GARZON RENTAL UNIT
- East Boston
Located in a former industrial area of East Boston, 156 Porter is one of many conversions of old production warehouses into residential units done by developers in the Boston metropolitan area.
The units in the former bra factory have generous ceiling heights, large scale windows and exposed raw concrete structure, which gives them a unique identity reflecting the industrial past of the building.
The building has some deficiencies in terms of the type and layout of the mechanical and plumbing systems which conditions in many ways the layouts of the units themselves.
In addition, very limited provisions were made to provide adequate storage for this size units, leading to very cluttered arrangements of furniture and a compromise of the open and spacious nature of the spaces.
iVY Design Associates designed 3 units owned by two different families dealing with similar issues: How to provide better storage, improve the kitchen organization and optimize some of the sleeping areas in the space without sacrificing the open quality of the unit.
Garzon Rental Loft is the smallest of all three units, it consists of a simple rectangular unit which includes a mezzanine with low ceiling height. The client’s desire was to improve the quality of the space in order to be able to rent it.
Also, it was important to provide a level of flexibility of use. The mezzanine, accessible via metal ladder, was expected to be the sleeping area given its very low ceiling height. However, there was a desire to conceptualize a layout that could potentially accommodate all the uses, including sleeping, in the lower level.
The strategy in this project was clear from the start, a large furniture piece built with off the shelf modules provides storage and a large island for the kitchen.
A plane of quartz composite outlines the boundaries of the cabinets, protecting them from wear and tear, and at its lowest condition becomes a large island.
The intervention opens and declutters the space, allowing for a new condition to emerge. The new space could be furnished in different ways depending on the needs of the tenant.
The material palette is simple, two basic tones, black and white, are used in the different elements. The combination provides a sense of quiet elegance and it is neutral enough for any type of furniture.
The sharp, synthetic quality of the cabinets and counters are balanced by the wood of the floor, which has been bleached and ebonized. Over time, the white grain of the wood will emerge, providing the floor with a very special quality.