Having been in the business for 25 years now, Workshop/APD runs with the clarity of perspective that only comes from decades of experience. The architecture and interiors firm founded by Andrew Kotchen and Matt Berman has a global portfolio featuring residences, hotels, social clubs, and now, a New York City showroom for the Workshop Collection, their furniture studio’s inaugural launch. The showroom takes cues from the firm’s approach to residential design: an appreciation for craft and materiality shines through in the form of artwork by Jonathan Prince and Michael Gaillard; studio signatures, like layering light fixtures to preserve a gentle glow no matter the hour, are executed brilliantly and nearly invisible to the untrained eye. It’s all in service to the real star of the show: the 16-piece Workshop Collection fit for the firm’s approach to crafting modern, inviting living spaces.
Here, we took a closer look at the project with associate principal Andrew Kline.
Creating a functional, modern jewel box that feels residential, elegant, and inviting.
What colors and materials are central to the visual identity?
A continuous wall of slatted reclaimed teak wraps around the entire space, creating continuity and concealing a door on either side to omit interruptions. This paneling allows for a streamlined look where nothing stands out that isn’t designed to. Harmony and uniformity is foundational to Workshop/APD. Throughout, fluted glass adds texture, softens the space’s appearance, and produces a tailored look when combined with the metal framing. The pine flooring was stripped down to its rawest form, sanded and whitewashed to reverse imperfections. Each board is one-of-a-kind, adding character to the room and speaking to the building’s pre-war history.
In addition to abundant natural light from the showroom’s high location, the team played with various illumination styles such as pin lights, pendants, and cove lighting, each serving its own express purpose. Pin lights are small, subtle, and flush with the ceiling, while the pendants are more decorative. The floating ceiling conceals the cove lights, which create a halo around the room’s perimeter that can be adjusted depending on mood. Even the conference room sits under a square of track lights with three adjustable fixtures on one side to spotlight the art on the wall, and bars that can slide from side to side. At the entrance, a Workshop/APD for Arteriors Glaze Sculptural Sconce is prominently featured above the reception desk.
To reinforce the residential feel, the firm dropped in a floating ceiling—a Workshop/APD signature—to conceal the industrial space’s functional elements. Working within a relatively intimate space, the team created a furniture layout with distinct living, dining and bedroom areas to showcase the 16-piece collection.
What stands out to you the most now that you’ve finished it?
The space is undeniably modern but has an approachable softness and serenity to it. The mix of materials, textiles and tones offers clients creative license, within a tightly curated, highly flexible offering.
What provided a welcome distraction on the job?
As part of the project, Workshop/APD also renovated a rooftop penthouse suite and spacious roof deck just a half flight of stairs away from the showroom. It has jaw-dropping Empire State Building views and has been painted with a soaring, swirling design of faces by muralist Chelsea Boatey to represent the firm’s extraordinary collaborative team. This space functions as a refuge to explore inspiration, enjoy rooftop cocktails, and play a game of pool on a custom Blatt Billiards table.
What’s your favorite detail?
A selection of artworks by some of Workshop/APD’s favorite creators adorn the showroom, reinforcing our dedication to artists, makers, and craftspeople. Works by renowned sculptor Jonathan Prince and photographer Michael Gaillard enhance the space. To maximize the showroom’s impact, Workshop/APD’s designers also incorporated an array of preferred design elements, including functional lighting, paint finishes, and window treatment options for private clients to see in situ.
Next project on the horizon?
Exceptional residences in New York City, Connecticut, The Hamptons, Nantucket, Palm Beach, Aspen, Yellowstone, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, The Bahamas, and more. We have upcoming hospitality projects in the Hudson Valley, The Hamptons, Banff, Canada, and Asheville. Also, future product collaborations with leading partners, and a second Workshop Collection offering in 2024.
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