New York City-based architecture firm Martin Hopp has completed the renovation of a 720-square-foot basement in Manhattan into a flexible and hyper-functional living and working space.
Located in a 1930s building in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, the garden-level apartment was in need of major structural repairs. Its original layout and features made by being below grade gave the apartment a subterranean feel that limited natural daylight. Thus, the renovation aimed to introduce more “light, joy, and purpose” into the space.
As per the architects: “The new apartment uses a flexible targeted design, elevates simple materials, and carefully-proportioned spaces to raise the residents’ quality of life.” Adaptable features including folding and pivoting doors, a rotating table, counter-balanced spring mechanisms, and multiple forms of storage enhance the flexibility of the space.
A palette of white materials and white oak paneling establish a sense of brightness, warmth, and comfort in the home. The finishes comprise white lacquer, fabric, terrazzo, stone, matte paint, and metal panels. The wood paneling is finished using only oil to enhance grain and protection.
Partition walls were added to create dedicated spaces for dining and working areas, a kitchen, a private bedroom, a bathroom, and guest quarters. Enhanced storage spaces throughout the dwelling allow for seven functions to be encompassed within the apartment. A green planted accessway leads to the home’s entrance. It also functions to shield residents from the busy activity of the city.
While limited in space, the renovation maximizes the functionality of every element within the apartment creating a more livable home. “Most apartments in New York are badly designed, banal, and don’t reflect today’s work/life balance,” Martin Hopp commented. “We developed a design prototype that provides dignity, pleasure, and enhanced functionality.”