West 76th Street Apartment

  • Prize
    Honorable Mention in Apartment Interior Design
  • Company/Firm
    Messana O'Rorke
  • Designer
    Brian Messana
  • Photo Credit
    Stephen Kent Johnson
  • Location
    New York
  • Project Date
    July 2021
  • Client
  • Web URL

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. 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, we 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, our 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. This is a home that finds beauty and luxury in simplicity, a place at peace with both history and the here and now.