Domestic Ribbon Apartment | Red Studio

Domestic Ribbon Apartment

Project Info

Designer: Alan Y. L. Chan
Site: Manhattan, New York
Program: Studio Apartment
Total square footage: 400 sq ft

Project Description

This apartment is located in a walkup pre war apartment building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York. This apartment originally consists of 3 separated rooms: the bathroom, the kitchen, and the living room. These rooms were gloomy and confined with partitions blocking natural light between adjacent areas. To achieve a sense of openness and light in such a compact space, minimum elements were inserted after a new volume was created by removing the partitions. The flow of the new open plan is guided by the singular unifying element that encompasses all functions: a”domestic ribbon” of poured concrete. This ribbon became the life force that synthesized form and function into spatial multiplicity. The ribbon not only unifies the space, it also allows for customization from its various specific functions. It plays in the space as it elevates, descends, contracts, and expands to accommodate specific events throughout the apartment. The kitchen and bath, located adjacent to each other, are segments of the uninterrupted continuum. Separated only by a plane of full-height clear glass, a curtain behind the plane can be rolled down when privacy is desired. The interplay between the public and private, connected by the domestic ribbon element, stimulates an atmosphere of voyeurism and eroticism as functions become exposed.

Storage spaces are essential for a clutter-free space, so floor-to-ceiling carpentry runs the whole length of the living space along the side of the main space. On the other side of the ribbon is a sliding table that moves along the path, enabling flexibility within the space. Moreover, there are single elements that serve dual functions: Light shelving provides illumination and storage purposes. A fabricated steel bench serves as a backsplash on the kitchen side and seating on the living room and dining side, and full-height wall units have storage and a built-in pull-down bed.