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Publication Date: 2018-07-02

Behind the Design

Designer to the Rescue: Lilian H. Weinreich Architects

New York City-based Lilian H. Weinreich Architects redesigns an apartment on West 67th Street with feng shui in mind. The open layout creates for a positive flow of energy and also comes with flexibility, mainly including a spectacular feature of sleek sliding panels that separate the den into flex space.

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All before and after photos: Francis Dzikowski©

Feng shui dictated the selection, orientation and functional layout of this two-bedroom, three-full-bath apartment to harmonize with spiritual forces: the yin and yang and the flow of energies (chi) that have positive and negative effects. The 1,600-square-foot plan creates generous, open, and clutter-free spaces, as small, dark areas restrict the flow of positive energy.

The den area can be separated from the main living/dining areas into a flex bedroom with a series of three interlocked translucent sliding panels that span 26 feet. When not needed, the panels stack unobtrusively at the entry. To achieve ideal feng shui house proportions, the main living space is a well-proportioned rectangle within the square of the apartment’s overall footprint.

The clients wanted the existing open kitchen relocated and hidden from sight. In designing the spatial layout, geometries based on an eight-directional axis guided functional relationships within the apartment. A welcoming mask floats in a northeast-facing niche at the junction of the central axis of the apartment to protect the occupants from evil spirits.

A dry bar off the main living area acts as a wine bar and auxiliary servery space when entertaining. The lighting scheme enhances spatial qualities and helps define functions. At the transitions between ceiling heights, wall-mount soffit knife-edge coves with integrated LED strip lights become a visual highlight and define the large open rectangular living space. A hovering infinity corner plane defines the end point of the rectangle. Clean, minimal design and transcendental, elemental feng shui purity shape an interplay of light, form, and material for a functional, inspirational, and spiritually satisfying living space.

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