Situated in the East Village in Manhattan, New York, this apartment has a rich history. The six-storey building it’s housed within, known as Onyx Court, was built in 1902; since then, the corner spot has been home to opera singers, Oscar-winning composers and others members of the city’s thriving arts and theatre community.
GRT Architects were tasked with modernising the apartment, which involved re-imagining its layout and incorporating additional rooms that were tailored to their client’s lifestyle. They achieved this without diminishing the apartment’s openness, nor its unique turn-of-the-century character, focusing instead on bringing functionality and warmth to the space.
During the renovation, GRT Architects relocated the kitchen to a more pleasant area of the apartment with more desirable windows. They also transformed it into a semi-open space and introduced functional features so the client could easily move between the kitchen, living and dining areas. One of these features involved placing the low cabinets on brass legs – a soft end to the entry hallway.
The elements of the kitchen all work together to evoke a gentle warmth. The white-oak cabinets, featuring bespoke oversized pulls, were locally crafted in New York, adding a lightness to the room. Together with the satin white countertops, these two colours are reflected in the mosaic floor tiles and splashback – an ode to the original tilework in Onyx Court’s communal spaces. The tiled burgundy island is the kitchen’s statement piece.
The Rest of the Home
The dining room contains a gently curved plaster cove and bold brass pendant, establishing an open flow between the kitchen, dining and living spaces. A wall of white-oak built-in shelves gives structure to the living room, further emphasised by the nostalgic mustard armchair and a geometric rug.
GRT Architects moved the master bedroom to the former kitchen space, revising the corridor to create privacy and a seamless sequence. The bathroom takes concepts from the kitchen to establish cohesion, mixing hard mediums with the softness of oak.
GRT Architects’ vision is carried throughout the entire apartment, moulding a truly modern space into a piece of New York’s past.
This kitchen in this apartment originally appeared in est Magazine Issue 48: Kitchen Confidential (pp. 114-117).