One of the most stunningly beautiful residential lofts in North America has risen from the vestiges of a once-proud though long-abandoned downtown Durham building. Working with the 1920s-era structure’s impressive “bones” of steel and concrete, bricks and mortar, a stellar design team has created not only an extraordinary living space, but also a work of art. No expense has been spared during its metamorphosis from once-respected though long forsaken meeting place, to the world-class residence it is today.
The magic begins the moment one steps from the secure access elevator and is met by the penthouse’s dramatic double entry doors of wood, glass, and hydro-cut steel in a design inspired by a significant Paris home. An equally dramatic nearly 60-foot long central gallery hallway’s polished walnut floors and white walls both contrast and complement exposed construction elements.
A spectacular and expansive approximately 2,400 square-foot open space one might call “the Great Room” provides myriad opportunities for imaginative use. Its soaring 30-foot cathedral ceiling, with exposed steel trusses creating a vast overhead sculpture, provides a venue for the constant play of shadow and light.
The room is adorned on 3 sides by rows of large sash and clerestory windows. A substantial custom multi-pane glass and steel door opens to the wonderful private terrace. The floor of this incredible room is of highly polished cement accented by a grid of handsome walnut, and hosting embedded radiant heat pipes.
Arresting, yet seamlessly integrated within the Great Room, the designer gourmet kitchen will please even the most discerning chef or caterer. Top-of-the-line appliances are by Miele, and gorgeous cabinetry in both the kitchen and living room are by Premier Cabinets.
Across the gallery, private quarters await owners and guests. Zen-inspired, with their clean lines, warm woods and sleek though enchanting fixtures, the spaces seem to hum with the sound of serenity. The gleaming walnut floors of the central hallway extend into the guest room, guest bath and the primary suite’s walk-in closet.and vanity areas. Doors in the bedroom wing continue the dramatic hydro-cut steel motif found in the entry doors.
The glass tile in the guest bath is lovely, while the custom tile by Island Stone in the primary bath is exquisite. Crafted as an homage to bamboo, it forms a solid wall of the dual shower, and alternates with reclaimed walnut on the remaining walls. The spa tub is framed in walnut and bamboo tile.
The primary bedroom flows effortlessly into a secondary “Great Room” that can be closed off to create a spacious owner retreat. The area features a 20-foot ceiling and polished cement floors, with walnut inlay and radiant heating. From there, a striking staircase leads to the mezzanine. The staircase balustrade and extensive mezzanine railing are of the same hydro-cut steel seen throughout the residence. This approximately 1,500 square-foot space overlooks the main living area from two sides, and provides a venue for casual relaxation, contemplation, entertainment, and creativity. Its separate office hosts a prominent skylight.
The list of luxury features, details, and amenities is truly remarkable. In addition to those already specified within this missive, there are state-of-the-art Sonos sound and Lutron lighting systems, and the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems were recently installed.
Six geothermal wells under the courtyard provide considerable energy savings. There is a private 2-car garage plus additional outside parking. Plumbing for an additional bathroom has been roughed in on the mezzanine. And just in case the current space falls a bit short, there are plans available for development of the rooftop.
Of course, when it comes to dining, entertainment, cultural opportunities, schools, and services, all are “in the neighborhood” of this magnificent penthouse at 300 E. Main.