We wanted to speak to the various movements that helped form SoHo's unique character and charm. Much like the artists who were attracted to the neighborhood's empty lofts in the 1960's, we too were drawn to the building’s high ceilings, abundant light, and expansive floor plates. For this reason, we are committed to leaving the spaces as open, fluid, and customizable as possible.
However, we were acutely aware that we were designing a home, so introducing a residential scale was important to make the otherwise large space comfortable and inviting. To achieve this, we lowered the ceiling in select rooms and introduced a high level of craft and tactility - our way of communicating with the by-gone manufacturing era of SoHo.
The Greene Street Lofts, located in NYC's historic SoHo district, is an extant example of the mixed iron-and-masonry construction of the post-Civil War era. We wanted to speak to the project's and neighborhood's history in all aspects of our design. To do this, we drew inspiration from the makers and artist ls that once occupied this previously manufacturing building to create units that embrace modern concept of 'loft living', in which open, non-programmed flexible spaces meet highly crafted, millworked moments, adding warmth throughout with the use of woods, marbles, and ironwork.
The kitchen and den–the hearth of the home–are the showpieces of each unit, as they are not only beautiful and practical, but speak to each other in their materiality and detailing.
In the kitchen, the appliances, storage, and secondary scullery kitchen are all seamlessly hidden behind white oak paneling with beautifully crafted integrated pulls. This paneling wraps onto the ceiling to cleverly integrate recessed lighting and HVAC diffusers. The island is crafted out of a single slab of Fior di Pesco marble, known for its ability to add calm and serenity to a space, while the upper cabinetry is clad in blackened steel and fluted glass.
This millwork detailing continues into the den, where white oak paneling and a built-in desktop can be closed off from the main living spaces by large blackened steel and fluted glass doors. Alternatively, these doors can perfectly tuck away into the oak millwork to allow flexible space programming.
Many of these materials can be found throughout the unit, creating an overarching theme. For instance, the blackened steel of the den's custom doors is mirrored in the steel frames of the bathroom vanities, the plumbing fixtures, and even the column cladding.
Renovating a manufacturing building from the 1800’s was an exciting challenge, both in terms of design and coordination. On the design side, we believe that as architects, it is our duty to celebrate the area's rich history in an authentic yet contemporary manner. This is why we wanted to keep the open nature of these spaces as much as possible. It is also why we used wood and iron in a way that is reminiscent of previous eras.
DXA Studio is an NYC-based architecture firm whose work strikes a balance between seemingly opposing forces: design innovation with technical excellence, technology and craftsmanship, and a modern outlook with contextual consideration.
Founded in 2011, the firm focuses on authenticity, sustainability, originality, and a belief in the power of architecture to positively influence the lives of all that engage with it. Whether a competition-winning scheme for a new Midtown viaduct, multi-family projects in NYC, or a pro-bono project to fight malaria in Namibia, DXA Studio strives to create work that hews to these values and that improves the designed environment at all scales and typologies.