Upper East Side Post-War Apartment

Frederick Tang Architecture designed the Upper East Side Post-War Apartment by fusing an open-concept layout, art deco opulence, luxe materiality, and playful details.

  • area / size 3,400 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • Type Apartment,
  • Frederick Tang Architecture completed the gut renovation and combination of two units on the sixth floor of an Upper East Side post-war co-op building for a young family: a lawyer, a doctor, their design-driven 10-year-old daughter, and two dogs, Waffles and Chili.

    The elegant residence occupies the full length of the building with eight windows creating a stunning north-to-south view of Lexington Avenue. Inspired by a 70s open floor plan, the firm opted for a layout where rooms flow seamlessly into one another. Walls were removed to create a series of bays, defined by the building’s original structural columns. Rounded corners were added to each bay, smoothing the transition between rooms.

    Large pocket and custom steel/glass doors create a flexible, spacious environment. When open, the home reads as a long floor-through with light pouring into the shared space—perfect for a party. When closed, the study and the combined family room/kitchen can be separated from the other functioning zones: music room, sitting room, and formal dining room.

    Materials were luxe and prolific, their characteristics driving the overall design. Defining surfaces include a range of veined marbles and quartzites; ivory-toned Venetian plaster; warm white oak; opalescent tiles; and polished metals. Richly hued velvets in shades of ink—deep blues, purples, and blacks—also feature prominently.

    The home’s foyer sets the material palette for the apartment. A stunning black-and-white stone tile floor from Ann Sacks is set in a custom Art Deco geometric pattern with a basket weave of brass inlay, while a 70s travertine and brass console by Jean-Charles Moreux complements the floor’s rich luster and patterning.

    The foyer leads directly to the home’s common areas: the sitting room, kitchen and dining area, music room, and study. A wall-length fireplace hewn in deep brown quartzite with white and umber veining anchors the sitting room. Above, custom millwork painted in Benjamin Moore Espresso Bean blends fluidly with the hearth and conceals a television while maintaining the aesthetic of a grand wall. Dan Johnson Viscount chairs in a silvery blue-grey velvet with brass details frame the fireplace.

    In the adjoining formal dining room, a 70s JT Kalmar Austrian tiered chandelier with Venini smoked and clear glass becomes the focal point, and hovers above a Saarinen Nero Marquina table and suite of plush, sapphire-blue Saarinen chair with legs plated in 14k gold. A wet bar accents the room and is fitted with a tiny copper sink, built-in glass shelves, a rose-colored mirror, and a hidden wine fridge. This leads to a sitting area where hexagonal lounge chairs and an ottoman from the 70s were redesigned in two-tone Knoll velvet. In the adjacent breakfast room, Danish teak chairs from the 1960s are an informal match to a gold-plated Platner glass table, while kitchen counters are clad Cristallo Quartzite with glittery, opalescent depth.

    The home’s most unique room—a bathroom-meets-dog spa—caters to the client’s beloved pets Chili and Waffles. The space hosts a tall but shallow shower and sink area, perfect for pet bath time. Even here, the home’s Art Deco theme prevails: a basket weave mosaic with Carrera and Nero Marquina clads the floor, nodding to classic NYC pre-war co-op bathrooms.

    Design: Frederick Tang Architecture
    Design Team: Frederick Tang, Shirley Hsu, Alexis Coir, Amy Chang
    Interior Design: Barbara Reyes
    Contractor: ASA Building Maintenance, Inc.
    Photography: Gieves Anderson