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‘‘The Worst I Had Ever Seen.’’

Was: A cramped two-bedroom suffering from decades of neglect.
Is: An immaculate— and suddenly spacious—one-bedroom loft.


Beneath the layers of dirt and grime was “an undiscovered jewel,” said architect Azin Valy. She gutted the apartment down to its brickwork and refashioned the newly wall-free space into an airy loft to be filled by the owner’s collection of Eames furniture.  


“I was a little shocked at how bad it was,” Glenn Lazzaro says of the first time he saw the 1,000-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment he eventually bought in the Amalgamated Dwellings building on Grand Street. “I had been in unrenovated apartments in the building before, but this was the worst I had ever seen. It looked like something out of a horror movie.” The previous inhabitant was also, allegedly, its original owner, having lived there since the building opened as a garment-workers’ co-op in the thirties. (It is thought she bought the apartment for $500 per room.) Needless to say, the decades that passed were not kind to the space. Still, Lazzaro, a TV and film director, felt confident his architect, Azin Valy, a principal at I-Beam Design, “could see through the mess and come up with a brilliant design.” Lazzaro wanted the space to be as open as possible for entertaining, as well as showcase his collection of Eames furniture, so Azin had the walls knocked down in each of the four rooms. Now it’s a pristine one-bedroom loft with maple-veneer plywood on the window seats (to match the furniture) and a sleek desktop and cabinet system along the wall—a horror movie no longer.


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