A renovated apartment designed with a play of mirrored and transparent surfaces.
NYC-based architect Andrea Leung has renovated a historic TriBeCa apartment to create her ideal home. To complete the complex task of revamping the 1,600-sf loft, the architect looked to her own childhood for inspiration. More specifically, to her grandmother’s apartment in Vancouver, a home with an abundance of whimsical details, hidden spaces, and cozy areas meant for quiet refuge. “Secret spaces fascinate me. My grandmother’s penthouse pied-à-terre was full of them. Push on the correct mirror, and it opened into a hidden tatami room. Lean on the right bookcase, and a dimly lit hallway led you to her own personal oasis of calm,” says Andrea Leung.
The architect completely transformed the apartment, located in an 1860s historical building. The spaces still featured a series of original elements, including high ceilings and cast-iron Corinthian columns. To create a more airy home, the architect removed a mezzanine level that cramped one side of the apartment. She also overhauled the old floor plan. Now, a series of private rooms run alongside the east wall. A mirrored wall conceals doors to the bedroom and bathrooms, but it transforms into transparent glass in some areas. These private spaces open to the sun-drenched living room which features tall windows on two sides.
A sun-drenched loft that creates optical illusions.
The play between mirrored and transparent surfaces creates a sense of wonder and curiosity while giving the apartment a whimsy quality. Apart from creating the illusion of extra space, the mirrored panes also reflect the light from the windows.
“As an architect, I thrive on the satisfaction that comes from arriving at elegantly simple design solutions,” says Leung. “But more importantly, it’s the promise of emotions created by beautiful spaces that drives my architecture. I am always interested in how ostensibly static configurations of materials can evoke poetic tensions that speak to our thoughts and memories, that touch upon aspects of our subconscious and prompt reactions we may not necessarily be able to fully articulate,” adds the architect.
The apartment boasts refined furniture and lighting that create focal points but don’t disrupt the ethereal atmosphere of the interior. Andrea Leung designed several pieces of furniture for the dining room and living room, including a custom brass and walnut console and credenza along with a matching dining table. In the bedroom, a triple-bifold door opens to a bathroom with marble surfaces and a freestanding bath. The architect used marble, brass and wood throughout the apartment, resulting in an especially refined living space. Photography © Sarah Elliott and Scott Frances.