Describing this loft in Architectural Digest, Judith Thurman wrote, “The very rigorous and thematic geometry of the architecture produces a very fluid sense of space. The effect is of a great light beam from an invisible beacon cutting a swath through the apartment.” The 2000-sq.- ft. loft in a lower Manhattan landmark building has ten large windows on two exposures and high ceilings, favoring an open arrangement of spaces that worked for the Johnsons’ style of living. The architectural goal was to unify the loft visually while giving living, dining, kitchen, sitting, and music areas the spatial qualities that were right for their uses.
A diverging circulation spine and an arc of maple woodwork intersect to accomplish this goal. The spine, with bleached oak flooring, cuts through the space, drawing you from the entrance into the heart of the loft. The arc, made up of needed cabinetry, shelves for books and china, and a seating banquette, sweeps across the open space. A portal at the intersection frames a piano and a display cabinet beyond. The maple shelves seem to float, hung from chrome rods. Its rhythmic horizontals make the loft feel more spacious. The lighting design reinforces the architecture: an arc of hanging fixtures intersects a row of recessed downlights illuminating the spine. Bands of sandblasted glass between the maple shelves conceal kitchenware and transmit the hanging fixtures’ glow to the living area.