The apartment occupies a top floor of a New York City, high-rise residential building located on the west side of Central Park, with beautiful views facing east over the park.
The idea for this project was born two or more decades ago when architect Yuuki Kitada visited the world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls, in Canaima, Venezuela. It was an impressive experience that he wanted to express architecturally. Kitada repeated the drama of Angel Falls in the construction and materials in this New York apartment.
The apartment is the result of two units combined, connected by a center corridor that they share. This layout presented the perfect opportunity to architecturally evoke flowing water in the entrance foyer.
At the same time that he was considering work on this apartment, Kitada had fortunately just discovered Vanilla Onyx stone slabs. Their exceptional color and grain evoked the flow of water. That stone is transfused with transparent soft color while also conveying dynamic strength. It proved to be the key to turning the idea into reality. Also, quite coincidentally, the owner wanted to have a water-like feature at the entrance to the apartment in feng shui style. Kitada was thus able to meet the owner’s request in design and style and with the right materials. In addition to using Vanilla Onyx to evoke the feeling of water, he used Venetian plaster in the hall—plain at the front but imitating the streaks and streams of rainfall toward the back—to emphasize an ambience of water flow. The overall effect invites people to enter that space like flying birds.
The circular rotunda was created with the curved Macassar wall/doors and the dome ceiling at the middle of the corridor. In five bathrooms out of six, varieties of stone slabs of white Onyx, Nero Dorato, Statuary White, Calacatta Gold, Honey Onyx, and Brazilian White were used. In the master bathroom the sliding mirrors maximize the view of Central Park for the owner while she relaxes in the bath.
Architect—Yuuki Kitada Architect
General contractor-Zale Contracting
Led lighting-SGF Associates
Venetian plaster-Asterisk Designs
Location—New York, New York
Size-300 sq m/3,200 sq ft
About Designer Yuuki Kitada
Yuuki Kitada began his career with the I. M. Pei company, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, where he worked on such major projects as the Miho Museum, Stanford University Science and Engineering Quad and US Air Force Memorial. He was Project Architect for Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) on the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) expansion. He was Senior Architect for Peter Marino for such prestigious retail clients as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Christian Dior and Fendi. With Peter Marino Architect he also did a number of Manhattan residential projects in the Central Park area.
Yuuki Kitada was born in Nara. He studied architecture at Meiji University in Tokyo and came to the United States for graduate school at the prestigious Illinois Institute of Technology. He brings a philosophy of deep respect for the beauty of Nature, natural materials and landscape, along with a subtle sense of irony and the unexpected, to his commercial, cultural, residential and retail architecture. To these elements he adds an innovative international spirit to achieve design and construction projects of contemporary power and beauty.