Frederick Tang Architecture's Design for an Upper West Side Apartment Combines Sophistication with Bold Color Accents and a Sense of Playfulness
Frederick Tang Architecture recently completed the gut renovation and combination of two residential condominium units on the Upper West Side, near Columbia University, for the Berger family: Brian Berger, CEO of the men's apparel company, Mack Weldon; Erin Berger; and their 3 young sons.
A primary goal of the redesign was to combine the two apartments, affording a separate wing for the children, which includes a media room, study area, bathroom, and laundry. “Brian and Erin have lived in a three-bedroom for some time, and with their sons getting older, they were itching for a little more space,” explains Frederick Tang, founder of the Brooklyn-based firm.
“Luckily, their adjacent neighbor was open to moving, and they struck a deal.” Other key additions which framed the design include entertaining areas for the couple’s friends and a home office for Erin.
Overarchingly, the design laces sophistication with bold color accents and a sense of playfulness, reflecting a hybrid of Brian’s and Erin’s individual sensibilities: he prefers tasteful simplicity, while she favors more bold and colorful vision. “Their home became the balance of both worlds,” says Barbara Reyes, the firm’s Director of Design. New furniture and material selections, along with a range of custom built-ins designed by the architects, reflect this synthesis.
Highlights include the main entry foyer, where two curving wall and ceiling planes finished in a warm grey Venetian plaster create an archway connecting the boys’ wing to the apartment’s other half. This expressive opening conceals the building structural and mechanical ductwork requirements.
In the living room, a large-scale Alex Prager photograph from the client's collection is the focal point, influencing the room’s palette, materials, and furniture. Facing this, a custom multi-purpose shelving cabinet allows for different types of entertaining: two ecru and soft gray millwork sliding panels and brass hardware reveals and conceals various items like the TV, family photos, and book collection. A blue sectional sofa by Moroso and subtly patterned rug by Aelfie x Studio Proba add color and texture to the room, while the connecting dining area features Beetle Chairs by Gubi covered in deep maroon velvet and vintage table by Willy Rizzo shipped from Belgium.
The master bedroom is defined by a custom headboard and nested in custom millwork in varying shades of cream, gold, and blush, and is accented with sconces by Apparatus, vanity lights by Sciolari, and a faceted brass mirror by Egg Collective. In the master bath, soft gray marble volumes characterize the space, and in the guest bathroom, which is also shared by the boys, details balance elegance and whimsy. The room’s defining element—a rain of tiles featuring graphic shapes which sprinkle down the walls and then concentrate onto the floor—appeal to all ages.