Don’t Look Down: Penthouse PPDG by Hernandez Silva Arquitectos

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What started out as a penthouse apartment on the 15th floor of an old Mexican colonial-style building has become an expanded “loft” space with the elimination of walls and opening up new avenues for light, in this design by Hernandez Silva Arquitectos. As the architects explain, “The intention was to create a contemporary and respectful project; a major concern was how to increase and grow the façade with something contemporary without losing the romantic sense of the building.” Subtle, small additions were the key: a white contemporary ceiling was added, a neutral element that wouldn’t compete with the rest of the décor. Movable screens came next, in the middle of the master bedroom; you can then have two bedrooms, with bathrooms on both ends — an en-suite for each.

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Frameless glass windows in the “public” part of the home open completely, allowing the space devoted to living, dining, and kitchen areas to have a terrific view of a nearby park. Another delineation consists of two walls of different colors — one white, one red. White indicates stairwells and elevator; red partitions the kitchen and service areas and is left partial-height to deliberately preserve the continuous open space, and finishes are glossy to reflect as much natural light as possible. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of this place, however, is the clear glass floor in a powder room — covering an open space 15 levels high! If you’ve got acrophobia, be forewarned: you’ll want to avoid that powder room — but fortunately, there’s plenty more to see and enjoy in Penthouse PPDG.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).