Naomi Darling Architecture
2015 - 2018
Awarded: 2020 AIA New England Merit Award for Design Excellence, "More with Less"
Naomi Darling - Principal
Tyler Fielstra - Builder
Raffaele Aschettino - Structural Engineer
The Takahashi-Harb Loft is the interior fit-out and conversion of an existing ground floor walk-out basement into a one bedroom loft-style apartment. The biggest challenge was to bring in light and open the space to the exterior so that the apartment would not feel like a basement. This was accomplished by strategically locating 2 large windows – one in the main living space that was open to sky above (there is an extensive deck on the main living floor shielding the ground floor) and one in the bedroom opening the interior to the lush green landscape beyond. The existing eleven foot ceilings make the space feel generous and the high wall was divided into three registers: the lower register was finished to eight feet, typical ceiling height, with white-washed cedar, the middle register, from eight to ten feet is a translucent corrugated board allowing high light from the living and bedrooms to diffuse into the adjacent space, and the final register is painted a dark grey so that the exposed joists and ductwork all disappear.
Working with a tight budget, we opted to keep and dress-up the existing stairway, all electrical and mechanical systems already in place and utilize an existing plumbing rough-in which helped to organize the plan into three simple sections – one for sleeping, the central space for living, play and eating, and the final section for support spaces – a mechanical room, new full bath and storage.