Full renovation of a 3,000-square-foot house on Madison Avenue in the Upper East Side.




Surgery Series

In residential projects, de-spec believes that architecture, interior design and decoration must reflect the client’s lifestyle. Following a radical functionalist approach, the Surgery series utilizes a strategy of personalization according to specific programs designated by the client, rather than stylistic biases on the part of the designer.

The name of the series refers to a practice employed by de-spec, in which incisions are made into the floor plan of a home to reconstruct the circulation and flow of space in a way most suited to the lifestyle of a particular user. The process entails a series of interviews and observations which provide a reading of the client’s values and needs. This reading translates into a design strategy which fundamentally sculpts the experience of lived space.

Surgery #8 (Madison Avenue Apartment):

The task for this project was to convert a classic pre-war apartment into a four-bedroom apartment, with an eat-in kitchen, dining room, living room, office and library. The surgery also included the reconstruction of walls to support the programmatic needs of the client, specifically having ample space to display a collection of contemporary art.

The layout of the residence was adjusted to create a flow from room to room. The artworks on display, selected by de-spec and the client, accentuated movement throughout the space. The simple furnishings and minimal furniture allowed the collection of artworks to animate the home and reflect the client’s vision.