Above and Beyond, Spring 2009

With a dark palette and sleek lines, the 3,000-square-foot duplex apartment is flawlessly detailed. Lighting is recessed and unobtrusive. Most fixtures are concealed. “We tried to hide all hardware to get a clean look,” Peng explains. “I like a minimal style, something that is quiet and reflective,” echoes the owner. “It’s a Japanese aesthetic—open space over clutter. The Western aesthetic is more about filling up spaces.”

One of Peng's most dramatic additions was a glass staircase that replaced the original stair. By attaching steps to a central spine and installing a glass banister, Peng created a strong architectural element. She clad the adjacent wall in Inca gray slate—a rough surface that makes a lovely foil for the sleek glass. Another stunning feature: a two-story bookcase for the owners' growing collection of art books. "We wanted to accentuate the verticality of the space," Peng says.