Raised in New York: Manhattan MicroLoft by Specht Harpman Architects

We’re feeling ‘lofty’ yet again, after looking at a beautiful one in Amsterdam, we’ve come across yet another in Manhattan. Covering barely 40 sqm but with a height of about 7.5m the loft sits atop a six story building and offers roof terrace access as well as some very smart space planning.

Previously the space was an awkward apartment with a configuration so inefficient that you couldn’t reasonably fit furniture inside. But, once the hands at Specht Harpman Architects got through with it, it became a smart, contemporary residence with more storage and space than you would originally expect from 40 sqm. Their approach involved creating 4 different “living platforms” inserted within the volume that provide adequate space for the basic living amenities while maintaining an open and bright ambiance.

The first “platform” would be the entry and kitchen area that features very intelligent cabinetry design, clad in all white to maintain the aforementioned brightness. It features fully concealed appliances and flip up doors for ease of access. A glass backsplash sit on the countertop which also makes the space look larger thanks to reflection. The countertop itself extends into the main living area (the second “platform) which is just a few steps up from the kitchen in an open plan style and doubles as a base surface (thanks to the change in level) for a built in entertainment system. Ergo, the Kitchen and Entertainment center of the entire loft is embedded in an intelligently designed, large L-Shaped Mass of cabinetry. Opposite that, and right under the staircase leading to the 3rd platform, is the bathroom, a very neat, compact and modern bathroom if I might add.

Going up the aforementioned staircase (packed with built in storage cabinetry embedded therein), we come to the cantilevered bed pavilion which projects out over the main living area below. The cantilever is supported by steel beams and clad in dark wood, making it a focal point that contrasts the white around it. From the bed pavilion we make our way up yet another storage filled staircase to the 4th “platform” which is the roof garden.

One thing you must realise is that this is all still 40sqm, with the only door inside the space being that leading to the bathroom. Every detail and idea is geared towards making this tiny space appear much larger than it really is. The multitude of built in storage ensures theres no clutter and reduces the need for furniture save for a couch, coffee table, bed and side chair. There is literally no traditional storage in the entirety of this loft. The ‘balusters’ of the staircases are thin steel rods that virtually disappear into the space while staying functional. Its almost like one large room with interconnected sections. The idea of distinct ‘rooms’ is for all intents and purposes dissolved.


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