The Jewel Box

Designed by: Messana O'Rorke
For client: Not available Floor area: 40.00 M² Year of completion: 2019
Submitted for: Small Apartment of the Year

© Eric Laignel

View looking from the West window wall towards the brass bed container.

About the Project

The client brief was to design a pied-ŕ-terre that felt like a suite at a boutique hotel, and ample space to accommodate cooking and entertaining. Our goal was to create multiple spaces that fit efficiently into an organized structure, fabricating the illusion of a larger space while maximizing the physical and atmospheric. We found inspiration in everyday objects that are similarly simultaneously beautiful and efficient: jewelry boxes, steamer trunks and even RVs.
European fumed oak-faced storage was installed along the north and south walls. The northern storage unit, which is 15” deep, contains books, clothing, and a television. The southern storage unit contains the kitchen, closet and general storage. The living area functions as a lounge/entertainment space. The custom oak table along the window is conceived as the ‘front porch’ over looking the city and the amazing sunsets. The desk is both a working desk and a functioning dining table when reconfigured accommodating six chairs for a dinner party. White oak plank flooring was installed throughout creating a calm and cohesive space. The bed “container,” clad in un lacquered brass on the exterior and Italian cowhide on the interior, was inserted into the space creating an entry vestibule and a hallway. The base of the bed is raised, creating additional storage. The reimagined bathroom, is clad in slabs of Carrara marble.

What’s unique about it

Our world has been continuously expanding exponentially, economies, cultures, built environment, etc. and at the same time, the world has collapsed, time zones seem less important. Physical travel for meetings no longer necessary with the advent of Skype, etc. The built environment, specifically residential has spread from cities to the suburbs to the country and now retracting back to the dense urban fabric. Property values are increasing per square foot, space is at a premium. Space has been taken for granted, light, air, materials as well. Restrained, considered efficient space with dense multi functional program are developing out of necessity but also out of desire. Possessions are more meaningful when fewer of them. Habits, traditions and means are evolving. Possession are not as important as they once were with the invention of apps such as Uber for transportation, amazon for shopping, seamless for ordering food in, WeWork for an office, Rent The Runway for clothing, the list goes on. The need for large personal space is no longer a necessity, it is a luxury. The micro apartment is becoming more in demand and or necessary. Our response, The Jewel Box, successfully merges the efficiency of artifacts such as a recreational vehicle, boat, steamer trunks, etc,, with the luxury of a boutique hotel suite. Small is no longer inadequate. Small is the new BIG.

© Messana O'Rorke

The plan

© Eric Laignel

View looking from the East inside the bed container with one set of doors open.

© Eric Laignel

View looking from the East inside the bed container with doors closed.

© Eric Laignel

View looking at South wall with door open revealing the kitchen.

© Eric Laignel

View looking at South wall.

© Eric Laignel

View looking at living space with two sets of doors open on the bed container.

© Eric Laignel

View of the bathroom.

69 W 9Th Street Ph 2018 5 Copy
© Eric Laignel

View looking into the bathroom.

© Eric Laignel

View looking at brass bed container towards entrance to the apartment.

Location of project:
Messana O'Rorke

Zeolux Lighting

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