Living Large in this Loft

A loft large enough to ride your bike in sounds like the paragon of city living. Problem is: how do you actually live in over 4,000-square-feet of raw space? This was the challenge for New York-based photographer Alexander Deutsch when he bought a reconverted industrial loft space in lower Manhattan.

Deutsch felt strongly that the integrity of his new space depended on retaining the original industrial elements, so changing such things as exposed brick and wooden archways wasn’t an option. However, living without the option of privacy wasn’t acceptable, either.

“I wanted the flexibility to separate the loft into a series of rooms,” he explains. It was the space’s abundance of natural light that originally attracted him, so he wanted to make sure that when he divided it, each “room” would still have ready access to windows. To create the rooms, he chose to install movable walls—but not just any movable walls.

“I went through sliding glass to steel doors, but they were all too permanent and interfered with the ‘flow’,” Deutsch says. After more research and thought, he decided to utilize a Swiss K1 meshed-steel door from an overseas freighting company. When the door is “closed,” the master bedroom is separated from the kitchen and work area, delineating Deutsch’s personal space from his business space.

Deutsch devoted as much consideration to every other detail when he set about creating the sleek, modern, minimal look he desired. When styling his loft he looked to Blade Runner, which features Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Ennis-Brown House,” deliberately chosen by director Ridley Scott to give the film its timeless quality. “I looked for materials that had an industrial, almost sci-fi feel,” Deutsch says. The influence is evident, from the overall geometric layout to the steel mesh doors to the color palate: a mix of burnt orange and polished nickel, overlaid with warm, earthy tones.

 He also wanted to avoid creating an environment that would be all form and no function. For Deutsch, “everything in the space has a specific function.” For instance, Deutsch installed a “commercial kitchen to end all culinary quarrels.”

Equally impressive is the professional pool table from New York City’s Blatt Billiards. The bathrooms and much of the furnishings, including the orange Italian sofa, were also custom-made. “Turns out it costs even more money to do minimal right,” jokes Deutsch.

One thing’s for sure: he got it right. Vast, yet intimate, conducive to both working and living, the space provides a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere sorely lacking in most 4,000-square-foot spaces.


 Photography by Tom Ackerman

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