So I’ve been working for two months now on a project in Boston, even though I’m back in Edinburgh. As I’ve briefly mentioned before, it’s a loft condo in Downtown Crossing owned by my friends Eric and Holly. It’s their first home, but they went big: 3,000 square feet, all of which need to be gutted, as the space had been used for years as an office.
While the apartment is fairly industrial and riddled with little rooms and bad fluorescent lighting, its bones are beautiful. The brick building was built in 1917 for use as a battery backup for city power, and its units boast high ceilings, enormous windows, and exposed brick walls. Eric and Holly’s unit has a 20-foot ceiling at its highest, though a mezzanine cuts through half the space. Unlike the other floors, theirs has only one large window at floor level and a number of smaller clerestories 18 feet up. (see ‘before’ photos in this post.)
In our first meeting, E+H told me about their dreams for their home: a high-energy space with a wow factor that would lend itself easily to parties; a modern, no-doily zone yet not cold-feeling (neither of them likes the idea of an all-white space); a place where computer workstations, a bar, and a gaming area would take pride of place. Basically, they’re looking for the ultimate bachelor pad.
E+H asked me for a kick-ass master suite, a separate guest suite and possibly a third bedroom, insane amounts of closet space, a water feature or even a hot tub in the main space, a gym area or yoga studio, and a safe room to protect against the undead.
The most important challenges posed by the space are the lack of sunlight (the apartment faces Northwest and is hemmed in by tall buildings) and the location of wet walls that run up and down the building. Because all surfaces in the space are currently hard, it feels echoey and it can be hard to understand people speaking only a few feet away; acoustical treatments will be key in making the apartment feel more comfortable.
In the following posts I will describe and show the process of design. You can follow the demolition and construction on their blog: http://www.hollyanderic.com/blog/