The Chelsea Pied-à-Terre Apartment is an East Coast home for a professional couple who permanently reside in Vancouver, British Columbia. Prior to the renovation, the post-war layout had a cramped enclosed kitchen isolated from the windowed living area. To address the client’s desire to have a robust working kitchen, the architects enlarged, opened, and reoriented the kitchen’s footprint to take advantage of the living room’s daylight. New pale oak herringbone and terrazzo large-format tile floors define the living and kitchen/bathroom areas respectively. Our clients also challenged our team to incorporate a landscape feature to help mitigate their reaction to downtown Manhattan’s concrete environment. After much consideration, they found inspiration from Vancouver's Stanley Park and reconsidered ‘landscape’ as a custom hand painted wall covering. Canopy beds like the Great Bed of Ware by Hans Vredeman de Vries traditionally used landscape references incorporated into their design. Using this example as a precedent, the custom wall covering is analogous to the canopy bed’s use of upholstery as a space defining ceiling canopy and headboard wall. For the design, a collaboration with a local wallpaper vendor, the goldleafed ceiling creates a luminous sky above the bed while the deep green field anchors the headboard wall. When privacy is not a concern, this room-sized architectural canopy bed becomes a visual focal point from the open living room. As needed, two large acid-etched glass doors close obscuring visual details while still allowing natural light to filter through the apartment’s different spaces.


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