Coming up with a design for New York City apartments is akin to working a complicated crossword puzzle. First you have to obey the given rules: there are exterior wall limits, existing windows, forests of plumbing stacks, fire stairs and structural columns – all sorts of “black squares.” The majority of Pre-War apartments (NYC real estate speak for buildings built before WWII) are messy rabbit warrens of rooms, making little sense. They’re basically all about getting the maximum amount of program with little thought to the math or composition that makes good design. The trick to clarifying these mishmash plans is to cleverly establishing axial vistas, reorganizing room functions and create a prevalent sense of flow and drama.
The following are some of the swift planning exercises we’ve gone through to help our client make a call on an apartment. Each of these took less than an hour to turn out – short work to help expedite an expensive decision.
Greg Tankersley for McAlpine Tankersley
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