Loft | Gabellini Sheppard Associates LLP

Located in New York’s Soho Cast Iron Historic District, this 8,300-square-foot loft was designed to preserve the character of the building and its generously proportioned spaces while fulfilling the programmatic needs of the client. The design reflects a balance among American and Scandinavian sensibilities, functional preferences, and models of domestic living.

Light is the organizing principle for both the spatial and programmatic design. Two vertical light wells punctuate the continuously open floor-through space. The existing loft’s assets of uninterrupted daylight streaming from the east, south, and west exposures and the panoramic views of Lower Manhattan were enhanced by adding a series of light apertures throughout the space. The two existing skylights were reconfigured into stair atria with clear glass clerestory windows, which act as triple-height light wells connecting the roof terraces and mezzanine. A series of operable skylights and clerestory windows with translucent glass was inserted in the office and children’s bedrooms, allowing diffused light into the family room and playroom. Sliding translucent doors define the thresholds between public and private areas and act as light filters.

Urban garden roof terraces make the residence an extension of the entire neighborhood. More than 720 square feet of permanent and loose planters feature indigenous and well-adapted species, which require minimum irrigation. An organic vegetable garden in planters, including composting bins and rainwater collection, is planned for the upper terrace.

The sustainable design intent of the project was guided by a “less is more” approach to construction and material selection. The quality of simplicity in the space results from a careful layering of lighting, materials, and technical infrastructure.

Additional Credit

  • Acoustical - AV - Technology Consultants: Cerami & Associates, Inc.
  • Code Consultants: Jerome S. Gillman Consulting Architects
  • Engineer – MEP Consultants: Edwards & Zuck PC, Consulting Engineers
  • Landmarks Preservation Commission Consultants: Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, LLC
  • Landscape Consultants: Vert Gardens, Inc.
  • Lighting Consultants: Tillotson Design Associates

Photo Credit

© Paul Warchol

SoHo Loft

Jury Comments

The design combines Scandinavian and American character. It is a great frame for the client’s outstanding art collection.

Much of the project feels handmade, which is refreshing. The detailing—down to the towel rail in the bathroom—is thoughtful and really pushes this project ahead.

Quality is juxtaposed with a modern sensibility and well represents the client.

2014 Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture Jury

  • David Montalba, AIA, Chair
  • Montalba Architects, Inc.
  • Santa Monica, California
  • Casey Jones, Deputy Director
  • U.S. Department of State
  • Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Mary Morissette, AIA
  • 4M Design
  • Denver
  • Robert H. Quigley, AIA
  • Architectural Resources Cambridge
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Josh Shelton, AIA
  • El Dorado Inc
  • Kansas City, Missouri

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