Q&A with Andrew Kotchen of Workshop/APD

NEW YORK SPACES | AUGUST 31, 2015

NYS: What are you working on now?

Andrew Kotchen of Workshop/APD: TheWorkshop/APD 2015 roster is our most diverse to date. We are currently working on several apartment renovations on the Upper West and East Side and a 45,000-square-foot residential tower and town houses in the West Village. Outside of New York City, our projects include summer homes in the Hamptons and Nantucket, penthouses in both Bal Harbour and South Beach Florida, multiple restaurants, and a 120,000-square-foot apartment building in Pittsburgh. 

NYS: How did the collaboration with Extell Development on 70 Charlton Street come about?

AK: The Workshop/APD and Extell collaboration on 70 Charlton Street started with a visit by Roy Kim, former Design Director at Extell, to the Printing House, a West Village development designed by Workshop/APD. Roy and I met again and had a great conversation about our vision for this part of the city, which happened to be very much in line. 70 Charlton Street was the opportunity for us to bring our shared goals to fruition.

NYS: Why is this development so important to the area?

AK: The expansion of residential pockets around the city is always important for invigorating less trodden areas: it creates "neighborhoods" which, with the help of rezoning, typically helps energize regions that do not see much foot traffic.

NYS: Do you foresee a rise in expectations since it is the first residential building to break ground following the 2013 Hudson Square Rezoning?

AK: The trend seems to be "do even better the next time". So yes—I would envision that as the area continues to be redeveloped, residents' expectations will also continue to grow.

NYS: What kind of changes would your firm like to implement to the area residents lifestyle with 70 Charlton Street?

AK: We would like to implement the concept of "crafted modern" living—an approach that we stitch into all of our projects. 70 Charlton Street will provide its residents with great in-house amenities including an indoor pool, an adjoining gym, as well as a unique garden courtyard nestled between the two towers.

NYS: What will 70 Charlton Street offer that is new to the area?

AK: Aside from being the first residential building to break ground following the 2013 Hudson Square rezoning, 70 Charlton Street is introducing a new lifestyle to the neighborhood. With modern amenities and contemporary living spaces crafted with Workshop/APD's sharp attention to detail, residents and guests will now have access to a way of living not previously available in the area.

NYS: How are you approaching the interior design?

AK: With all of our residential projects, we try to bring our "crafted modern" lens to each space. This integrated and holistic approach to design aims to create spaces that are warm, comfortable, and modern. This is specifically seen in the two residential lobbies which are connected with an undulating wall and finished with teak paneling, stones, patina-finished steel, and antique mirrors. The end result is a space that evokes comfort, allowing residents to experience it is an extension of their own home.

NYS: What design elements are you implementing into the interior design of the building that will match the feel of the building in the neighborhood?

AK: The focus on "material qualities" was paramount to implementing design elements that reflect the character of the exterior. With the use of aged woods, geometric patterns and patina-finished steel, we were able to create spaces that feel appropriate to the building in both the common areas and unit interiors.

NYS: Can you describe what the concept for the interior lobby is?

AK: The interior lobby was envisioned with a goal of "stitching" the two residential towers together with a continuous design. This was with an undulating wall that flows through both spaces and into the garden. The fluid progression is characterized by seamless transitions that unify the interior and exterior elements. 

NYS: How are you approaching the design of the Courtyard lounge? What would you like residents to use this space for?

AK: We approached the Courtyard lounge with the goal of creating a comfortable and luxurious refuge, akin to that of hotel lobby lounge. I imagine the space will be used for private events and daily gatherings by residents—to read, relax, and socialize.

NYS: Your firm is known for modern, crafted interiors. How are you bringing your own aesthetic to the interior design of 70 Charlton Street?

AK: Our crafted modern aesthetic is rooted in the belief that the process and details used to create the end result are just as valuable as the finished product. The material sourcing process includes an attention to the method and techniques used on each material, which requires in-person assessments. This gives us the ability to understand the complete level of craftsmanship for each item. By using this perspective to formulate our designs, we bring depth to the materials, textures and patterns implemented in the construction of 70 Charlton Street. Our signature touch is displayed in the patina-finished steel details of the model kitchens, the millwork reveals in the hallways and unit front doors, and the textural juxtaposition of stone and glass in the bathrooms. My hope is that we can further realize this vision with future residents of 70 Charlton Street through the Interior Design department side of our firm. 

NYS: What kind of amenities will 70 Charlton offer?

AK: Amenities at entry level include 24-hour doorman service, a resident's lounge, and a landscaped courtyard. Additional amenities include an outdoor sports court, a fully equipped private fitness center, an indoor salt-water swimming pool, and a children's playroom. 

NYS: Can you describe what features the various units will offer?

AK: The interior design at70 Charlton Street is characterized by large, open living spaces, "classic" windows, beautiful wood and steel finishes and well-appointed and detailed bathrooms. Select units also include private terraces. 

NYS: When can we move in?

AK: I will defer to Extell.