The Founding Principals of Workshop/APD Welcome a New Monograph

A firm with more than 80 talented minds works closely together to craft a stunning collection of diverse homes featured in a new book
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Natural light floods the room in this stunning Hamptons residence. Workshop/APD Homes: Architecture, Interiors and the Spaces Between features 20 remarkable homes “tailored to the site, to its intended use, and to its unique inhabitants.” | Photo by Read McKendree

Back in the late 1990s, an enduring bond was formed between two classmates who met at architecture school. Andrew Kotchen and Matthew Berman, the founding principals of Workshop/APD, grew up in Connecticut and pledged the same fraternity at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. These similarities brought the two together and ultimately led to the creation of an award-winning multidisciplinary design and architecture firm that has produced hundreds of successful completed projects.

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An eccentric window captures a reflection of Shadow Mountain at this Aspen, Colorado, home. | Photo by Read McKendree

However, it’s the duo’s differences—or “small, significant space between the two”—that bring their inventive work to life. Kotchen often focuses on “what is,’’ while Berman asks the question “what if?” “We always say our diversity is our strength; we bring different perspectives to our projects and to the way we build and oversee the practice,” Berman explains.

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Authors Matthew Berman (right) and Andrew Kotchen (left) take a site-specific approach to crafting homes across North America and beyond. | Photo by Lesley Unruh

In the firm’s first monograph, Workshop/APD Homes: Architecture, Interiors and the Spaces Between, readers can take a journey through a superb collection of projects that explores homes diverse in scale, site and intention.

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An exquisite Apparatus chandelier draws the eye upward. Beneath the modern light fixture, a bronze and charred wood BDDW Wishbone dining table and a gray stone island with a movable component that can be pulled out are ready for family dining and entertaining.

One such project is the restoration and renovation of a landmark miner’s cabin located on the historic West End of Aspen. The goal was to update the 1880s modest abode into a modern ski getaway while keeping the historical structure intact. “We wanted to complement the original home, modernizing an addition so that it also felt contextually relevant to the structure and the site and fit within the neighborhood and landscape,” says Berman. “The result is a striking, slatted ipe wood mass that has weathered to a discreet dove gray.”

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The expansive living room in this Manhattan Upper East Side full-floor apartment features an eye-catching swooping, wavelike ceiling that helps articulate the two seating areas. A distinctive Herve van der Straeten pendant light hangs above a circular occasional table. | Photo by Donna Dotan

While the exterior of the home appears rooted in the landscape, the interior space is modern, light and bright. The layout features an unrestricted floor plan of inter-communicating rooms. An impressive art wall provides visual interest in the generous dining area, and the immaculate kitchen is outfitted with a monolithic gray marble island set on casters, poised to accommodate the rigors of family gatherings. “The island features a unique counter that slides out for casual dining, which is a really fun feature,” Berman explains.

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Unrestricted views of the surrounding terrain are visible throughout this impressive East Hampton home. | Photo by Donna Dotan

A unified natural palette sets the tone for the upstairs interior, featuring modern lighting and cozy, eclectic furnishings. Concrete plaster walls and white oak flooring add warmth to the space. “It feels very modern, but also inviting and engaging,” notes Berman.

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Individual lockers provide abundant storage for ski equipment in this mindfully curated Aspen mudroom. | Photo by Read McKendree

From a ski retreat in Aspen to a courtyard sanctuary in Nantucket, the firm looks forward to the future, establishing customized spaces across North America and beyond. Berman is grateful for the firm’s first book and enjoyed looking back at two decades of projects that are defined by a sense of purpose and place.

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Uniting two floors, a distinctive swirling staircase features a ribbon of self-supporting bent steel finished in wood and plaster. | Photo by Donna Dotan

“We feel like the process has given us so much perspective as we head into the future, and we’re looking forward to whatever is next,” he says. “We hope people will enjoy the book as much as we loved creating it.”

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Workshop/APD Homes: Architecture, Interiors, and the Spaces Between (Rizzoli) is available for purchase at ($55).

PHOTOGRAPHY Donna Dotan, Read McKendree, Lesley Unruh

Categories: Books