The design team was asked to create a home with space to display an extensive collection of contemporary art for a long-time resident of Kansas City. Working within a completely demolished space situated in the top two floors of a historic residential high-rise, the existing space has an immovable central row of massive brick chimneys and concrete columns extending the length of the condominium.
Embracing this limitation, private living spaces at the lower floor are organized around a central spine of ebony stained, quarter-sawn oak casework which envelops the chimneys and columns and extends the full length of the floor. The spine is a beautiful but functional organizing element that serves the bedrooms, bathrooms, office and other living spaces and is carved away in areas to create strategically placed recesses for the display of art while eliminating the need for additional storage and utility space. Taking advantage of historic preservation requirements, the design articulates and simplifies traditional arched windows and balcony doors to flood the spaces with natural light from the north, south and east.
A sculpted staircase moves the eye upward from a light filled, lower level entry hall where visitors are invited to the second floor ‘public’ spaces including the kitchen, dining room, media room and outdoor roof terrace. A translucent wall of frosted glass panels allows diffused natural light to be shared between the stairwell and the upper level. Here, the ceilings rise to over 14 feet and the spine, piercing through from the floor below, contains additional cabinetry, around which the dining, kitchen, bar and media room spaces are organized. A custom chandelier made up of 56 suspended slender, black stainless steel cylinders creates soft points of light which are shielded from glare to produce calm, even illumination on the dining table.
The primary bedroom is a quiet place of refuge with a custom bed and nightstands, reading area, fireplace and balcony overlooking parks and residential neighborhoods to the south. In the primary bathroom, a book-matched marble clad wall divides the space and stands in contrast to understated, pale gray cabinetry and crisp white shower walls.
Natural light permeates the upper floor spaces from all directions where a new addition houses a state-of-the-art Italian kitchen system. Large sliding glass doors lead to an outdoor patio space providing access to fresh air and expansive views to the city beyond as well as space for alfresco dining and a trellis shaded seating area.
ARCHITECTURE: McHenry Shaffer Architecture
INTERIOR DESIGN: Lisa Schmitz Interior Design
LIGHTING DESIGN: Derek Porter Studio
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Gene Fritzel Construction
CABINETRY: Gillpatrick Woodworks
STONE AND TILE WORK: Carthage Stoneworks
KITCHEN: Valcucine Pohlenz System