The Murphy Office
By Michael Ratliff, Associate Editor
Whether paying bills, chatting with relatives or working late to finish up tomorrow’s presentation, the reasons behind having a workplace at home are endless. The size and layout of that space becomes extremely important when your home happens to be a studio or one-bedroom apartment. Even the smallest desk can cramp living space when you are dealing with 700 square feet. But no one wants to stare at a stack of unfinished paperwork after work. The ideal home office is there when you need it, and gone when you don’t.
The William Beaver House in Manhattan’s Financial District has solved this problem with the “Murphy Office.” The desk station hidden behind a sliding door borrows its name from the fold-away beds popularized as a source of comic relief in cinema. But the building’s architects, Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown, took the mini office very seriously. There are two large sliding wood doors in the unit’s entryway. The first contains your standard closet; the second harbors a meticulously crafted amber teak office station. The desk and shelves transition seamlessly into the wall and floor. Grommets drilled into the desk keep that unsightly mass of wires in order. Just pull up a chair, and that’s it. The office is installed flush with the wall so there is still a feeling of open space.
William Beaver House
“You are not sitting in a closet. There is nothing claustrophobic about it,” says Edward Azria, manager of sales at Rose Associates Inc., the group that is handling leasing. He says that the “Murphy Office” has been well-received by renters for a number of reasons. “You have more space with these apartments because you don’t have to put in that extra piece of furniture. But when you close that closet door, you would never know that there was anything behind it. Even with the door open it is a very nice piece.”
The Murphy Office is just the icing on the cake for the impressive 320-unit condo that was completed just as the economy took a nose dive. Around 100 homes sold in 2008 and 2009 before the CIM Group bought the remaining 209 units from the Sapir Organization to rent out. With 700-square-foot studios starting at $3,250 a month, residents should expect (and will receive) great amenities.
The top floor of the building has a lounge with a sun terrace and kitchen. The fitness center on the third floor includes a lit outdoor basketball court, indoor lap pool, handball courts and a sauna. A nearby wet bar and screening room provides space for hosting events. There is even a landscaped dog run. Room finishes are condo-quality with modern hide-away kitchens and bathrooms that include both a full glass shower and separate roman bath. Louvered doors open the bathroom up to the spacious bedrooms that offer impressive views of the New York harbor.