A Grand Statement
Photo by Jim Raycroft Our client for this project, an amateur pianist, wanted to create a music room for a nice new piano he was planning to purchase. The project scope would also include a new kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living space, but the new piano was the priority. LIFTING THE CEILING The client was moving into a row house, and hoped to accommodate occasional gatherings of musician friends for informal recitals. Because acoustics were important we asked sound engineers from Acentech to visit the site. They noted that the ideal space would have higher ceilings and would be more like a cube than the “half a cube” we were dealing with. “How can we raise the ceiling and make the space a cube?” our client asked. Designer Josy Raycroft started to explore the possibility of combining the second and third floor units by removing the front half of second floor ceiling, thereby opening up a 2-story music space in the shape of a nearly perfect cube. Thus, the project turned from a straightforward floor plan modification into a complete reimagining of the whole row house, with the client’s new Steinway D as the focal point. Josy and the client started with the piano and created the space around it. ADDRESSING EVERYDAY NEEDS For the client’s more mundane needs, Josy switched the location of the bathroom and kitchen—moving the bathroom towards the middle of the second floor where it would be convenient to the rest of the spaces, and placing the kitchen towards the back. The remainder of the third floor was transformed into bedroom and office space open to the music room below. Products and finishes coordinator Karin Mahdavi worked with the client to select understated finishes for the living spaces so that they would support the piano room without competing with it. As a result the living spaces flow seamlessly into the piano space, creating a coherent whole out of the different parts, kind of like a Schubert piano sonata.