Watts Street Loft

New York, NY

Transforming an artist loft into living spaces that offer views in four directions, with flexible spaces for different configurations of use
Occupying the 18th floor of an Art Deco building in a Landmark district, this 2600 SF terrace wraps the four sides of a penthouse apartment whose living space it nearly doubles. The design exploits the tension between two distinct yet overlapping modes, experiential and visual. As an integral part of the clients’ living space, the terrace brings domestic program outside into distinct ‘rooms’. At the same time, it forms a complex and layered middle ground which mediates views to the city beyond.


With a simple palette of steel, reclaimed teak, and stone, the terrace creates an integrated environment that bridges between two distinct scales: the domestic scale of the single-story penthouse and the massive, building-scale presence of the parapet elements built to be seen from 18 stories below.


The project embraces the technical challenges of rooftop construction by integrating them into its design language. MPA invented a floating ground plane which acts as ballast to support the cantilevered steel railing, achieving stability without anchoring to building surfaces. The railing itself becomes a garden element, supporting planting, lighting, and surfaces which give depth to the parapet edge.
Completion Date


MEP Engineer: Mottola Rini Engineers, P.C.
General Contractor: Kovacs Interiors


Whitney Cox Photography