Messana O’Rorke - West 76th Street Apartment, shades of luxury and simplicity
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West 76th Street Apartment, shades of luxury and simplicity

Messana O’Rorke

House  /  Completed
Messana O’Rorke

This apartment was designed for the founders of luxury skincare and fragrance brand (MALIN+GOETZ). Given the residents, the firm paid special attention to the home’s bathrooms, which reflect the brand’s ethos as a modern apothecary. A longstanding partnership, the firm has also designed the brand’s retail spaces in Nolita in NYC and Los Angeles. The spirit of this Upper West Side apartment emerges from the illusory time warp—a gentle push and pull between the comfort of the past and the vigor of the present—embedded in the architectural details envisioned by the firm. A new floor of reclaimed oak boards, laid in a herringbone pattern and finished in natural oil, has the romantic allure of an old European pied-a- terre. In the living room, den, and bedroom, the firm recreated an original plaster relief detail suggestive of a crown molding, a small segment of which was uncovered during demolition beneath a dropped ceiling in the bedroom. Juxtaposed with these more traditional elements, the firm’s modernist interventions—including the storage blocks that flank the entry hall—vibrate with particular vigor. The link between the past and present becomes explicit in the vestibule between the living/dining area and the apartment’s more private spaces, where a traditional baseboard, again original to the apartment, segues abruptly into a quarter-inch reveal that lifts the walls off the floor. The bathrooms present fixtures and hardware of unlacquered brass set against fields of Carrara marble. These spa-like rooms elevate the rituals of daily ablutions with a touch of old-school glamor. A light pocket in the marble-clad showers washes the stone with what appears to be natural illumination, while a slender floor-to-ceiling medicine cabinet, faced in the same marble, is lined on the inside with glass shelves and gray-tinted mirror. A window niche clad in brass similarly heightens the depth and reflectivity of the overall composition. Much like the (MALIN+GOETZ) boutiques also designed by the firm, in which a single vintage display element subtly offsets the taut architectural envelope, the furnishings and interior appointments here bridge the traditional and the modern. This is a home that finds beauty and luxury in simplicity, a place at peace with both history and the here and now. The end result of the firm’s subtle architectural moves is a calm, cloistered refuge from the intensity of city life, a space that parlays its modest scale to foster an unexpected variety of experiences.


 New York
 United States of America
 112.19 mq
 Messana O’Rorke
 Brian Messana, Toby O’Rorke and Viktor Nassli
 UC Group
 Barber Wilson, Liebherer, Miele, The Hudson Company, Viking
 Stephen Kent Johnson


Brian Messana graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and Columbia University. He trained under architects and worked on projects including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. He has also lectured on design and served on the faculties of several university architecture programs.
Toby O’Rorke received his Postgraduate Degree and Graduate Diploma from Oxford Polytechnic. He is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He worked with The Greater London Council and has practiced with a number of architectural firms.


#Shortlisted #New York  #United States of America  #Wood  #Glass  #Residence  #Marble  #Messana O’Rorke 

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