In Plain Sight


New York has a wealth of stunning buildings, and the race to add more to the city’s iconic skyline is intense. Manhattan architect and design firm, Plainspace take Mike Sharpe on a tour of their latest projects

Plainspace Architecture and Design DPC was co-founded in 2001 in Manhattan NY by Angelica M Ruano and Marc J Albertin. Both co-founders trained as architects acquiring experience in high end residential and retail work prior to establishing their company.

Explains Angelica: “From the very start, we’ve always aimed to provide architectural, interior and design services with a high level of direct personal involvement and collaboration with clients. Every project is undertaken as a pursuit towards a simple and clear design solution appropriate for individual client’s aims and aspirations.

“Every project comes with its own unique set of challenges and decisions which we carefully navigate our clients through. Our work is an exploration of the boundaries between architecture, construction and interiors that accommodates clients’ needs in a personalised and collaborative way.”


417 Park Avenue

Completed: 2018

Total square feet: 1,200

This project encompassed the redesign and construction of an existing penthouse with a two-story duplex apartment on Park Avenue in Manhattan NY.

Says Angelica: “The challenge was to provide a master suite, home office, family leisure space and a guest bathroom, as well as redesigning the wrap around terrace to integrate and emphasise the connection between inside and outside space.

“The terrace, which is a space to treasure in Manhattan, was mostly unused space. Our design embraced the terrace space as a continuation of the interior by opening windows and doors to natural light and fresh air, raising the ceiling to open-up the space. Framing views to the terrace also became an important factor that emphasised the connection between indoors and out.”

476 Broadway Loft

Completed: 2017

Total square feet: 4,000

This commission entailed a top-to-toe renovation of a former commercial space into a brand new home for a family of four, comprising a three-bedroom three-bathroom loft space.

Explains Angelica: “Searching for a true loft experience, emphasising the large open-plan space was key. We incorporated simple yet rich materials which helped push the look beyond a traditional white box. Large, full-height travertine and granite stone slabs with minimal joints were used in all bathrooms as well as selectively throughout the property, harmonising beautifully with the white oak cabinetry and floors.”

One Madison Avenue

Completed: 2016

Total square feet: 4,000

Angelica says: “The goal for this project was to provide a pied-a-terre for a Massachusetts family, with the flexibility of providing workspace with a homely feel. The original layout kept hidden the best feature of the property, namely its stunning location with direct views of Madison Avenue.”

“The views were opened up to provide a serene oasis in the middle of the city. By removing rooms which blocked views, raising ceiling heights and opening up the interior space, we were able to maximise the city outlook and reference the surroundings.”

West 67th Street

Completed: 2015

Total square feet: 3,500

Located on the upper west side of Manhattan, this commission required a complete renovation of a live-in work apartment.

“The challenge was to fully remodel the existing premises to accommodate the needs of both work and home space, with a guest bedroom as well as room for meetings and entertaining,” says Angelica. “Maintaining the character of the original space while giving it a 21st Century makeover was key.”

Plainspace Architecture and Design DPC New York

Tel: + 1 1904 646 882 2933

Fax: +1 1904 646 882 2935


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