Architecture, Interior Design, Space

Upper West Side Residence

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Worrell Yeung


New York City




Brooke Holm

A beautifully renovated, prewar “Classic Six” apartment in NYC.

Located above the Natural History Museum in the Upper West Side, NYC, this prewar apartment had a traditional “Classic Six” floor layout. The clients, a young family with two children, tasked architecture and design firm Worrell Yeung with the renovation and redesign of the entire space. The studio modernized the apartment but also restored neglected historical details. Originally with six rooms, the home had darker and congested living spaces. The architects removed some walls in order to create an open apartment where different areas flow into one another. Now, the kitchen and dining area open to the living room which overlooks the museum below. The team also converted a former maid’s room at the rear into a third bedroom with an en-suite bath.

“The apartment was neglected, so we looked to revive the original spirit while restructuring the space and introducing a bright and minimal material palette,” says co-principal Jejon Yeung. The studio inserted custom, minimalist volumes throughout to open the interiors and to better guide circulation. In the entrance area, there’s a bespoke, wood-and-fabric screen wall that acts as a divider yet also reveals the light-filled dining-living zone beyond. Two prewar archways with contemporary dark wood lining emphasize different transitions. One, between the foyer and social space, and the other from the living room to the night wing.

A simple but noble material palette that creates refined interiors.

Throughout the dwelling, the team used light white oak floors with a herringbone pattern. “The apartment is light challenged, so the use of lighter oak helps brighten the space, while the darker oak of the thresholds highlights those transitional moments as contrasts,” says co-principal Max Worrell. Noble materials inspired by geological stratum give a refined accent to the living spaces. In the kitchen, the studio used Calacatta Turquoise Marble for the central island. The living room bar boasts Verde St. Lucia green marble lining while the fireplace has a modern marble hearth.

Apart from redesigning the bedrooms and bathrooms, the team also reconfigured their layouts to optimize efficiency. Furthermore, the master bedroom now maximizes access to treetop views. The studio kept a perfect balance between historical and new elements. This also applied to the choice of furnishings. For example, the dining area boasts a vintage Fabricius & Kastholm pendant, a Blu Dot table and Carl Hansen & Søn chairs. In the living room, the studio paired a Muuto sofa with classic Morten Gøttlerc chairs, a Hashira Floor Lamp from Menu, a Cuba Lounge Chair by Carl Hansen & Søn, and a Pacha Lounge Chair by Pierre Paulin for Gubi. Photographs © Brooke Holm.

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