An Oasis In The Sky: Claus F. Rademacher, Architects

Claus F. Rademacher, Architects was founded by Claus F. Rademacher in 1985. The firm specializes in high-end residential renovations focusing on individualism and client needs to bring personalization to every project. Because of this approach, no two homes are ever the same. In the end, clients are left with spaces that uniquely embody who they are.

Claus F. Rademacher, Architects is a full-service architecture firm based in New York City. Rademacher and his team specialize in high-end residential projects including apartments, townhouses, lofts, and country homes. For the firm, the two most important aspects of a project are the client and space. The vetting process for every project begins with an in-depth survey that asks new to answer questions about their personalities, style, preferences, and goals. Ultimately, the firm’s mission behind every project is to create a space that is perfect for those who will be living in it. After the survey is complete, Rademacher personally conducts a site walkthrough and discusses the project with the client room by room. Mock-ups are then drawn, materials are selected, details are finalized, and the fun part begins.

One of the main principles that Claus F. Rademacher, Architects follows is that every space is unique. The designs and reconfigurations that are done in one project can’t be repeated on another. Upon browsing their impressive portfolio of projects, it’s clear that this team has a firm grasp on a number of architectural styles and eras and use that knowledge to enhance the individuality of every new project. At one point the firm focused only on renovations, but has since expanded to include interior design services, and custom furniture and cabinetry designs, and also offers a network of landscapers and suppliers who can all assist in adding the finishing touches for any project.


Their latest renovation is located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, only half a block away from the illustrious museum mile and its collection of cultural institutions that define the neighborhood and the city around it. Originally, the two-bedroom, two-bath unit had a very standard New York City apartment layout. This included outdated white cabinetry and appliances, long fluorescent lighting reminiscent of those found in offices, and a mix of flooring that ranged from marble to parquet wood to small 4×4 kitchen tiles. While the space initially appeared less than exciting, Rademacher noticed its wonderful bones– a living room that is open and spacious, sunlight flooding every room, ample closet space, an ensuite master bathroom, and a roomy terrace with two separate entrances.

Upon entering the newly renovated space, guests are welcomed into the open living area and kitchen. Previously, the kitchen was a dark and cramped room separate from the living area. The walls dividing both rooms were demolished and the entire kitchen and living space was opened up into one large floorplan. Rademacher and his team used this newfound expanse to install a custom wall providing cabinetry for more storage and to add a bit of separation between the kitchen and the entryway. The kitchen features a mosaic backsplash, new stainless steel appliances, a custom paneled refrigerator, and a kitchen island with bar seating. 

This layout created a kitchen-dining-living formation that gives the space a harmonious yet structured flow. In the center of the entire room is a see-through glass fireplace that can be admired from any vantage point of the apartment. The use of the cabinetry and fireplace gives the space a sense of organization and alignment without making it appear cluttered, dark, and divided. Lauren Fanizzi, in charge of interior design, selected neutral textiles in shades of pastel blue, navy blue, beige, grey, and white. These fabric and leather materials were woven onto custom furniture that evokes a relaxing ambiance while still retaining functionality. 

West of the living room is what is referred to as “the blue room,” or more officially known as the library. A custom wall-to-wall shelving unit with blue lacquered paint gives the room its name. The shelving extends onto an adjacent wall creating a desk with extra office storage. Lauren mentions that this vibrant pop of color adds excitement to what is mostly a calm, neutral space and complements the darker navy textiles found in the formal living room. The blue room mainly serves as a study, sitting area, and home office.

Directly across from the blue room is the crown jewel of this apartment, the outdoor terrace. Prior to the remodel, the owners never really used the terrace and wanted to seize this opportunity to give it a much-needed facelift. The landscaping was designed by Plant Specialists and includes the addition of thick hedges along the perimeter of the terrace to help offer some privacy along with florals to add pops of color and interesting blooms during the warmer months. All of the outdoor furniture was carefully selected by the designer and provided the clients with newfound options to dine, lounge, and entertain. The trellis above the outdoor dining area helps add shade and another layer of privacy.


Transitioning into the master bedroom, the first words that come to mind are minimal, effortless, and unfussy. A custom closet was built to accommodate the client’s storage needs. Previous white accordion closet doors were replaced with black french doors that feature exterior, full-body mirrors in order to reflect the landscaping on the terrace. This makes the room feel larger, adds brightness, and offers the illusion of being in instead of an Upper East Side apartment in the sky. 

A sandy beige bed frame with a matching set of chairs and area rug adds a touch of warmth to the room. The color of the textiles are complemented by both the natural light that enters through the windows and the accent of dark brown wooden floors and black closet doors. At the foot of the bed is a seating area with a small side table in between both chairs. This detail makes it possible to wake up and get ready for the day without having to shuffle through the entire apartment. What makes the master bedroom even more dreamy is the private entrance to the terrace. The room is so perfectly planned out that its occupants can spend at least half of a lazy Sunday never needing to leave the bedroom.

The master bath previously had a full tub and pink and grey marble walls along with gold filigree hardware that made the room feel small and loud. Rademacher and his team of architects worked their magic and the master now features black, white, and grey marble mosaic flooring, a marble shower pedestal, and abstract ceramic wall tiles. There are two bathrooms in this apartment. While the master was designed to evoke luxury and elegance, the design of the guest bathroom, which functions as the powder room as well, offers a more laid back, modern approach. A bold navy blue textured grasscloth vinyl wall covering was created by Phillip Jeffries and adds a gorgeous pop of color while the rest of the room is toned down with small geometric white and grey mosaic flooring. The shower walls are a beveled crisp white ceramic that complements the grid formation of the flooring, and the shower pedestal is also a grey and white marble.

Claus F. Rademacher, Architects managed to turn a drab 1950’s Upper East Side apartment into a modern oasis. They refreshed the entire space by opening up the apartment and allowing the abundance of light to bounce freely while retaining elements from mid-century and turn-of-the-century designs. The mix of marble, glass, and chrome hardware and architectural light fixtures offer sumptuous eye-catching details while the fireplace, custom cabinetry, bold colors, and large terrace give the apartment the shock factor it well deserves. It’s evident that Rademacher has found his niche– every single one of the projects in his portfolio sings its own melody. Through his ability to embolden the features that make every space unique while also keeping in mind the way each space will be utilized, Rademacher and his team are able to highlight the individuality of both the home and its owners.

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