space of the week

Not a Cookie-Cutter Apartment

The renovation of a studio in a 1918 Tudor-style building involved gutting everything except its original fireplace.

The living room. Photo: Ceren Bingol
The living room. Photo: Ceren Bingol

Architect Ceren Bingol had lived in Chelsea for six years until, she says, “I fled once the unbearably loud 24/7 construction across the street at Hudson Yards started.” The odyssey of finding a new apartment involved looking at between 150 to 200 places for this modernist who opened her own office in 2016, after working for Rem Koolhaas’s firm, OMA, as the project architect on a new building for the Quebec National Museum of Fine Arts. When she spied the 1,000-square-foot studio with a 14-foot ceiling in a 1918 half-timbered, Tudor-style building on Central Park West, she knew she’d found home. And it had two major perks: the magnificent original fireplace and the proximity to Central Park, where Bingol, an avid cyclist and racer, flies through the bike paths.

Here, the original wood-burning fireplace. Photo: Ceren Bingol
Bingol got to work renovating the open floor plan, turning it into a two-bedroom apartment. The master bedroom is enclosed within the curved wall beside the fireplace, and the second bedroom is used as office space and a guest room. Here, the double-wood spiral art piece by the fireplace is by Austin LeRoy Swick. The two photographs on the wall to the right of the bedroom door are by Bingol. The lounge chair is by Hans J. Wegner for Carl Hansen & Søn. Photo: Ceren Bingol
Bingol’s bedroom is compact and serene. “I prefer to sleep in a minimal bedroom with no visual distractions,” the architect says. Photo: Ceren Bingol
The living room/kitchen area during the renovation. “The top-floor apartments like the one I have,” Bingol says, “are each different from one another and have their own unique character. They have pitched roofs in all different shapes and directions, ranging from 12 to 16 feet in height, monumental fireplaces that are also all different from one another, and different-sized windows.” Photo: Ceren Bingol
The living room has two seating areas, one on the left with a blue Eero Saarinen Womb chair and ottoman for Knoll and an Eames rocker (partially hidden). And another on the right with a white Eames lounge chair and ottoman and the lounge chair designed by Hans J. Wegner. The blue area rug is a paper yarn carpet by Ritva Puotila for Woodnotes, and the red patterned area rug is part of Bingol’s collection of antique rugs from Turkey and Peru. Photo: Ceren Bingol
For the kitchen, Bingol collaborated with the designers at Minimal USA, who had the millwork cabinetry fabricated in Italy. The marble countertops, island, and backsplash were manufactured and installed by Astoria Marble. The bar stools are from Cite, and the overhead lights are Castore Sospensione from Artemide. Photo: Ceren Bingol
The entrance area of the loft during the renovation, which would include creating a new bathroom, a second bedroom, and a hallway filled with closet space. Photo: Ceren Bingol
Storage abounds in the sleek new entrance and hallway that leads to the open living room and kitchen. Bingol has turned a decades-old studio into a modernist sanctuary, retaining the fantastic wood-burning fireplace fit for a manor house. Bingol says, “I was also ready to live in a neighborhood that is less happening, within close proximity to urban nature, and with less noise and air pollution.” Photo: Ceren Bingol
A 1918 Studio Transformed Into a Modernist Oasis