Scott and Mia had been living in Tribeca since 2002, but in 2010, with kids on the way, they needed more room. Scott had always loved the neighborhood’s iconic Gerken Building, a noble limestone-and-brick structure that once housed the New York National Exchange Bank, so they were excited when a duplex there came on the market. “At the time, it was more space — the apartment is 6,000 square feet — than we needed,” Scott says, “and it had been renovated in the mid-’80s: cut up into many small rooms and finished primarily in white tile and mirrors. The Jacuzzi tub behind the master bed was the coup de grâce. Very Miami Vice.” But the space was exceptional, and so they bought the apartment. “It was really important for us to create something new and something that had the quality of art as well as architecture,” Scott says. Their architect, Bryan Young, principal of Young Projects, researched plaster techniques that were once used to make crown moldings and came up with his own method of “pulled plaster” to create the dramatic, sculptural finish on the walls that surround the core of the apartment. Young and his team also plopped an open-air, 300-square-foot courtyard in the middle of the 14th floor by cutting through the roof. “It’s a real treat to sit in the kitchen with a cup of coffee listening to the rain fall in the courtyard,” Scott says. “And during the big storm this winter, we had our very own full-scale snow globe.”
*A version of this article appears in the April 4, 2016 issue of New York Magazine.
The Plaster Walls
Architect Bryan Young and his team devised a complex plastering method to cover the large core of the apartment. Behind these walls are a powder room, a second kitchen, a fire stair, and the mechanical room.
The Living Room
This five-piece stainless-steel screen, designed by Young Projects and fabricated by Kammetal, can be pulled across the length of the entire 14th floor to separate the living area from the dining room.
The Family Room
The apartment’s décor was done by Butter and Eggs, whose principal, Judy Dunne, chose this On the Rocks sofa from Edra, wool boulders from Ronel Jordaan, and the media unit and book tower from Design Within Reach. The carpet is from ABC Carpet & Home.
This “bridge” joins the living-dining-courtyard areas to the kitchen.
View From the Rooftop Garden
Future Green Studio did the planting for both the open-air courtyard and the rooftop garden space, which is reached via a spiral staircase.
The plaster wall wraps around the core of the apartment and into the kitchen, which has an island made of Calcutta Gold marble. The floors throughout the space are stained white oak.
A section of the roof was removed to create this open courtyard, which creates a green space in the middle of the apartment. The heated concrete lounge and love seat from Galanter & Jones mean that enjoying the outdoors is not limited to clement weather.
The stairs float off the plaster wall, allowing light to flow through.
The Light Fixture
A custom “Double Palindrome” chandelier from Rich Brilliant Willing, seen from the breakfast area of the kitchen.
The staircase with a built-in office space on the right (not seen).