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Buried Treasure

2016 Platinum Design Award Winner: Residential interior over $100,000

September 01, 2016
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Photos: courtesy Adriano Hultmann

Remodeler: X-Act Contracting, New York, N.Y.

Architect: Jeffrey Simon, AIA, New York

In a nutshell: The client wanted to update this circa 1915 Manhattan loft while maintaining historical details wherever possible.

Tips & Tricks: This project was all about making the most of existing conditions, both aesthetically and from a construction perspective. 

Instead of simply trying to disguise the unattractive wooden structural columns throughout the residence, remodelers completely encased them in steel, creating a polished, yet industrial, look. 

A fireplace in the living room was at the top of the client’s wish list. This was accomplished with a high-Btu model and a flue pipe that’s installed horizontally and uses an exhaust fan. Crews tapped into an old, non-functioning chimney flue and a steel exhaust pipe was used to access the roof through the old chimney chase. This allowed a fireplace to be added in the middle of the residence without penetrating the roof membrane. 

The plan called for a flat dropped ceiling, but the existing ceiling was pitched. By framing the drywall to the bottom of the rafters, more room was created resulting in 18-foot ceilings. The added height allowed for construction of a second floor with a study, additional bedroom, bathroom, and laundry room. A steel balcony complements the industrial-styled support columns. Reinforcing the existing structure to accommodate the added weight took an enormous amount of steel.

See the full list of winning entries here.

About the Author

About the Author

Erika Taylor is the director of content for Professional Remodeler. Contact her at or 972.803.4014.

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