de-spec’s Chelsea Triplex

For this 1,300-SqFt townhouse in the Meatpacking District, our friends at de-spec combined a third-floor studio with a duplex below to create a triplex. In light of that the structure is only 12′ wide, a goal of the team was to improve air quality within and maximize light, but given this compactness a challenge presented itself: the various levels of the newly carved-out space needed to be opened up without disrupting the programmatic layout, which was achieved with a staircase that introduces light into the structure, badly needed on the lowest level which is below grade. The triplex comprises a garden-level living room, master bedroom on the third floor, and a kitchen and dining in the entry level; connecting these is a staircase that cantilevers towards the center of the space. A skylight was added to the front of the third floor revealing a few of trees hanging overhead, redirecting and filtering light down to the lower levels through the aperture created by the uniquely poised staircase.