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Garage Envy: In East Hampton, A Place to Create Art—and Park a Vintage Car

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Garage Envy: In East Hampton, A Place to Create Art—and Park a Vintage Car

December 8, 2023

One of the few bright spots of the Covid lockdown era, at least from our very particular point of view, was the uptick in garage conversions. With so many stuck at home, often with a partner, sometimes with children as well, the lowly garage started to look a lot more appealing. It offered the dream of peace, quiet, physical distance and, for painter and creative director Patrick McDonough and his partner, Michael Burst, the proprietor of Hudson River Flowers in Manhattan, a place to create.

The problem: There was no garage on the couple’s property in the Springs section of East Hampton, NY—just their small ranch-style home surrounded by trees that, because of strict zoning rules, couldn’t be removed, and one super-long 1966 Chevy Impala Super Sport convertible. So they hired architecture firm Worrell Yeung to figure out the puzzle.

Max Worrell and Jejon Yeung were more than up for the challenge. Their solution: a 13½-by-30-foot building, nestled next to the main house and between towering trees, with a garage on the bottom and an art studio above that’s horizontally bisected by a wraparound strip of 4-foot-high glazing. “The feeling of being perched up in the trees with a 360-degree view makes the experience so expansive yet so private and intimate at the same time, as you are quite protected from the foliage of the surrounding trees,” say Yeung.

Below, a tour of the minimalist multi-purpose garage that’s just a stone’s throw from the house but feels far away.

Photography by Naho Kubota, courtesy of Worrell Yeung.

the new structure was shimmied into a tight space between the ranch style house 12
Above: The new structure was shimmied into a tight space between the ranch-style house and some trees. The ribbon of glass that wraps around the second-floor art studio gives the appearance of a floating roof.
at the top of the stairs, which are just behind the cabinets, is an antique cha 13
Above: At the top of the stairs, which are just behind the cabinets, is an antique chair passed down from McDonaugh’s grandmother. Hovering above is a recently refurbished David Weeks chandelier. The architects made sure to include a sink in the design so that McDonaugh can easily wash his paint brushes while working in the studio.
worrell yeung springs artist studio garage interior patrick mcdonough
Above: McDonaugh pictured with his paintings, books, and vintage Akari light.
worrell yeung worked with silman structural engineers to create structural supp 15
Above: Worrell Yeung worked with Silman Structural Engineers to create structural support that wouldn’t get in the way of the 360-degree views. Their solution: unobtrusive, small steel columns that matched the window mullions and steel rod cross bracing for lateral support.
the walls and floor are lined with birch plywood. 16
Above: The walls and floor are lined with birch plywood.
the foyer on the lower level is worrell&#8\2\17;s favorite part of the proj 17
Above: The foyer on the lower level is Worrell’s favorite part of the project: “The plywood stair as experience and transition that leads you from the ground floor up to the studio space is such an important moment. It signals a departure from the rituals of the home to a more quiet, subdued space meant for thinking, creating, and observing.”
a small powder room next to the stairs. 18
Above: A small powder room next to the stairs.
in the powder room, the plywood walls are stained in a semi sheer yves klein bl 19
Above: In the powder room, the plywood walls are stained in a semi-sheer Yves Klein blue-like color (a custom Benjamin Moore Arborcoat stain). “We were inspired by the stained Eames molded plywood lounge chair and drawn to how a shock of color could be bold but also celebrate and enhance the character of the plywood itself,” says Worrell.
the exterior&#8\2\17;s white pine boards were stained black to match the ex 20
Above: The exterior’s white pine boards were stained black to match the existing house. At left is the vintage convertible that kicked off the project.
when not used to store the couple&#8\2\17;s car, the lower level moonlights 21
Above: When not used to store the couple’s car, the lower level moonlights as an art gallery. Note the subtle shifts in the size of the exterior cladding—from 12-inch-wide on the ground level, to 4-inch on the second floor, to 1-inch near the roof.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the article about?

The article is about a garage that was converted into an artist's studio.

Who converted the garage into a studio?

Worrell Yeung, an architecture and design firm, converted the garage into a studio.

What is the location of the artist's studio?

The artist's studio is located in Springs, New York.

What features were added to the garage during the conversion?

During the conversion, skylights, large windows, and French doors were added to provide ample natural light. The garage was also insulated and equipped with a heating system for year-round use.

What kind of flooring was installed in the studio?

The studio features a concrete floor that was polished and sealed.

How is the space used by the artist?

The artist uses the converted garage studio as a workspace for painting and other creative endeavors.

What additional amenities were included in the studio?

Additional amenities in the studio include built-in shelving for storage, a sink for easy cleanup, and a loft area for relaxation or storage.

Can the studio be used for purposes other than an artist's workspace?

Yes, the flexible design of the studio allows it to be used for various purposes, such as a home office, a yoga or meditation space, or a creative workshop.

Are there any exterior changes made to the garage?

No specific details about exterior changes were mentioned in the article.

Is there any information about the size of the converted studio?

The article does not provide information about the size of the converted studio.

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