Union Square Loft by Worrell Yeung and Colony

  • Union Square Loft by Worrell Yeung and Colony

    A historic loft overlooking New York’s Union Square starts its next chapter as a light-filled inner-city sanctuary.

    Brooklyn-based architecture studio Worrell Yeung have joined forces with cooperative gallery, design studio and strategy firm Colony to transform the interiors of a century-old loft in the heart of Manhattan. At 3000 square feet, the loft occupies the entire third floor of a landmark Renaissance Revival-style building overlooking one of the city’s most famous parks, Union Square. Owned by a successful concert violinist, the loft doubles as either a calming refuge or a lively space for gatherings and recitals.

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    Light pours into the kitchen and dining area through restored northwest facing windows. The dining table forms part of Colony x Workshop/APD’s Principals Collection, paired with Gubi Gent dining chairs and Astep Model 2065 pendants.

    Worrell Yeung explore the interplay between fundamental geometries, volumes and materials in their projects. Their latest, Union Square Loft, seeks to stage an open-loft experience where light and space are maximised. This was realised through a balanced approach to the architecture, preserving the building’s rich history while simultaneously lifting it into its contemporary. The home’s previous owners had done little to achieve the former, so this time around was much different. “Our strategy was to highlight the distinct nature of the loft – to express the original elements,” co-founder of Worrell Yeung Max Worrell says.

    Where there are familiar details, there are also unexpected details. Windows have been replaced by ones that bring only subtle changes to the exterior but noticeable changes to the interior. Importantly, this has increased indoor-outdoor connections, anchoring the home to its prime inner-city locale. Plaster columns and beams have also been kept in their original form but rehabilitated to align with the home’s new aesthetic. These two elements alone are enough to highlight, as Max says, the distinct nature of the loft.

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    A Mason & Hamlin grand piano symbolises the owner’s love of classical music. Also featured in the living space; the Poliform Bristol sofa, the Moroso Gentry sofa and custom Studio Arthur Casas coffee tables.

    Complementing the architectural narrative laid out in front of them, Colony have carefully introduced layers of texture, colour and comfort to the interiors. “Worrell Yeung designed an open, airy and ultimately monumental space, which we juxtaposed with furnishings and interiors that lend themselves to the smaller signatures of home,” founder and creative director of Colony Jean Lin says. An intuitive material palette helped execute this – a palette that softens and accentuates where it needs to, amounting to spaces that feel measured and refined.

    The strength of the Worrell Yeung-Colony collaboration comes from a mutual understanding of what each can offer the other. Union Square Loft is a testimony to this; “We have developed a cohesive design that is not a singular point of view but a collective that builds on each other’s ideas to create thoughtful solutions,” Max says.

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    The den is envisioned as both a home office and a recital area, with hidden sliding glass doors that close the space off acoustically. The Carl Hansen & Son CH24 Wishbone chair makes an appearance in the den.

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    The home’s entrance is framed by a custom metal bookcase that draws inspiration from New York’s gridded streets. Continuing this thread, wide-plank white oak floorboards run perpendicular to the street below, optimising spacial awareness.

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    The powder room’s curved door opens onto a freestanding white sink surrounded by sage-coloured biscuit tiles; keeping score with the cream-coloured biscuit tiles in the main bathroom.

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