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Inspiring Spaces

fairweather enterprises

by Evan Hughes    

From luxury home design to high-end commercial development, the award-winning visionaries at workshop/apd are remaking the way New Yorkers think about design. 

NYC-based design firm workshop/apd made a splash in 2006 when it won the Sustainable Design Competition for New Orleans, sponsored by Brad Pitt and Global Green USA. The firm’s founders, Andrew Kotchen and Matthew Berman, not only helped bring affordable, sustainable living options to the Crescent City in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, but also caught the attention of all of us who care about contemporary architecture and design. Their crafted modern aesthetic continues to shape the way forward-thinking New Yorkers choose to live, and the team has been named one of the Top 15 Architects to Watch by Residential Architect and one of the Top 50 Architectural Designers by New York Spaces.

The firm continues to break exciting new aesthetic ground: Its latest venture into hospitality, L’Apicio Restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village, welcomes diners with a warm atmosphere; Casa Moderne is an eye-popping 10-story ground-up luxury residential condominium project on the High Line; and City Beach seeks to make a decidedly more literal splash—conceived by Blayne Ross and designed by workshop/apd, it is a floating beach barge with a Kickstarter program in place to bring the innovative project to the Hudson River. In addition to luxury residences and commercial developments, workshop/apd also brings a playfully crafted aesthetic to custom and signature products, such as The Birdhouse, designed as part of a fundraiser for Madoo Conservancy in Sagaponack.

With luxury residences representing a major portion of the company’s many projects, I asked Kotchen how they get started “collaborating” with apartment- and homeowners on a renovation. “We cultivate information from a visual process with each client, which ends up being very revealing not only for us, but also for our clients,” he says. “We try to understand both what they desire in a new space while also establishing what their needs are.” 

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