By special invitation

Lacquered red doors open to a long, gallery that forms the spine of this New York-style loft apartment

Photography by: Jamie Cobeldick
High end apartment.  Inner-city apartments. art gallery, ceiling, exhibition, interior design, lobby, tourist attraction, wall, brown
High end apartment. Inner-city apartments.

Contemporary loft conversions have transformed inner-city living in major urban centres throughout the world. But, while we may traditionally associate such lifestyles with character buildings in Paris, London and New York, loft-style living is also a fitting solution for many new developments.

The design of this 540m² rooftop penthouse on top of a four-storey commercial building was strongly influenced by the typical New York loft conversion. With its 3m-high ceilings, full-height doors and spacious interior, the apartment captures the essence of the traditional loft, yet also provides amenities that are more in keeping with modern lifestyles.

As with most rooftop apartments, it is virtually hidden from sight at ground level. The owners' private sanctuary is also concealed behind large, 3m-high, redlacquered doors that create an air of mystery and a sense of anticipation.

The owners, who designed the apartment interior, say the doors are like the gate to their property, opening into a world far removed from the noise and bustle of the city below.

"The entrance not only marks the threshold it also makes a dramatic visual statement, setting the scene for the rest of the interior," says one of the owners. "The oversize scale of the doors conveys a sense of heightened expectation. It also emphasises the ceiling height and the spacious interior beyond."

A long gallery forms a spine that runs the length of the building and culminates in an outdoor living area. The gallery, which displays works from the owner's art collection, opens to formal living and dining areas on the right.

view of the lounge area featuring darked stained ceiling, floor, flooring, interior design, living room, lobby, room, table, wood flooring, gray, black
view of the lounge area featuring darked stained timber flooring, brown leather couches, glass table, rug, honed concrete block wall,pivoting timber doors

On the left, a fully glazed wall of cavity door sliders opens to an elevated lap pool and spa pool. Similarly large 5m-wide cavity door sliders on the opposite side of the gallery mean the entire living space can be opened to the pool area.

In keeping with the warehouse-loft ambience, the walls around the pool feature rust-coloured metallic tiles, which are illuminated by uplights. At night the city lights can also be appreciated through the glazed end walls beyond the pool.

The owners say exposing the pool to the elements provides a welcome connection to the outdoors and was a way to bring light into the gallery. Two large skylights at the end of the gallery also help to lighten the foyer leading to thebalcony. As well as providing a large outdoor living area, the balcony features a built-in kitchen for casual entertaining.

The piéce de resistance, however, is the expansive living area. Again, in typical loft style, the space has a contemporary aesthetic, with dark wood flooring and a high stud.

"Furnishing such a large area was a challenge," says one of the owners. "Anything small looked insignificant and out of place. It was also important to avoid a cluttered look, hence the choice of over-scale leather furniture, an extra-large coffee table, and a sculptural wire chair. The visual impact also comes from being able to display key art works in the right environment in many ways, the space functions as an extension of the gallery."

One of the these art works is a collection of miniature bronzed figures by Sergio Furnari, which were inspired by the famous photograph of the original workers on the Empire State Building. The figures are perched, appropriately, on a ledge on a honed concrete block wall.

25 level retail outlet on Hong-Kong island. Theme cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, interior design, kitchen, real estate, room, gray, black
25 level retail outlet on Hong-Kong island. Theme of "Ice-Cubes" Natural wood decks.

"This is the first time we have built a wall to suit an artwork," says the owner. "We love the modernist aesthetic of the honed concrete block and the way it helps to warm up the interior, so it doesn't feel hard or cold. We also love the textural contrast between the concrete, wood and glass."

Large pivoting wood doors next to the wall separate the living and dining areas. The doors, also over-scale, have a rust-effect paint finish that adds further warmth to the interior.

The dining-kitchen area continues the sleek, contemporary feel. The Poggenpohl kitchen, designed by Lara Farmilo, features sleek American oak cabinetry and Corian benchtops. A separate scullery provides additional work space for food preparation, keeping the main kitchen free of clutter.

In the master suite, the brown and red colour accents are repeated. To create an intimate, yet slightly industrial feel to the ensuite bathroom, the owners specified similar metallic tiles to the pool.

Nov 24, 2006

Credit list

Interior design
Stan Ash Builders
Electrical contractor
Caldwell & Levesque
Excelsior Decorators
Home electronic system
Pool tiles
Corten from Spazio Casa
Spa pool
Sundance Spas
Outdoor kitchen
Takanini Joinery
Exterior doors to hallway
Wood flooring
Listorne Giordano from Spazio Casa
Fabbian Lighting
Living room and kitchen blinds
Upholstered speaker panels
Cushions, table napkins, bed throw
Corso de Fiori
Living Flame; Rinnai
Kitchen cabinetry
Graphic Glass
Oven, microwave oven and refrigerator
Bosch; Fisher & Paykel DishDrawers
Household Linens
Underfloor heating
The Heating Co
Takanini Joinery
Basin taps
Solo from Robertson Agencies
Steam shower
Shower jets and frameless glass door
Kitchen and fireplace designer
Lara Farmilo, akzente Design
Trevor Helm Plumbing
Gib stopper
Moni & Dani Ltd
Gallery tiles
Buxy Caramel Lux from Spazio Casa
Lap pool
Mayfair Pools
Balcony tiles
Caramel Natural from Spazio Casa
Outdoor furniture
Doors to gallery
Stan Ash Builders
Honed concrete block
Dominion Constructors
Aalto Colour; special paint effects by
Honed basalt from Fireplace Solutions
Chinese tables, sculptural chair
Living Edge
Peter Collis from Anna Bibby Gallery
Table setting
Benchtops and sink
Kitchen tap
Cera mixer from Robertson Agencies
Cooktops, steam cooker and ventilation
Bedroom carpet
Cavalier Bremworth Dupion
Bathroom tiles
Cortina from Spazio Casa
Vanity countertop
Fuori from Robertson Agencies
Grohe Freehander
Shower mixer
Solo from Robertson Agencies
Mistfee from The Heating Co
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