Chelsea Loft by Worrell Yeung

  • Chelsea Loft by Worrell Yeung

    Step inside a Chelsea Loft by New York architecture studio Worrell Yeung in collaboration with curator Jean Lin, redesigned for art collectors and their young children.

    This Chelsea Loft always had art in its DNA. Before Worrell Yeung intervened, it was home to an artist and art handler for MoMa gallery and had not been updated in nearly 40 years. At just under 205 square metres, Worrell Yeung were asked to rework the historic 20th-century loft building for a couple and their children, while keeping its historic character intact. Collaborating with Jean Lin on the unique interior scheme, they’ve tailored the home to the owners’ textile and art collection and to its raw and rustic bones. 

    Worrell Yeung set their sights on creating a spacious shared living, dining and kitchen space. They worked hard to let light spill deep into the home by minimising partitions and having all-white perimeter walls while allocating private spaces to the north side of the apartment. Accentuating the home’s fluidity, large sliding walls allow for spaces to be opened up or closed off.

    The team were careful to preserve the historic elements; namely, the timber columns and beams, cast iron details and timber ceiling joists – left exposed.  Integrated custom storage takes the form of dark-stained ash wooden joinery, as though it’s part of the delectable furniture collection.

    At the centre of the apartment lies a hand-troweled raked plaster volume, encasing the bathrooms and utility spaces. “Inspired by bush-hammered concrete walls made famous by Paul Rudolph and others, we worked with a local artisan to develop a softer, textured surface that would create an interplay of shadow and light against the more refined, elemental pieces in the apartment,” Max Worrell, co-founder of Worrell Yeung says. 

    Crowning the living, dining and kitchen space is the Ceppo di Gre marble island. Co-founder of Worrell Yeung Jejon Yeung says the kitchen island anchors the loft, defining the space as a distinct object. “There was a strong desire to express the island’s ‘object-ness’ by keeping it very elemental in form, yet still arranging the stone planes to invite comfortable congregation with these square stone niches that embed into the wood floor,”Jejon says.

    This same material language finds its way into the master suite, and spectacularly into the powder room, with a smoky glass wall and Tinos green marble vanity under the historic column. By contrast, the children’s bathroom is a bold moment of colour with bright yellow tiles.

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    The kitchen space features a monolithic Ceppo di Gre marble island, custom timber cabinetry and Gaggenau appliances.

    The living space bears the same eclectic feeling of an artist’s NYC Loft. This is as a result of Worrell Yeung’s collaboration with Jean Lin of Colony, a New York-based design gallery and curatorial practice, who led the interior scheme. Jean Lin says because she wasn’t a traditional interior design studio, it was a highly collaborative experience, that begun early on in Worrell Yeung’s design process. Highly aligned on their approach, the interiors are brimming with earthen textures and worldly personality.

    Antique Moroccan rugs meet Peruvian textiles and design icons such as the Akari BB3-33S floor lamp by Isamu Noguchi, 637 Utrecht Armchair by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld for Cassina, 529 Rio Coffee Table by Charlotte Perriand and the Knoll Cesca dining chairs designed by Marcel Breuer. These objects and textiles are closely intertwined with the clients’ art collection that includes works by Paula Rego and William Kentridge. “The design and overall material experience of the home very much reflects the client’s playfulness and complements their eclectic art collection,” Max Worrell says.

    This Chelsea home is an ode to the quintessential, characterful New York artists’ loft, its historic features and the family within. Straddling the balance between open airiness and cosy privacy, Worrell Yeung and Jean Lin have designed a loft that puts people, place and purpose at the fore. 

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