Bathed in the pastoral elegance of Westchester County, the North Salem Farm project from Worrell Yeung unearths an architectural symphony, where simplicity marries complexity, culminating in the sculptural Spa Shed.
Sculpting volumes from simple elements, the studio skillfully manifests a coherent, familial collection of structures, thoughtfully inserted into the rustic landscape of upstate New York. The arrangement comprises a central home, a garage-cum-photography studio, and the focal piece of this editorial, the Spa Shed, each piece a testament to the studio’s ongoing fascination with the primal form of the gabled American barn.
The Spa Shed, positioned to the east of the homestead and studio, subtly yet defiantly differentiates itself from its brethren in palette and design. The shed reads as a half-gabled form, paying homage to the archetypal barn silhouette, but it is within this divergence from the core architectural language that the shed reveals its identity. Co-principal Jejon Yeung imparts that the building collection was designed to mirror the complexity of a close-knit family, each unit relating to each other not in monotone uniformity, but rather in a multilayered interaction of materials, forms and aesthetics. A sophisticated game of hide and reveal is played with the building mass, sculpted and cut to shape portals and thresholds, intertwining elements of enclosure and openness.
As a spatial celebration of domestic wellness, the Spa Shed's program is clear – it houses a hot tub, sauna, and an outdoor shower. The intent, however, transcends mere function. The building frames intimate encounters with the sky and tree canopy, its form and choice of cladding, a weathered gray cypress rainscreen, tying it to the surroundings. Striking a deft balance between becoming a curiously intriguing object in the landscape and serving as a purposeful retreat for relaxation, the Spa Shed elevates the experience of the site, inside and out. In Worrell's words, the house is simple and complex, embodying a narrative that Worrell Yeung artfully continues to unfold in their work.