Spacecutter Williamsburg Space Odyssey inspired apartment

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“I aimed to create something that was spatially rich with material integrity at an attainable price point,” Gil says of his new home. The architect used diverse materials throughout the townhouse, including Cor-ten siding on the outdoor deck.

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Gil’s wife handcrafted 6,000 blue scalloped tiles for the fourth-floor bathroom. 

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Architecture Eye Candy | Space Odyssey

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

By Amanda Koellner 
Photos by Michael Vahrenwald

Inspiration can come in strange forms. Architect Alex Gil of Spacecutter was struck by the abstract black block featured in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, which drove him to design the massive “Monolith” table that anchors the open dining area in his newly redesigned townhouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “In the movie, it’s this black abstract thing with incredible presence, and you just don’t know what it is. It appears [to be] floating in space,” says Gil. “For the Monolith Table, I wanted to consider the table and chairs as one eroded form that is likewise abstract. When the four chairs, two benches and two end booths are all tucked in you aren't sure what it is. It's a large, unknowable object that elicits a psychological reaction.”

Made of whitewashed red cedar, the 11-foot-long table looms large in the open, minimalist space, which was gutted along with the rest of the third floor and redesigned by Gil. The renovation also included a new fourth-floor addition, which features a living room and outdoor deck. Contrasting elements include the black bedroom, gray-stained, wax-finished oak floors, original brick fireplaces (which date back to the 1880s) and the blue bathroom, whose 6,000 tiles were handcrafted by Claudia DeSimio, Gil’s wife.

Through his creative use of materials, Gil provided some inspiration of his own. His friend, fashion designer Jonathan Cohen, was so taken with the rust progression on the Cor-ten deck that he photographed it and digitally printed it onto flowing silk dresses for his 2012 spring/summer collection. “I wouldn’t say it was a collaboration, as much as one creative discipline speaking to another,” Gil says. “I take a lot of inspiration from art, so I think it’s nice to see ideas translated from one discipline to another.”

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