An enigmatic white material wraps the central volume of the newly renovated Gerken Residence in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood, its folds blending smooth curves and sawtooth edges. The material is plaster, shaped by centuries-old tools typically used to create smooth, uniform extrusions. But, in a contemporary twist, the Brooklyn-based firm Young Projects used digital software to manipulate the tools’ movements, allowing for geometric complexity. As with much of the firm’s work, the outcome elevates a humble material to elegant new heights.
According to Bryan Young, who founded the firm in 2010, material investigations are central to the firm’s work—as are the unexpected effects that result. “For us, there is an allure to making in a manner that isn’t revealing of what the material is but is still completely engaged with how the material is formed,” he says.