Randy Polumbo lives to salvage. The founder of 3-D Laboratory Inc., a construction company that deals in high-end residential and commercial work, he has built jaw-dropping homes for Maya Lin, Rafael Viñoly, and Santiago Calatrava and, in February, completed Taschen’s Soho shop. You might expect his own space to be just as pristine, but Polumbo’s Peck Slip loft is resolutely humble—at first glance.
The building itself was developed as a commercial site in the late-eighteenth century. When he scouted it in 2002, it wasn’t for sale, but after presenting the Seaport Museum with photos of his restoration work in the neighborhood, the property was soon his. “I told them I’d make it the northern gatepost of our historic district,” he says.
He’s since created an art studio (he’s also a sculptor) on the third floor and carved out a two-bedroom apartment for himself and his 9-year-old daughter, Nico, on the top. The result, as evidenced by its living area, is a study in contradictions; the rough-hewn kitchen island (an eBay find) hides a state-of-the art Miele dishwasher and Gaggenau steam oven.
Nothing goes to waste. The kitchen sink and backsplash, for example, are made from a recovered oak library table. Polumbo fashioned a fireplace out of old lockers. His skill with power tools helps, but so does his facility with eBay. “Everything I buy is cheap,” he says, pointing to the island. “It’s the shipping that’s expensive.”