In Carnegie Hill, a tony neighborhood on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, prewar apartment buildings betray a grandeur and an investment in craft exceedingly rare today. So, when Michael Chen, founder of Michael K Chen Architecture (MKCA), was commissioned to renovate a 4,000-square-foot apartment in the area, he had high expectations. Unfortunately, the rich historical detailing he expected to find had been marred by a 1980s renovation.
“It felt like a Sheetrock labyrinth,” said Chen, and his firm took it upon itself to make amends. MKCA devised a pinwheel circulation system that meanders about the apartment’s central elevator core, creating clarity where there had previously been confusion. A poured terrazzo floor with custom curving brass spacers lines the corridor spaces, acting as a clever bit of wayfinding. Though the terrazzo stops at the threshold of the rooms (most are carpeted), it continues into the kitchen, the true centerpiece of the home.
Read more on the Carnegie Hill apartment at aninteriormag.com.