The urban oasis
Strategically placed foliage turns this minimal warehouse apartment in New York into a stylish inner-city sanctum
Strategically placed foliage turns this minimal, warehouse apartment in New York into a stylish inner-city sanctum
Stopping a toned-down palette from seeming cold was the main concern for Alsún Keogh. Commissioned to renovate this former Tiffany & Co silver factory in New York’s Soho district by Albert Matheny IV, a fitness entrepreneur with a passion for Scandinavian minimalism, Alsún found the solution in foliage. To anchor the green, natural theme, she created a ‘mock window’ – a large plant frame, which was made out of old window frames salvaged from St Patrick’s Cathedral, just down the road. As for the plants, Alsún had a simple guideline: ‘ What requires minimal maintenance?’ Peace lilies, ferns and spider plants all fulfilled this brief.
As well as the pops of greenery, the colour black runs throughout the two-bedroom loft, from the painted steel window frames to the internal doors, dining chairs and bathroom fittings. ‘ When the main colour palette is very pale, black is the perfect accent to tie things down,’ explains Alsún. The kitchen is deliberately darker than the rest of the living areas since it’s the focal point of this home.
Alsún has also honoured the apartment’s industrial roots ( her architectural speciality is historic preservation) with a liberal use of distressed metal. Steel sliding doors, copper lights and a brassalloy kitchen are paired with factory-style whitewashed brickwork and original ceiling beams. ‘I’m not trying to mask the building’s past, but embrace it,’ Alsún explains. However, she adds, in such a minimal setting, lighting is key: ‘All the lights have an amber accent to give them a warm, cosy glow.’