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THE INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AUTHORITY

OCTOBER 2O16

CREATIVE LIVING! VISIONARY DESIGN DARING ARCHITECTURE FEARLESS DECORATING CUTTING-EDGE GARDENS

PLUS

JESSICA CHASTAIN AT HOME IN NEW YORK


Contents

10.2016

154

122 VALLEY GIRL Brussels gallerist Flore de Brantes brings her quirky taste to the elegant Val de Loire château that’s been in her family for more than two centuries. By Dana Thomas

138 THE HIGH LIFE An old water tower turned meditation room is the crowning glory of a sybaritic Manhattan triplex. By Dan Shaw Interiors by Gachot Studios

144 PET PROJECT The San Francisco house of collectors Norah and Norman Stone blends an A-list design pedigree with unforgettable modern artworks. By Vicky Lowry Interiors by Tiffany Vassilakis

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VOLUME 73 NUMBER 10

154 THE EARTH WHISPERER Kim Wilkie’s magical landscapes possess a satisfying sense of inevitability. By Ted Loos 158 BREAKING THE MOLD The edgy buildings of MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong, are energizing cityscapes from California to his native China. By Fred A. Bernstein

162 CLASSIC BEAUTY Actress Jessica Chastain opens the doors of her 19th-century Manhattan apartment—and she’s just the latest in a long line of stars to call the place home. By Derek Blasberg Interiors by Carrier and Co. Interiors (CONTINUED ON PAGE 20)

Cover: A room at Château du Fresne, Flore de Brantes’s French country house. “Valley Girl,” page 122. Photography by François Halard; styled by Carolina Irving.

KIM WILKIE

Features

The knot garden at England’s Great Fosters hotel.


Contents 39 A vessel by ceramist Chris Brock.

122 158

The lobby of MAD Architects’ Harbin Opera House.

144

Art collectors Norah and Norman Stone.

174 BLITHE SPIRIT For her director husband and their young family, decorator Brigette Romanek lightens up a historic (and some say haunted) Los Angeles hacienda, transforming brooding into buoyant. By Mayer Rus Interiors by Hancock Design

184 PARADISE REGAINED Landscape star Fernando Caruncho’s Madrid garden is thoughtfully revived after a rampaging fungus destroys it. By Mitchell Owens

Discoveries

39 ARTISAN: EARTH STUDIES Sometime garden designer Chris Brock heeds the call of clay, producing bold vessels that riff on Islamic silhouettes. By Mayer Rus 42 SHOPPING: STYLE WITH AN EDGE Finds as inventive as they are alluring. Produced by Parker Bowie Larson

48 WORLD OF: JOHN DERIAN The decoupage maestro (and newly minted author) revels in fake fruit, marbleized paper, and fantastic floral prints. By Hannah Martin 52 ARTISAN: FORGING BONDS Mother-daughter designers Osanna and Madina Visconti di Modrone are putting a fanciful spin on earrings, bowls, and more. By Hannah Martin

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56 EXPERT EYE: WATER WISE Garden guru Ruth Bancroft’s California plot is a primer on how to cultivate luxurious plantings in the age of climate change. By Jacqueline Terrebonne

Culture

71 RESTORATION: TURNING THE PAGE The New York Public Library’s glorious main rooms reopen after a two-year renovation. By Carey Maloney (CONTINUED ON PAGE 22)

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: PAUL FORTUNE; HUFTON + CROW/COURTESY OF MAD ARCHITECTS; DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN; FRANÇOIS HALARD

Antiques-and-art dealer Flore de Brantes’s ancestral Loire Valley house.


Contents

138

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74 ART SCENE: FULL ALERT Multimedia artist Doug Aitken preps for his first U.S. museum survey. By Janelle Zara 78 LEGACY: JEWEL IN THE CROWN Cartier’s North American flagship, a 1905 Manhattan palazzo, is restored and refreshed by architect Thierry Despont. By Mitchell Owens 80 DESIGN: LION’S SHARE The first monograph on French decorating powerhouse François Catroux has been 50 years in the making. By David Netto

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89 AD INNOVATORS Five game-changing design talents who are rocking our world. By Sam Cochran, Vicky Lowry, Hannah Martin, Mallery Roberts Morgan, and Stephen Wallis

118 ON THE MARKET: SEEING GREEN A trio of estates that are as eco-conscious as they are stunning. By Geoffrey Montes 192 LAST WORD: HIGH NOTE Marseille, France’s Cité Radieuse apartment tower by Le Corbusier gets some love from UNESCO and hosts a group of sensational rooftop murals by artist Felice Varini. By Sam Cochran

A Campana Brothers cabinet for BD Barcelona Design.

In Every Issue 26 CONTRIBUTORS 32 EDITOR’S LETTER By Amy Astley 34 FEEDBACK 190 SOURCES The designers, architects, and products featured this month.

SUBSCRIPTIONS For subscription information go to archdigest.com, call 800-365-8032, or email subscriptions@archdigest.com. Download AD’s digital edition at archdigest.com/app. To sign up for AD’s daily newsletter, go to archdigest.com/newsletter.

FROM TOP: NIKOLAS KOENIG; COURTESY OF BD BARCELONA DESIGN

A dreamy master bath in a Manhattan penthouse.


Contributors

“ DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN

The dynamic photographer shot a trio of features for this issue: the Romanek home, Jessica Chastain’s Manhattan apartment (“Classic Beauty,” page 162), and the art-filled San Francisco mansion of collectors Norah and Norman Stone (“Pet Project,” page 144). “It was a dream to work on,” he says of the latter story, “and the Stones were so much fun.” Friedman is launching a men’s underwear line this fall and has a book on beach properties, The Seaside House (Rizzoli), slated for release next March.

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My favorite moment was interviewing designer François Catroux’s wife, Betty. She told me he had been approached many times to do a book but finally agreed because he wanted to work with me. This was very flattering.” (“Lion’s Share,” page 80) D AV I D N E T T O INTERIOR DESIGNER

FROM TOP: DEWEY NICKS (MAKEUP BY PAULETTE MCWILLIAMS); DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN; JEFF VESPA/COURTESY OF DAVID NETTO

B R I G E T T E R O M A N E K & E S T E E S TA N L E Y

Romanek’s elegantly updated Hollywood house (“Blithe Spirit,” page 174) marks the debut project of Hancock Design, the Los Angeles interiors firm helmed by Romanek (above, left) and Stanley (right). Named after the city’s Hancock Park enclave, where the pair met four years ago and became fast friends, the partnership developed organically. “We had talked about teaming up for a while,” says Stanley, who is also a veteran celebrity stylist. “We’ve always loved each other’s style and vibe.” Adds Romanek, “We have different aesthetics, and we make each other better.” The duo is currently decorating several private residences and clubs, plus the Sherman Oaks iteration of the famed L.A. bistro Petit Trois.


THE INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AUTHORITY VOLUME 73 NUMBER 10 EDITOR IN CHIEF

Amy Astley executive editor

art director

managing editor

Shax Riegler

Ann Marie Mennillo

Laurie Sprague

design projects editor

decorative arts editor

Jacqueline Terrebonne

Mitchell Owens

editorial projects director

Vicky Lowry

digital director

Erica Duecy

Features west coast editor Mayer Rus features editor Sam Cochran interiors & garden editor Alison Levasseur senior design writer Hannah Martin associate editor Lacy Morris assistant editor Geoffrey Montes Market market director Parker Bowie Larson associate market editor Kathryn Given assistant editor, market Madeline O’Malley Art associate art director Neal Phiefer senior designer Danlly Domingo art assistant Megan Spengler art production director Karrie Cornell production manager Michele Tymann Photo photo director Michael Shome assistant editor, photo Gabrielle Pilotti Copy and Research deputy editor, copy Kate Hambrecht copy editor Alexa Lawrence research chief Andrew Gillings associate editors, research Susan Sedman,

Leslie Anne Wiggins archdigest.com deputy editor, digital Kristen Flanagan home editor, digital Jennifer Fernandez senior associate editor, digital design reporter associate editor, digital assistant editor, digital photo editor, digital associate director, digital intelligence associate product manager producer social media manager copy chief, digital research editor, digital editorial assistant, digital

Lindsey Mather Hadley Keller Nick MaďŹ Stefanie Waldek Melissa Maria Rachel LeSage Amy Liebster Laura Ratliff Lindsey DeSimone Kelly Borgeson Pearly Huang Melissa Minton

assistant to the editor in chief Noor Brara editorial coordinator Nick Traverse public relations director Erin Kaplan public relations consultant Mary Wible Vertin contributing interiors editor Anita Sarsidi contributing international projects editor Carlos Mota contributing style editors Carolina Irving,

Michael Reynolds contributing art & architecture editor Elizabeth Sverbeyeff Byron editor emeritus Paige Rense Noland artistic director

Anna Wintour

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Editor’s Letter

“Architecture really can change your life. I take that responsibility seriously. We have to realize what we have in our hands.”—Tatiana Bilbao Bilbao, the celebrated Mexican architect who moves with humanitarian ease from building bold dream houses to designing user-friendly, government-commissioned affordable housing, is at the forefront of what it means to be creatively relevant today. As we compiled talents for the October Innovators issue—brilliantly masterminded largely by editor Sam Cochran—certain themes continually arose, equally expressed by architects, landscape designers, and interior decorators: sustainability, geographic sensitivity, and a sincere respect for how people will experience the environment. Consider this quote from the California-based Surfacedesign about the National Parks Conservancy visitors’ center in San Francisco that the firm crafted from a parking lot: “None of the plantings are irrigated—they survive, as they should, in the climate. That’s one of the ways we are thinking about water conservation.” Architect Achim Menges tells AD that contemporary buildings tend to be either “efficient but boring” or “exciting but wasteful” and insists that “there is a possibility to reconcile both ambitions . . . [and] make a lasting cultural contribution.” As for the human element, Bilbao spent years interviewing the families who would live in her affordable homes, and she calls them the true designers and herself merely a “translator.” These are innovators with heart.

AMY ASTLEY Editor in Chief Instagram: @amytastley

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FROM TOP: KIM WILKIE; ADAM MØRK/COURTESY OF MAD ARCHITECTS; IWAN BAAN; JOE SCHILDHORN/BFA.COM

From top: Orpheus, an inverted-pyramid garden by landscape master Kim Wilkie in England. The sinuous curves of China’s Harbin Opera House by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects. Tatiana Bilbao created this Oaxaca, Mexico, beach house with artist Gabriel Orozco. At right, with designer Jason Wu at the AD Style party.


Feedback

Social Media INSTAGRAM Beyond gorgeous! @shaizoller Such a fun, light-filled space! @bicycle_fine_art My dream house. @8ayda8 I wouldn’t normally go for this style, but I think the subtle circle theme is pretty cool. @justatreeintheforest That spells “Party!” Lovely. @sarcazmo2000 Absolutely unique. And delightful! @artsysharkgallery

I recently received the August issue of Architectural Digest, and all I can say is “Wow.” From the wonderful Anderson Cooper cover story [“Paradise Found”] to the rest of the fabulous homes full of color, I’m thrilled. It’s so refreshing to see vibrant, exciting interiors after far too much generic minimalism. Here’s to more interesting design and decoration, and to AD’s continuing coverage of such. priscilla bowman Glendale, California I’ve been working in the architectural field for 50 years, many of them as a designer, and Anderson Cooper’s getaway is the first house I’ve seen that I would live in as is! It

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Superb. @online_vow

FACEBOOK I love it! robin boyd Nice. janies john This is so refreshing and so creative: Bravo on the article, and I am very happy to see this creative sensibility come to Hong Kong! meg maggio Fun! lola joie

displays amazing taste blended with a true sensitivity to its neighborhood. Bravo, Anderson and designer Wilbert Das! tom sigler Wilmington, Delaware

History Lesson Thank you for featuring the historic Mulberry Plantation [“American Beauty,” July]. I’m both pleased and saddened by the story. My hesitation is that it mentions only the estate’s “white” history. Without slave labor, the place would never have been built. When we hear today that “black lives matter,” it also means the black lives whose enslavement made Mulberry Plantation possible. jan pottker Coral Gables, Florida

A Mattia Bonetti–designed living room in Hong Kong (“Rebel with a Cause,” August).

FOLLOW Contact us via social media, email us at letters@archdigest.com, or write us at Letters, Architectural Digest, 1 World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007. Correspondence may be edited for length, clarity, and style and may be published or otherwise reused in any medium.

SIMON UPTON (2)

Colorful Cast

Incredible!!!!!! @naimachaiblozano6


Dıscoverıes

T H E B E ST I N S H O P P I N G, D E S I G N , A N D ST Y L E

EARTH STUDIES

PAUL FORTUNE

After leaving Los Angeles for the peace and quiet of Ojai, California designer Chris Brock finds his new calling in clay

A 16"-tall EtruscanDeco urn ($4,000) by landscape designer turned ceramist Chris Brock. His vessels debut on September 21 at the Rick Owens boutique in Los Angeles. A R C H D I G E S T.C O M

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1. Brock at his home studio in Ojai, California. 2. A selection of his wares (from top): a 26"-tall Egyptian-Deco urn ($4,500); a 20"-tall vase ($4,500) and a 14"-tall vase ($2,500), both Sung-Deco; and a 12"-tall Etruscan-Deco jardiniere ($3,500). 3. The vintage trailer the ceramist uses as his work space.

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P H OTO G R A P H Y B Y D E W E Y N I C K S

POTTERY: PAUL FORTUNE

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hree years ago Chris Brock and his husband, designer Paul Fortune, the West Coast arbiter elegantiarum, abandoned the Los Angeles rat race and resettled in Ojai, California—land of dream catchers, stunning valley vistas, and, more recently, movie stars like Anne Hathaway, Channing Tatum, and Emily Blunt. But despite the couple’s desire for a more serene existence, Brock soon decided that too much quiet can be, well, disquieting. “After we left Hollywood I was floundering,” the erstwhile landscape designer confesses. “I felt like I was one of Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Ladies Who Lunch.’ It’s tragic not having anything to do.” So Brock headed into town from the pair’s heavenly mountainside house and signed up for a ceramics class. It clicked. “Making ceramics is incredibly difficult and frustrating, but there were enough successes to make it rewarding,” he says. “There’s a huge satisfaction in doing something by hand.” Working in the coiling technique that potters have utilized for millennia, Brock persevered through many trials and errors to find his distinctive style. “I intended to make refined, Art Deco–inspired pieces, but they came out looking very worn and ancient,” he explains. “This rough, irregular quality made an intriguing contrast to that elegant 1930s aesthetic.” For his latest creations—which he executes in a converted ’40s aluminum trailer parked next to the couple’s 1967 sable-brown Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow—Brock looked to Shangri La, Doris Duke’s storied Hawaiian hideaway, introducing vaguely Islamic forms into his repertoire. The silhouettes (many of them two-handled) work beautifully with his signature glazes, which he produces by layering subtle colors over gray for a richly timeworn effect. Starting September 21, his vessels will be available at L.A.’s Rick Owens store, marking Brock’s debut as a ceramist. “I’m working on the right mix,” he says. “Even though the pots are meant to have irregularities, they take time. If I were shooting for perfection, I’d only make a piece a year.” brockpottery.com —MAYER RUS


D I S C OV E R I E S

SHOPPING





STYLE WITH AN EDGE The season’s most desirable finds are as inventive as they are alluring

PRODUCED BY PARKER BOWIE LAR S ON





In his witty Reflect collection, Richard Brendon couples lone antique saucers with mirrored bone china tea and espresso cups to create the illusion of perfect pairs. Prices start at $104 for an espresso-cupand-saucer set. richardbrendon.com, +44-20-8962-8924

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Seventeenth-century still lifes in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum are the basis for the photorealistic rugs Marcel Wanders has devised for Moooi. The 11'5"-diameter version shown here sells for $4,595. moooicarpets.com, 646-396-0455



Lacquered-beech rods burst from Pia Maria Raeder’s brass-top side table, a striking offering from the designer’s Sea Anemone collection. Measuring 24.75" w. x 23.5" d. x 19.25" h., it’s available at Galerie BSL for $6,500 as shown. galeriebsl.com, +33-1-4478-9414

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Emerald glass glows within the ash frame of the Campana Brothers’ Aquário cabinet, for BD Barcelona Design. The piece (also available in gray-stained pine with blue glass) measures 71.5" l. x 19" d. x 30" h.; $11,030. bdbarcelona.com, +34-9-3457-0052

CHINA: JOHN MANNO; MIRROR: COURTESY OF HERVÉ VAN DER STRAETEN; RUG: COURTESY OF MOOOI CARPETS; TABLE: COURTESY OF PIA MARIA RAEDER; CABINET: COURTESY OF BD BARCELONA DESIGN



Hervé Van der Straeten found inspiration in the folds of origami for his convex Yoko mirror, which is framed with swatches of cerulean anodized aluminum. The piece, from Ralph Pucci International, measures 66.5" w. x 70" h. x 8.5" d.; to the trade. ralphpucci.net, 212-633-0452


D I S C OV E R I E S

SHOPPING







Bulbs brighten each corner of Bec Brittain’s translucent mirrored-glass Maxhedron fixture, creating a mesmerizing constellation of light. The 24" w. x 10.5" d. x 12" h. piece, shown here in brushed brass, costs $13,000 from Roll & Hill. rollandhill.com, 718-387-6132



Brass shavings lend textural luster to the legs of Samuel Amoia’s whiteonyx-top cocktail table, available at DeLorenzo. Measuring 48" l. x 24" w. x 16" h., the table sells for $23,000. delorenzogallery.com, 212-249-7575

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De Gournay’s bas-relief Tree of Life pattern revisits the look of tooled-leather walls—which were all the rage in 17th-century Europe—in a tactile gilded paper; from $978 for a three-foot-wide panel. degournay.com, 212-564-9750

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Spanish designer Tomás Alonso formed crystal prisms into an 8.75"-diameter bowl for Atelier Swarovski Home that changes from red to teal depending on your vantage point; $3,250. atelierswarovskihome.com, 310-458-1160

A R C H D I G E S T.C O M

No outlet needed: The cordless Palm Firefly table lamp by Lladró, crafted entirely in porcelain, can illuminate even the most remote spots in the house. The 11.75"-h. light costs $290. lladro.com, 888-4483552 —HANNAH MARTIN

WALLPAPER AND PLATES: JOHN MANNO; PENDANT LIGHT: COURTESY OF ROLL & HILL; TABLE: PAULSTA WONG; BOWL: COURTESY OF ATELIER SWAROVSKI HOME; LAMP: COURTESY OF LLADRÓ

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Take Laboratorio Paravicini’s Play plates for a spin. When the hand-painted ceramic tableware is set in motion, its illustrations come to life—a bird soars in circles, a jester does toe touches, a horse leaps over hurdles. A set of four different dinner plates is $290 from Artemest. artemest.com


D I S C OV E R I E S WO R L D O F

John Derian in his Manhattan studio with the new John Derian Picture Book.

S

ometimes I feel like a chef at a farmers’ market,” says decoupage artist John Derian, amid the vast collection of antique etchings, engravings, and manuscripts in his studio on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. “What’s available is what I end up using,” he says of the prints, which he finds at estate sales and flea markets and fashions into his signature creations. For more than two decades Derian has sold his own plates, lamps, and other objets alongside a selection of artisan-made home goods at his eponymous shops in New York and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

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JOHN DERIAN

In his first book, the designer and shopkeeper extraordinaire shares the beloved antique prints that inspire his fanciful creations Now his favorite images—from delicate 18th- and 19thcentury botanical and animal studies to charming children’s drawings—have come out of their storage bins (Hermès boxes and vintage suitcases) and onto the pages of his first tome, John Derian Picture Book (Artisan, $75). “It’s like a self-portrait,” he says of the volume. “These images have been part of my life for so long, they’re like friends.” On the occasion of the book’s publication, we paid a visit to Derian’s studio to discover the pictures, patterns, and objects that color his imaginative world. —HANNAH MARTIN

P O R T R A I T B Y M AT T H E W W I L L I A M S


D I S C OV E R I E S W O R L D O F Antique playing cards have inspired a range of decoupage creations.

“The painting is perfect,” John Derian says of the lifelike Penkridge Ceramics fruits he stocks in his Manhattan shop.

A vase covered with 18th-century marbleized endpapers holds Livia Cetti’s sprightly paper dahlias. “I love fake things,” Derian says.

Derian’s decoupage-filled shop, in New York’s East Village.

“The together, says Derian of an exuberant floral he two gloxinias were a natural fit together” spread in his new book. “The left image is from an early-20th-century French magazine, and the right from a 19th-century Belgian horticultural journal.”

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A lively 18th-century German peacock print decorates a plate Derian designed for French ceramics brand Astier de Villatte.

CARDS, THROWS, AND BOOK: JOHN MANNO; VASE AND FLOWERS: ADDIE JUELL; FRUIT: COURTESY OF PENKRIDGE CERAMICS; INTERIOR: MATTHEW WILLIAMS; PLATE: COURTESY OF ASTIER DE VILLATTE

Jeanette Farrier’s vibrant throws, a Derian favorite, are made from vintage saris.


D I S C OV E R I E S A RT I SA N

Osanna (left) and Madina Visconti di Modrone at Fonderia d’Arte De Andreis, a Milan foundry where they craft their wares.

FORGING BONDS

Mother-daughter metalworking duo Osanna and Madina Visconti uphold family traditions in whimsical furnishings and jewelry

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reative energy courses through the Fonderia d’Arte De Andreis, a historic bronze foundry on the outskirts of Milan. Here, amid shelves stacked high with the molds and maquettes of the workshop’s many clients, designer Gabriella Crespi has cast her gleaming furniture and artist Francesco Messina once labored over his stoic busts. These days you can find the motherdaughter design duo Osanna and Madina Visconti di Modrone devising enchanting furnishings and jewelry. “My favorite moment is when a piece comes out of the oven,” says Osanna, who, even after spending a long day at the foundry, will happily return to work after dinner just to inspect a newly cast dining table or chair. “The result is always a surprise. Sometimes I just can’t wait until the next day.” Chasing creative thrills is something of a family pastime for the Viscontis, members of one of Italy’s most illustrious bloodlines. Growing up in Milan, Osanna would observe her mother handcrafting intricate mosaics and jewelry. “Madina did the same with me,” recalls Osanna, who launched her own line of earrings, cuffs, and other accessories in 1985, after interning with the Christie’s jewelry department in New York and apprenticing with a goldsmith in Rome. Says Madina, “I would sit behind her, holding the candle to melt the wax for her models. I remember sculpting little hearts, or my initial, which my mom cast for me in silver. I still wear one as a necklace on a leather string.” So it hardly came as a surprise when, three years ago, the younger Visconti expressed an interest in designing jewelry of her own. Finding inspiration in everything from the foliage at her family’s country estate in Grazzano

P O R T R A I T B Y S T E FA N O S C ATA

HAIR: BEPPE D’ELIA FOR BEAUTICK/BEAUTICK.COM; MAKEUP: M. P. SARAGNESE FOR BEAUTICK/BEAUTICK.COM; BOWL: FEDERICO VILLA

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A bronze bowl by Osanna.


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Visconti to the works of her favorite contemporary artists, Madina now produces alluring pieces such as floral gold-plated brass headbands and vibrant enamelcoated bronze earrings. Osanna, meanwhile, has turned her focus to furnishings, creating what she calls “jewelry for the home.” Leafy candlesticks and cabbage-shaped bowls have given way to larger pieces, such as dining tables and cabinets cast to playful effect. A humble rush-seat farm chair, for instance, has been reimagined entirely in metal. The bronze shade of a lamp replicates the perforated pattern of caning. And for Bottega Veneta, she recently re-created the brand’s signature intrecciato, or woven, motif on tables using her preferred lost-wax technique. “It’s the same bronzecasting process I use for jewelry, just on a bigger scale,” Osanna says. The pair’s collaborative spirit is on full display at OMV, their boutique, tucked on a cobblestone street a short walk from Milan’s Duomo. Long filled with Osanna’s signature moody mix of lustrous gilding and matte-black finishes, the shop now sports a few kicks of radiant color, thanks to Madina’s latest collection, whose vivid enamel shades include a cerulean noticeably similar to her brightly dyed tresses. Like any mother-daughter relationship, theirs is not without the occasional disagreement, of course. “She hated the idea at first,” Madina says of the rainbowhued collection. “But when I finished it, she fell completely in love.” osannavisconti.it —HANNAH MARTIN

“My favorite moment is when a piece comes out of the oven,” says Osanna Visconti. “The result is always a surprise.”

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1. Osanna’s bronze folding screen bears a molecular motif. 2. The bronze shade of the Paglia di Vienna floor lamp mimics caning. 3. Colorful enamels enliven a bronze ivy earring and goldplated Panzé ring by Madina. 4. Osanna modeled the textured surfaces of a bronze cabinet after aerial views of fields. 5. A trio of her cabbage-shaped bronze bowls.

FOLDING SCREEN: PIETRO SAVORELLI; LAMP AND BOWLS: COURTESY OF OMV BY OSANNA AND MADINA VISCONTI; JEWELRY: FEDERICO VILLA; CABINET: MATTIA IOTTI

D I S C OV E R I E S A RT I SA N


D I S C OV E R I E S E X P E RT E Y E

WATER WISE

Planted in 1972, Ruth Bancroft’s drought-resistant three-and-a-half-acre plot is full of lessons for today’s gardeners

TIP 1: SET THE SCENE

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ack in the 1970s, long before it was necessary for Californians to plant drought-resistant lawns, a freak freeze led Ruth Bancroft to make over her Walnut Creek garden in a style more suited to a Mediterranean climate. Her boundless curiosity, endless tinkering, and meticulous note-taking resulted in a landscape so compelling it became the founding project of the Garden Conservancy. The plot now serves as a mecca for those wanting to learn

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about the joys of sustainable cultivation (and a book about it, The Bold Dry Garden, by Johanna Silver, is out this month). “Ruth planted all kinds of things in the garden that people told her ‘Oh, no! You can’t grow that here,’ ” says Brian Kemble, the garden’s curator, who has worked with Bancroft since 1980. Now 108 years old, Bancroft continued at her craft well into her 90s. Here, Kemble shares Bancroft’s tips for creating beautiful landscapes no matter what zone you garden in. —JACQUELINE TERREBONNE

FROM TOP: COURTESY OF RUTH BANCROFT; MARION BRENNER/COURTESY OF TIMBER PRESS

“Ruth [above] would say that when you’re planning a bed, plant the biggest elements first to create structure,” says Brian Kemble, curator of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, in Walnut Creek, California. “Then add something of medium size, and put the smallest in last. At each stage be conscious of how the new things play off what’s already there. Do the colors contrast? Or do they complement one another? With each step it gets more complicated, because there are more things to consider, but it allows you to paint with plants.”


D I S C OV E R I E S E X P E RT E Y E

T I P 2 : MAKE A POINT “Bold architectural plants create incredible focal points,” Kemble notes. “This 20-plus-year-old agave is striking and powerful but also kind of floppy and whimsical—almost a contradiction in itself. But a garden composed entirely of plants like this would be too sterile. You need to soften it with plants that have a fine texture and little leaves.”

“We grow a lot of our plants from seed in the greenhouse, because when you get a plant that someone else has grown, it just is what it is. But when you grow a whole pod of plants from seed, you see the variations in them. Then when you’re choosing to plant in the garden, you can choose which one works best in a particular space.”

TIP 5: ROCK OUT

T I P 6 : GO FOR THE LAYERED LOOK

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“Succulents from the stonecrop family thrive in rock crevices, which provide critical drainage. To unify the garden, Ruth used the same kind of rocks to create both the mulch bed and the path. Another wonderful touch: As you build up with rocks, the bed rises, and the plants are then better displayed—as in an amphitheater.”

FROM TOP: MARION BRENNER/COURTESY OF TIMBER PRESS; COURTESY OF RUTH BANCROFT; MARION BRENNER/COURTESY OF TIMBER PRESS (3)

“Of course you can look up any of this information online or in a book, but when Ruth was learning about which plants were best for her garden, she created careful sketches of them,” Kemble says. “She found if she looked at a plant closely and drew it, she would really remember it. She also wrote down every plant she purchased and details about its life in her garden.”

T I P 4 : START AT THE VERY BEGINNING

“Aeonium, a rosette succulent, has leaves that look like flower petals. Ruth loved that quality and grew lots of plants in this form,” Kemble says. “She liked to use foliage as well as flowers to create pools of color. Also think about how different shades of green can work together.”

T I P 3 : DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS


Culture

W H E R E T O G O, W H O T O K N O W, W H AT T O S E E

TURNING THE PAGE

Two years after a sudden crash rattled the New York Public Library, its iconic Rose Main Reading Room and Bill Blass Public Catalog Room ready for their grand reopening

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C U LT U R E R E STO R AT I O N surrounding framework is a riot of carving, gilding, and classical plasterwork. Satyrs leer, cherubs wield quill pens, and winged bare-breasted women (definitely not angels) fly, arms outstretched. Restoring the Rose Main Reading Room has meant installing 40-foot-high scaffolding the entire length of the interior. With the help of WJE Engineers & Architects, all 102 ceiling rosettes have been carefully tested, first with a gentle tap, then a firmer tug, and eventually a 300-plus–pound weight. Each wreath is now reinforced by a stainless-steel aircraft cable. And every surface has been inspected and refreshed. An upward view of the painting installed in the Bill Blass Public Catalog Room.

The library’s Bill Blass Public Catalog Room, which underwent its own restoration.

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h, to have been a fly on the wall of the Rose Main Reading Room at Manhattan’s New York Public Library (NYPL) early on May 28, 2014. At two in the morning, one of the ceiling’s gilded-plaster rosettes suddenly fell to the floor, 50 feet below, shattering to pieces. On account of that errant 16-pound wreath, ironically a symbol of strength, the space was immediately closed off for repairs. This October, after an extensive restoration, the room is

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reopening—along with the revamped Bill Blass Public Catalog Room. As an NYPL trustee, I may be biased, but I believe our library is the greatest of its kind—free, open to all, and with its main branch set inside a stunning 1911 Beaux Arts landmark designed by Carrère & Hastings. Widely considered to be that building’s masterpiece, the Rose Main Reading Room spans 297 feet, or nearly the length of a football field, its ceiling a column-free expanse divided into three sections—each one enlivened by a mural of ethereal sky. The

While the space was closed, the NYPL also took the opportunity to update the adjacent Bill Blass Public Catalog Room. It now boasts a ceiling mural inspired by the three in the Rose Main Reading Room, opening the interior to a trompe l’oeil Parnassian sky. Come visit. Walk up the Fifth Avenue steps, past library lions Patience and Fortitude, through marble-lined Astor Hall, up the grand stairs, and into these spectacular spaces. Be inspired. And, of course, support your local library. nypl.org —CAREY MALONEY

PAINTER: JONATHAN BLANC/COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

A decorative painter from the New York firm EverGreene Architectural Arts works on the space’s new ceiling mural, which was based on the Rose Main Reading Room’s originals by James Wall Finn.


C U LT U R E A RT S C E N E

FULL ALERT

For his first North American museum survey, the peripatetic multimedia artist Doug Aitken maps a maze of sights and sounds

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t the Los Angeles studio of artist Doug Aitken, daylight floods through sliding window walls, surfaces meet at tidy right angles, and sea breezes subdue the arid heat. The midcentury-style structure feels quintessentially Californian—as does Aitken himself, who was born just down the coast, in Redondo Beach. Answering the door barefoot, the blue-eyed, six-foot-one artist looks very much the lifelong surfer that he is. However palpable the studio’s sense of place, the art Aitken produces there cuts loose any ties to a single locale. Now 48, Aitken has spent the past two decades as an intrepid global explorer, taking his multimedia practice to France, Namibia, India, and beyond.

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That boundless curiosity has produced a difficult-to-define body of work, one that encompasses everything from landscape photography to sculpture to film installations, the latter sometimes on a monumental scale. In 2012 he bathed the circular building of Washington, D.C.’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in kaleidoscopic video imagery. The following year he chartered a train to travel across the U.S., filling it with a rotating cast of creative collaborators (Ed Ruscha, Liz Glynn, Patti Smith) whose performances and interviews he compiled into a feature-length documentary. Covered in LED panels, the train itself was a moving light sculpture. “Doug is always in motion,” says Philippe Vergne, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

(MOCA) and the curator of its new exhibition “Doug Aitken: Electric Earth” (the artist’s first survey in North America and his most comprehensive to date). On view from September 10 to January 15, the show transforms MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary outpost into a labyrinth of screens and sculptures, what Vergne calls a “moving-image-sound machine.” Visitors are immersed in multiple pieces at once: Backlit photographs depict vast expanses of sky; text-based wall sculptures dislocate words like more and now from any context; and multiscreen video installations present mesmerizing images of remote lands. “I was interested in making a space where the viewer could get lost,” Aitken says. “You go left. You go right. You lose your sense of time.” Like so much of his work, the survey is driven by a meandering exploration of moods, with overlapping sounds and visuals that seem to intersect Above: Artist Doug Aitken at his Los Angeles house, which he designed himself. Aitken is represented in the U.S. by Regen Projects (regenprojects.com) and 303 Gallery (303gallery.com).

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studio. Hypersensitive microphones embedded into the foundation relay the earth’s 2 reverberations to speakers placed throughout the house. Stairs—lined in mirrored glass—play ascending musical notes as you climb them. “It was a journey into making ideas you can live with, ones you can better understand over a period of time,” Aitken notes. These days the artist is working with neurologists to devise a piece that studies the brain, all the while teaming up with oceanographers on an underwater installation. It would appear there is nowhere Aitken won’t take his art. “You meet people, you learn things,” he says. “We’re fortunate to live in a revolutionary moment where ideas move freely.” —JANELLE ZARA

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1. 100 YRS (neon), 2014. 2. Botanical stenciling enlivens Aitken’s home. 3. What We Did Was Stand Around and Wait for Something to Happen, a 2011 light-box sculpture. 4. An upstate New York residence is a canvas for the video projection Lighthouse, 2012. FROM TOP: NOAH WEBB; JOSHUA WHITE/COURTESY OF 303 GALLERY, NEW YORK; COURTESY OF THE ARTIST; JASON SCHMIDT

and circle back. In one area, drops of water fall from the ceiling into an excavated pit, creating a carefully composed pitterpatter. Elsewhere, the exhibition’s titular film depicts a lone protagonist wandering through L.A.’s urban sprawl, pushed and pulled by various stimuli. Taken as a whole, the show is very much in line with the type of art Aitken has always wanted to make. “In 1997 I was frustrated with the idea of cinema, the singularity of it,” he says, recalling the inspiration for his seminal film project Diamond Sea, in which ambient, abstracted images of Africa’s Namib Desert play on multiple screens at once. “I wanted to create something you could move through in a nonlinear way and inhabit as a concept.” There is perhaps no more literal expression of that ambition than the L.A. home he designed for himself in 2012, within walking distance of his


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Under the careful ministrations of Thierry Despont, Cartier’s North American flagship sparkles anew

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1. The New York Cartier store in 1917. 2. Thierry Despont’s renovation. 3. A vintage photo of the mansion. 4. Cartier’s “tutti frutti” watch. 5. Fabrics used in the refurbishment. 6. Pearl necklaces inspired by the one worn by Maisie Plant (right).

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he only constant in Manhattan real estate is change. As a case in point, consider 653 Fifth Avenue, which has undergone numerous architectural tinkerings since 1917, when silverfox yachtsman Morton F. Plant sold his Renaissance-style palazzo to Cartier for a token $100—plus a pearl necklace, worth $1 million (about $22 million today), coveted by the commodore’s much younger bride, Maisie. “The building was a bit of a mess by the time I came in,” says architect Thierry Despont, the latest tastemaker to take on Cartier’s North American flagship, which is reopening after a 30-month renovation. “This is one of the last great Fifth Avenue mansions, so it was important that it feel like a house again.” An aristocratic staircase now swirls up from the entrance hall, and a magnificent east-west enfilade slices across the ground floor with Sun King swagger. With the sanction of landmark officials, Despont corrected the off-center Fifth Avenue entrance and regularized uneven floor levels. Presiding over all is a portrait of Mrs. Plant draped in those gum-ball-size pearls. But that buxom beauty is just one character in the store’s narrative. “The antiques have been chosen for their meaning,” says Pierre Rainero, Cartier’s director of image, style, and heritage, noting that the flagship’s Louis XV furnishings are the kind preferred by long-ago artistic director Jeanne Toussaint. Mix in impressively paneled salesrooms and salons named for clients Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Grace of Monaco, and you’ve got an urban palace that feels like a residence once more. cartier.us —MITCHELL OWENS

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: JOHN MANNO; COURTESY OF CARTIER (2); EDMUND VINCENT GILLON/COURTESY OF THE MUSEUM OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK; COURTESY OF CARTIER; RICKY ZEHAVI/COURTESY OF CARTIER; COURTESY OF CARTIER

JEWEL IN THE CROWN

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DESIGN A view of the boxwood garden at François Catroux’s estate in Provence.

The French designer at home in the country.

As François Catroux’s first monograph hits shelves this month, David Netto, the book’s author, reflects on his mission to illuminate the French design master’s great untold story

An 18th-century Parisian hôtel particulier decorated by Catroux. Above: The Rizzoli monograph, with principal photography by François Halard.

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BOOK: JOHN MANNO; FRANÇOIS HALARD (3)

LION’S SHARE

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ow many times, for a writer, does fortune smile and drop a great story in your lap? The answer, at least in my case, is not very often. Great stories don’t just drop. They have to be shaken loose from their hiding places—or, what is sometimes even more difficult, recognized when hiding in plain sight. For the past four years I have been working on a book, which Rizzoli is publishing this month, about the French decorator François Catroux. This may sound like a straightforward proposition, but th d off th the seeds the project were planted in 1987, when I was 17 years old. That’s when I walked into Diane von Furstenberg’s Catroux-decorated Paris apartment, on the rue de Seine, as a guest of her daughter, Tatiana. I was transfixed. Twenty-three years later, when I spotted Catroux at a Hollywood party, I dashed across the room to introduce myself and ask if I could write about his work. With genuine friendliness, he said, “Come to Paris and we’ll talk!” I did go, and the article I wrote—about his Paris apartment and his country home in Provence—was published in December 2011. Subsequently, an editor at Rizzoli inquired about whether M. Catroux would ever be interested in doing a book. It took him nearly two years to say yes. A word about who François Catroux is and why he is important, especially to the


DESIGN

young designers today who may think that grooviness begins and ends with David Hicks and Pierre Paulin (or to those interested in the formality and historicism of Emilio Terry and Henri Samuel): Catroux is the missing link between the old and the new. He began his career in 1967 with a futuristic complex for fashion designer Mila Schön in Milan. During the following decades he has been consistent in his innovations— and distinctly inconsistent in the styles in which they have been expressed. Without formal training, Catroux began as a modernist, but by the late ’70s he emerged as one of the most graceful proponents of that era’s revival of tradition. Lately he has returned to designing in a modern vein, notably collaborating with Diller Scofidio + Renfro on David Geffen’s sleek New York apartment. Like his late friend Yves Saint Laurent, Catroux has both reflected and shaped his times. Although his work has been well chronicled in magazines, the diversity and brilliance of his oeuvre had never been fully appraised. I needed to do that.

Above: A 2012 Los Angeles living room by Catroux. Left: Betty and François Catroux in 1970.

But as with all great stories, there are secrets, and most of these may never be told—not in my book (which is about a body of work and its position in design history) or in any book, except perhaps one by Catroux’s wife, Betty, should she ever choose to write it. There are also regrets, on my part, that several of Catroux’s best midcareer projects for the Patiño and Rothschild families were not included in our monograph. This was François’s decision, which I had to accept, because he was adamant from the beginning that he have final cut. The last phase of the project involved several afternoons spent sequestered in Catroux’s room at the Beverly Hills Hotel, going over the captions. At the end I wanted to say, “Thank you for trusting me to share the story of your stupendous career,” but a phone rang, and the usual polite good-byes came out instead. Of course, when he reads this he will know just how grateful I am, and when the book comes out, the rest of the world will know as well. —DAVID NETTO Left: A colorful Parisian guest room designed by Catroux in 2004.

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FROM TOP: FRANÇOIS HALARD; HORST P. HORST/CONDÉ NAST ARCHIVE; FRANÇOIS HALARD

C U LT U R E


THE 2016 AD INNOVATORS

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DESIGN TALENTS WHO ARE DARING TO DREAM BIG AND REIMAGINE THE WAY WE LIVE

Architect Achim Menges’s Elytra Filament Pavilion in London, an experimental carbon- and glass-fiber structure.

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I N NOVATORS

Achim Menges in his office in Stuttgart, Germany.

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ACHIM MENGES Calling upon robots and cuttingedge materials, the experimental German architect is showing the world a whole new way to build

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ccording to German architect Achim Menges, it’s time to rethink how we build. “Over the past decade the materials and processes at our disposal have developed dramatically,” notes the Stuttgart-based talent, lamenting that contemporary architecture tends to be either “efficient but boring” or “exciting but wasteful.” As he insists, “there is a possibility to reconcile both ambitions.” One radical approach can now be found in the courtyard of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), where Menges has installed a futuristic structure dubbed the Elytra Filament

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Pavilion. Spanning more than 2,000 square feet, it weighs less than two and half tons—a feat achieved thanks to strands of glass and carbon fibers woven by a robot into the honeycomb canopy and vertical supports. “There is no steel frame, no underlying load-bearing structure—just fibers,” explains Menges, who collaborated with architect Moritz Dörstelmann, structural engineer Jan Knippers, and climate engineer Thomas Auer. For it and other projects, the question that Menges asks himself is, “How would a robot want to build?” rather than “How could a robot build as humans have always done?” Trained at London’s Architectural Association during what he calls the “heyday of digital design,” Menges now balances a private practice with his post as the head of the University of Stuttgart’s Institute for Computational Design. There, he and Knippers have been working with students since 2010 to create a new research pavilion each year. In 2015 they erected a curvaceous shelter made up of robot-sewn plywood pods, its form inspired by the shells of sea urchins. The year before, the team took cues from the underwater nests of diving bell spiders, devising a rigid dome out of a flexible bubble reinforced with robot-spun carbon fibers. Back at the V&A, the Elytra Filament Pavilion continues to take shape. Between now and November 6, when the installation closes, new hexagonal modules—each woven on-site—will be added to the canopy. “Our idea was to create a lightweight, easy-to-install structure that’s also very compact,” Menges says. “I am interested in novelty on both the technical and design levels. Through that, you can make a lasting cultural contribution.” achimmenges.net —SAM COCHRAN

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: ROLAND HALBE; COURTESY OF THE VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM, LONDON; MICHA FREUTEL

A pavilion at the University of Stuttgart was inspired by sea urchin shells.

An aerial view of the Elytra pavilion at London’s V&A; the canopy was woven by a robotic arm.


I N NOVATORS Surfacedesign conceived crescentshaped berms covered in volcanic rock and grasses for New Zealand’s Auckland Airport.

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Finding potential in neglected sites, the San Francisco landscape-architecture firm bolsters community pride with its inventive gardens and public parks

alf-mile-long berms of volcanic rock and spiky grasses transform a generic airport into a striking gateway. Barnacle-shaped concrete benches, cast using 3-D–printed molds, turn an overlooked city pier into a popular gathering spot. An obsolete tollbooth for the Golden Gate Bridge now throngs with a different kind of traffic: runners and cyclists traversing a bayfront network of paths. These are just a few of the inventive ways Surfacedesign, a San Francisco landscape-architecture firm, has rejuvenated rundown urban spaces. Make no mistake: The trio helming this ten-year-old studio—James Lord, Roderick Wyllie, and Geoff di Girolamo—love a pretty garden. All California natives, the partners have a reputation for conceiving romantic landscapes, whether manicured grounds for a Victorian stone house or Mediterranean-inspired gardens for an up-tothe-minute residence by Olson Kundig. But give them a limited budget and a forlorn plot, and they make magic. When the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy asked Surfacedesign

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to turn a parking lot into a visitors’ center at Lands End, a windy site on the western tip of San Francisco, the firm conjured a series of sheltering dunes planted with native species, all suited to dry conditions. Wood supplied by the Presidio’s forestry program was put to use in sleek benches that are prime spots for watching the fog roll in. “None of the plantings are irrigated—they survive, as they should, in the climate,” Wyllie explains. “That’s one of the ways we are thinking about water conservation in California.” Their built environments, or hardscapes, are equally considered. For Honolulu’s IBM plaza, Surfacedesign replicated the tuning-fork motif of the 1962 building in a square paved with volcanic stone, repeating the pattern on a bank of fountains. (The project earned the studio a 2015 honors award from the American Society of Landscape Architects.) “So much of our life is lived inside,” Lord says. “Our goal is to engage people physically, to create an environment that’s poetic and sculptural yet fun.”

BLAKE MARVIN/COURTESY OF SURFACEDESIGN INC.

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I N NOVATORS Native plants cover the dunes at Lands End Lookout, a visitors’ center in San Francisco.

The firm lined the courtyard of an Olson Kundig– designed residence in Tiburon, California, with cherry trees.

FROM TOP: MARION BRENNER/COURTESY OF SURFACEDESIGN (2)

Surfacedesign partners (from left) James Lord, Roderick Wyllie, and Geoff di Girolamo.

Now the go-to firm for San Francisco tech gurus, Surfacedesign is developing the grounds of Uber’s new headquarters as well as gardens for three more Bay Area homes by Olson Kundig. In Washington, D.C., meanwhile, they are joining forces with architect Bjarke Ingels on a master plan to unify the many institutions of the Smithsonian’s South Mall into an inviting garden-filled campus. Yet it’s the prospect of converting inhospitable terrain into captivating settings—and promoting an aesthetic shift to water-conserving gardens—that continues to rev their imaginations. “Our biggest collaborator is the existing landscape,” Wyllie says. “We want to be thoughtful and optimistic about transforming neglected little spots. We’re not necessarily trying to do anything innovative, just what’s right for now.” sdisf.com —VICKY LOWRY


I N NOVATORS

INDIA MAHDAVI International tastemakers can’t get enough of the Paris designer’s vibrant, vivacious, and varied work

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ndia Mahdavi is the reigning queen of color. “It’s the best way to bring sunshine into a space,” says the Paris-based interior designer. “Sunshine is happiness, and my work is about happiness.” Her daring clients clamor for more. “They aren’t looking for mainstream,” Mahdavi explains. “They tend to be people who are looking ahead.” Indeed, the strong individuality of her rooms is not for the faint of heart. Take, for example, restaurateur Mourad Mazouz’s Gallery at London’s Sketch complex. The main brief Mahdavi received for the space was to incorporate 239 black-and-white drawings by artist David Shrigley. She says the client initially balked when she announced that the room’s walls, as well as its curvaceous chairs and banquettes, were to be bathed in pink. “But in the end he trusted my vision,” she remembers, and the restaurant became an immediate hit—and Instagram sensation.

MATTHIEU SALVAING

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At home in Paris, India Mahdavi mixes her own Gelato chair, Bishop table (shown in limited-edition gold), and Jelly Pea sofa with vintage and designer pieces.


I N NOVATORS The Mahdavi-designed Café Français in Paris features a red dining room accented with gold.

For the Gallery restaurant at London’s Sketch complex, the decorator created a pink backdrop for drawings by artist David Shrigley.

Mahdavi attributes her love of color to her Irano-Egyptian heritage and cosmopolitan childhood. Born in Tehran, she was raised in America, Germany, and France. During college her studies kept her moving, from Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts to New York’s School of Visual Arts and Parsons, before she settled in the French capital to work as artistic director for Christian Liaigre. “Location is the starting point for all my projects,” she says. “Each fits one location, one client. So they are all like couture pieces.” After seven years with Liaigre, she set out on her own in 1999 and now oversees a studio, showroom, and shop—all within a few doors of one another on the rue Las Cases. Though awarded France’s Officier des Arts et des Lettres last year, Mahdavi is still slightly under the radar Stateside. But she predicts her bold aesthetic sense is where the zeitgeist is headed. “After decades of beige and white, Europeans are finally bringing color back into their living rooms,” Mahdavi says. “I think America is probably ready, too.” india-mahdavi.com —MALLERY ROBERTS MORGAN

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From cement tiles for Bisazza (left) to a lounge at France’s Hôtel du Cloître (below), a vivid color sense is on display in all of Mahdavi’s work.

FROM TOP: MATTHIEU SALVAING; PAUL RAESIDE/OTTO; COURTESY OF INDIA MAHDAVI (2); MATTHIEU SALVAING

Mahdavi’s Cane screen.


I N NOVATORS

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STUDIO DRIFT

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Merging natural forms with state-of-the-art technology, the Dutch design duo creates daring light installations that ignite the imagination

unctuating the courtyard of London’s CitizenM hotel, 14 newly installed light fixtures rise and fall in rhythm, each one swathed in water-resistant fabric and suspended by a motorized steel cable. Midair, the sail-like pendants balloon out, catching the wind in their bellies and occasionally whipping back and forth, like a troupe of renegade petticoats. Guests can’t help but stop and stare. Hypnotic and magical, the project marks the first outdoor installation by Studio Drift, the Amsterdam design firm founded by Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn in 2006. “We had to think about the rain, the cold, the docking station that would power the lights overnight,” says Nauta, adding that the courtyard fixtures expand upon the duo’s Shylight series, examples of which can be found at the Dutch city’s Rijksmuseum. To boldly embrace the elements seems appropriate for the designers, who have been exploring the intersection of nature and technology since meeting as students at the Design

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Studio Drift’s Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn alongside their latest light installation, at London’s CitizenM hotel.

Academy Eindhoven. Their breakthrough moment arrived a decade ago, thanks to a humble weed. After plucking a dandelion from her garden, Gordijn—enchanted by the plant’s ethereal form—glued its wispy halo of seeds to an LED light on a copper stem, powering the fixture with a household nine-volt battery. The piece was the first iteration of Studio Drift’s seminal Fragile Future series, which would evolve to include elaborate networks combining dozens of dandelion heads and bronze circuitry. Each spring Gordijn and Nauta still venture out into fields with members of their 14-person studio for an annual dandelion harvest, collecting seeds for private commissions, which, over time, have grown more and more elaborate. One Fragile Future fixture might span an entire wall; another may crawl through a doorway. “The possibilities are endless,” Gordijn says. All the while, Studio Drift is finding new ways to mix organic forms and modern technology in kinetic, seemingly

PORTRAIT BY JAMES HARRIS


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gravity-defying installations. At Venice’s 2015 art biennial, for instance, the firm fashioned a group of glass rods into a skeletal mechanized sculpture that undulated in midair like a living organism. For the ongoing Flylight series, swarms of glass tubes hanging from the ceiling illuminate at random, mimicking the unpredictable flight patterns of birds. “People always want to leave earth and start doing the impossible,” notes Gordijn. “I think it’s in the genes— at least it’s in our genes.” Now the designers are preparing for an upcoming solo show at New York’s Pace Gallery, their first with the international arts powerhouse. The exhibition’s hush-hush pièce de résistance required them to all but empty their work space to make room for it. Unyielding in her oath of silence, Gordijn playfully reveals, “It’s super–high-tech, it’s supernew, it’s superweird, and it’s made of concrete.” Adds Nauta, “You’ll enter a space and not believe what you see. Maybe a piece looks too fine or too delicate. It’s interesting to test the limits.” studiodrift.com —HANNAH MARTIN

COURTESY OF STUDIO DRIFT (2)

Made up of undulating glass rods, the project In 20 Steps was displayed in an abandoned factory during Venice’s 2015 art biennial.

A private commission from the firm’s Fragile Future series features cloudlike clusters of dandelion seeds and circuitry.


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TATIANA BILBAO T

he architecture field, it seems, has rediscovered its conscience, with recent temperature-taking biennial exhibitions casting a spotlight on projects that are socially engaged and economically sustainable. Indeed, some of the industry’s buzziest names have become stars by doing work that is about doing good— not least Tatiana Bilbao. Tellingly represented at both the Chicago and Venice architecture biennials this past year, the Mexico City– based talent has been winning international accolades for a diverse practice that’s grounded in a humanitarian spirit, whether she’s designing a dramatic mountainside villa, a sleek university technology center, an artfilled botanical garden, or smart affordable housing. Bilbao’s prototype for an adaptable low-cost home became one of the most talked-about exhibits in the Chicago show. Conceived to address Mexico’s housing shortage, her design incorporated years of research. After interviewing workers to learn how they want to live, Bilbao devised a two-story,

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two-bedroom modular structure that, at 775 square feet, is not only significantly larger than the minimum mandated by Mexican regulations but can also easily be expanded as a family grows, with terraces that can become extra rooms and double-height spaces to which mezzanines can be added. Though the model featured a concrete-block core with lightweight wood shipping pallets used for some walls, the homes can be made from different materials to adapt to a variety of settings. Around 20 houses have already been constructed in Ciudad Acuña, along the Texas border, while plans are under way to build as many as 3,000 per year in the southern state of Chiapas. Each dwelling will cost around $7,000, with the government covering a portion, based on need. “Architecture really can change your life,” Bilbao says. “I take that responsibility seriously. At some point the profession had lost sight of that, and we have to realize what we have in our hands.” Though Bilbao tends to prefer elemental forms and humble materials even when a client and budget allow greater freedom, she doesn’t shy away from bold gestures when context calls for them. Her first big residential commission—an oceanfront Oaxaca getaway created with artist Gabriel Orozco a decade ago—was modeled after an 18th-century astronomical Above: A residence on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico, by architect Tatiana Bilbao (shown at left) consists of discrete five-sided volumes. She calls it “a lab of architectonic experiences.”

FROM TOP: IWAN BAAN; ADAM WISEMAN

Known for doing more with less in buildings of all shapes and sizes, the Mexican architect is now turning her attention to solving her country’s housing shortage


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In Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, Bilbao has realized a group of lowincome houses that cost as little as $7,000 each.

observatory in India, only with a spectacular rooftop pool at its center. Her 2011 Ventura House (which she describes as “a lab of architectonic experiences”) is an arresting cluster of pentagonal volumes on a mountain overlooking Monterrey. And a nearby estate she’s doing for members of the same family will eventually feature three separate structures, envisioned as a study in materials: One is clad in mirrored glass, one in wood, and one in custom-patterned ceramic blocks. “It’s really about embracing the beauty of the site,” says Bilbao, who insists on the close involvement of her clients, preferring to think of them as the true designers and of herself and her team as merely “the translators.” Bigger commissions continue to roll in. The Pritzker Prize– winning firm Herzog & de Meuron tapped Bilbao to create three residential buildings (two with low-income units, one with market-rate apartments) as part of a major development in Lyon, France, while the University of Monterrey has enlisted her to design a million-square-foot student center next to its signature Tadao Ando building. Already spending lots of time in the U.S.— teaching at Yale and, this fall, Columbia—the in-demand Bilbao expects to soon announce her debut project here. No doubt it will be the first of many. tatianabilbao.com —STEPHEN WALLIS

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Bilbao masterminded this botanical garden in the city of Culiacán.

IWAN BAAN (3)

From 2004 to 2007 she collaborated with artist Gabriel Orozco to build him a sculptural oceanside home with a breathtaking rooftop pool.


On the Market SEEING GREEN

Eco-friendly design and state-of-the-art solutions add to the appeal of three stunning homes for sale

Water Mill, New York $25 MILLION Cutting-edge technology is seamlessly integrated into this modernist Hamptons getaway, completed by AD100 architect Steven Harris in 2014. Set on a pristine dune between the Atlantic Ocean and Mecox Bay, the four-bedroom home features geothermal HVAC systems and rooftop solar panels, not to mention smart touches like Wi-Fi-connected thermostats and motorized floor-to-ceiling windows. Landscape guru Edmund Hollander revived the 1.5-acre grounds, which boast a striking saltwater pool and poolhouse, after they were damaged by storms. A newly built steel bulkhead now protects the coastal plot. contact: corcoran.com, 516-380-0538

Drawing on Sumatran vernacular architecture, designer Linda Garland crafted this light-on-the-land compound (Architectural Digest, August 2009) for The Fast and the Furious director Rob Cohen in 2006. Built almost entirely out of recycled wood, the six-bedroom estate comprises four airy bungalows—each set on stilts, topped by a curved thatched-grass roof, and erected without the use of a single nail. Dotting some five acres in the shadow of the fabled Mount Agung, the pavilions are joined by a pond and inviting pool area. contact: elitehavenssales.com, +62-361-738-747

Hanover, New Hampshire $2.5 MILLION

“The goal was to make it energy-efficient and also durable,” says architect Carol A. Wilson of this 4,300-square-foot Moose Mountain retreat, which she devised some 15 years ago. To fortify the four-bedroom structure against harsh New England winters, she employed an array of innovative technologies, among them a high-performance Scandinavian heater and specialized concrete insulation. Not that the home is cut off from its 34-acre parcel: Accessible via a catwalk is an elevated screened porch offering panoramic views of breathtaking foliage and a nearby pond—the perfect spot for family gatherings. contact: celinabarton.com, 802-291-4106 —GEOFFREY MONTES

View more prime properties online at archdigest.com/onthemarket.

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FROM TOP: CHARLES MAYER; JOHN W. HESSION; TIM STREET-PORTER

Bali, Indonesia $6.95 MILLION


SILVIA CERRADA

Bloom county: Cosmos flourish at landscape designer Fernando Caruncho’s Madrid home.

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A Charles X Savonnerie carpet spans the grand salon of Château du Fresne, the Loire Valley home of gallerist Flore de Brantes. Florist supreme Rambert Rigaud filled the 18th-century Chinese vases with blooms from the gardens. For details see Sources.

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Flore de Brantes, with her elder son, Octave de La Moussaye.

VALLEY GIRL When Flore de Brantes isn’t running her influential Brussels gallery, she and her family unwind at her ancestral château in France’s Val de Loire

TEXT BY DANA THOMAS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY FRANÇOIS HALARD

STYLED BY CAROLINA IRVING


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a vie du château is full of tradition and style—especially so at Château du Fresne, a modestly proportioned, sublimely neoclassical country house not far from Tours in central France. There, Brussels decorative-arts dealer Flore de Brantes and her husband, Count Amaury de La Moussaye, host riotous summer costume parties and relaxed alfresco dinners, all while managing the property’s 1,400-acre farm and tending to its more than two dozen dependencies. “With a château,” Brantes says, “there is always a project.” Anatole Amoudru, a local architect known for his churches, completed the house in 1770. Some three decades later, Le Fresne became the property of General Pierre Perron, who had gone to India, made a fortune, and brought back a wife. After that the house was passed down through the female line until

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the second Marquis de Brantes, Flore’s great-grandfather, inherited it in 1914. Her farmer father revived the tradition, leaving Le Fresne to his daughter upon his death, in 2007. (Brantes’s entrepreneur brother, Roger, the present marquis, shuttles between Prague and Venice.) Since then Brantes and her husband have been busy renovating the château “in a way one would not notice,” she says. The slate roof was replaced “so it doesn’t rain inside anymore,” La Moussaye quips. Baths were installed or updated, electrical wiring was upgraded, and central heating was brought in. “Aren’t these radiators beautiful?” Brantes says with a laugh, as she shows off one of the workhorse fixtures in the manner of a game-show hostess. The heaters were a must for the couple, who head down to celebrate New Year’s from the Belgian capital, where they live most of the time with their sons, Octave and Alfred, and run


Galerie Flore, an electrifying showcase of 18th-century antiques and modern art that they opened in 2011. Le Fresne’s “big house,” as everybody calls it, is used for guests and entertaining, while an elegant pavilion about 100 feet away serves as the family home. The latter was built as a bathhouse, but Brantes’s great-grandmother Marguerite Schneider, heir to an armaments fortune, renovated it for living in the early 20th century. “She didn’t want to live in the château with her mother-in-law,” Brantes explains. Marguerite also didn’t like walking across the gravel courtyard to have meals, so she commissioned a tunnel, lined with pâte de verre tiles, that leads to the château’s kitchens—and her descendants use the same subterranean passage when it’s time to eat. Le Fresne’s age-old decor required as much buffing as its buildings. French Savonnerie carpets and 18th-century Belgian tapestries were cleaned and restored, and curtains and wall coverings

Completed by architect Anatole Amoudru in 1770, Le Fresne was purchased by a Brantes forebear in 1805. At left is the pavilion where Brantes lives, and at right is the chapel, where she was christened.

were replaced, often with re-editions of the original materials. Modern touches have crept in, among them the billiard room’s 1950s golden palm-tree lamps. “Very Castel,” Brantes, one eyebrow raised, remarks of the flea market finds, referring to the kitschy Paris discotheque. Real plants, namely those growing in the two-and-a-half-acre kitchen garden, are her husband’s passion. “At its full glory there were 50 people working here,” the count says as he strolls amid raspberry bushes and dahlias the size of dinner plates. Today’s outdoor staff is just him and two gardeners, who spend several hours a day tending to the flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Summers find Le Fresne at its most active, packed with friends and relations, including uncle Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, the


Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s portrait of Brantes ancestor Louise Sauvage de Brantes surveys the billiard room.

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François Boucher tapestries lend a fête champêtre touch to the gilded grand salon; the Empire chairs are signed Jacob.


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Brantes, with sons Octave and Alfred, wears a 1930s Belperron brooch that was made for Daisy Fellowes, her husband’s great-grandmother.

former president of France, and various cousins, such as journalist Emmanuel de Brantes and Andrea Hyde, CEO of actress Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James fashion and lifestyle label. (Hyde’s mother, Nina Hyde, who was the fashion editor of The Washington Post, and Brantes’s mother, Sue, Frank Sinatra’s press agent in the 1960s, were sisters.) La Moussaye, who grew up not far from Le Fresne, also hails from une famille distinguée. One of his greatgrandmothers was Singer sewing-machine heiress Daisy Fellowes, as enduringly famous for her wounding wit as for the daring Schiaparelli wardrobe that led her to be hailed as one of the best-dressed women of the 20th century.

S In the billiard room, 1950s metal palm-tree lamps— which Brantes collects— sprout beside an Empire-era painting of the Mosselman family; Uzo, a cocker spaniel, rests on the banquette.

ome of Fellowes’s fabulous jewels—among them two of Cartier’s gem-laden Tutti Frutti bracelets, which she wore to the epic 1951 Beistegui ball—are trotted out to adorn Brantes during summer costume parties. For one such event, guests were required to impersonate a pop star and perform a hit tune. Another time, everyone came dressed as a favorite vegetable (that party was held in the kitchen garden, natch). In 2011, when Prince Albert II of Monaco wed Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock, Le Fresne’s summer revelers were asked to come as someone who hadn’t attended the royal wedding. Brantes outfitted herself as Kate Middleton, while others arrived, she recalls, “as President Obama, the Pope, even the Queen of Thailand.” Lighthearted hostessing aside, Brantes is most proud of her agricultural accomplishments at Le Fresne, including the planting of 11,000 baby oaks. Some will eventually be harvested, cured, and sold, as it has been for generations. “My grandmother planted trees, and my father did the same,” Brantes says, nimbly steering her Mercedes SUV through an overgrown field. “It’d be a pity to stop the tradition.”


Limestone pavilions rise beside the château’s main drive and entrance court.

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“My grandmother planted trees, and my father did the same,” Flore de Brantes says, nimbly steering her Mercedes SUV through an overgrown field. “It’d be a pity to stop the tradition.”


Set in front of an 18thcentury tapestry, an antique lit Ă  la polonaise is dressed with vintage D. Porthault bed linens and an Indian coverlet.

From top: Italian gilt-woodframed mirrors brighten a room’s pale-blue paneling. A guest room’s chinoiserie desk dates from around 1800.

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More than 40 dahlia varieties—among them ‘Santa Claus,’ ‘Bohemian Spartacus,’ and ‘Penhill Watermelon’—thrive in the cutting garden.

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Design Notes

Fanciful flourishes and luxurious touches look right at home at an 18th-century French estate

Pewter candelabra by Match; $700. match1995.com

Tobacco Leaf porcelain dinner plate by Mottahedeh; $175. mottahedeh.com Palm steel-andbrass floor lamp by Amanda Nisbet for Niermann Weeks; $5,400. niermannweeks.com

Baccarat’s Masséna crystal glass; $180. baccarat.com

Clarence House’s Traviata silk velvet in red, cadet blue, and emerald; to the trade. clarencehouse.com

We love having parties,” says decorative-arts expert Flore de Brantes. “Châteaux were made to host lots of people.” French marble mantel clock from Laserow Antiques; $4,500. laserow.nyc

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: COURTESY OF NIERMANN WEEKS; JOHN MANNO; FRANÇOIS HALARD; COURTESY OF BELPERRON; FRANÇOIS HALARD; COURTESY OF CÔTÉ FRANCE; JOHN MANNO (2); COURTESY OF BEAUVAIS CARPETS; LAURENT PARRAULT; COURTESY OF LASEROW ANTIQUES; JOHN MANNO (2)

Flore de Brantes sets a splendid table at Château du Fresne.


Brantes’s cherished Belperron butterfly brooch originally belonged to socialite Daisy Fellowes; similar styles available. belperron.com

Louis XV à la turque bed by Côté France; from $27,815 for queen size. cotefrance.com

What’s nice is that nothing has really changed. We made updates no one would notice,” Brantes says. D. Porthault’s Coquelicots bedding, $2,750 for queen set. dporthaultparis.com

The Gathering of Pineapples, an antique wool-and-silk French tapestry from Beauvais Carpets; to the trade. beauvaiscarpets.com

A porcelain vase from Middle Kingdom; $137. mkporcelain.com

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THE HIGH LIFE

In the triplex’s “sky bar,” painted steel beams complement teak cabinetry by William Somerville and a Kern/Rockenfield island topped with granite. The barstools are vintage Jean Prouvé. For details see Sources.

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ATOP A LOFT BUILDING IN DOWNTOWN NEW YORK, DESIGNERS CHRISTINE AND JOHN GACHOT CREATE THE ULTIMATE PARTY PAD FOR A CONVIVIAL HEDGE-FUNDER—AND HIS LUCKY GUESTS TEXT BY DAN SHAW

PHOTOGRAPHY BY NIKOLAS KOENIG

STYLED BY ANITA SARSIDI


A decommissioned water tower—now serving as a meditation room—looms over the roof deck. The custom-made ipe seating is cushioned in a Perennials outdoor fabric, and the bronze table by Object Metal is topped with Ramblas cement tile by Mosaic House.

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MANHATTAN’S MOST EXCLUSIVE COCKTAIL LOUNGE MAY BE A GLASS JEWEL BOX OF A ROOM ON TOP OF A NINE-STORY BUILDING IN SOHO. Perched on a 3,100-square-foot double-decker terrace, this private aerie has sweeping views of the city’s mesmerizing jumble of towers. “We call it the sky bar,” says designer Christine Gachot, who kitted it out with a sleek granite-and-steel bar and Jean Prouvé stools. She and her husband, John, who run New York–based Gachot Studios, liken the space, with its barrel-vaulted teak ceiling, to a turret, or to a contemporary widow’s walk for the 10,000-plus-square-foot triplex apartment. Previously owned by Rupert Murdoch and decorated by Christian Liaigre, the residence now belongs to a hedge-fund manager who likes to throw big parties.

“There were a couple of napkin sketches that were being translated by different draftspeople, and we had a couple of conversations about them,” John says. The Gachots reimagined the rooftop’s most intriguing architectural features from the Murdoch era. They transformed the decommissioned water tower into an urban tree house, which the client’s wife has now outfitted as a Moroccan-inflected meditation room. And they reconfigured the master bath—a truncated pyramid that aligns with the sloping metal beams supporting the water tower above it—to provide skyline views from the tub and glass-enclosed shower. A row of boxwood outside the window supplies a privacy screen of sorts. “It’s an amazing indoor-outdoor experience,” John notes. The adjacent master bedroom is a caramel-color cocoon with teak wainscoting and custom-made and midcentury furniture. “It proves that modern doesn’t

That the sky bar resembles a VIP room at a boutique hotel is due to Christine’s having spent a decade at André Balazs Properties, where she was vice president of design development and collaborated on projects like the Standard High Line, known for its rooftop restaurant, plunge pool, and disco. Her hospitalityindustry experience appealed to the client, who entertains frequently and is as concerned with his guests’ comfort as he is with his own. When he hired the Gachots, the owner had been working with designer Joe D’Urso, a pioneer of 1970s High Tech Loft style, who had already gutted the apartment before suddenly deciding to retire. But before D’Urso left, he handed off his preliminary plans to the Gachots.

A leather Mies van have to be cold,” Christine der Rohe daybed says. The bedroom opens and a vintage onto the terraces, which are Adrian Pearsall sofa covered in a designed for hosting a crowd, Pierre Frey linen with a hot tub for eight, a bar blend flank a with beer taps, two outdoor custom-made low table in a lounge. televisions, and a vast dining table shaded by a teak pergola. The focal point is a nearly ten-foot-tall aluminum sculpture of Gumby called Born to Bend, by the artist known as KAWS. To hoist it onto the roof, the Gachots had to close the street below, which unexpectedly turned into a public hullabaloo. “KAWS has a real cult following. A photo was taken when the crate was


In the master unpacked, and it went viral,” bedroom, a Vladimir Christine recalls. “People came Kagan chair and from all over because they saw ottoman are clad in a Brunschwig & Fils it on Instagram!” linen. The artwork It was the third time the is by Claire Fontaine, Gachots had closed the street and the bench is by Finn Juhl. to bring in artworks ( by Tracey Emin and Vik Muniz, among others) and furnishings. The client devoted as much time to shopping as the designers did. “His porn is 1stdibs, for sure,” jokes Christine, who shares his passion for furniture by such masters as George Nakashima, Warren Platner, and Vladimir Kagan. Christine’s boutique-hotel savvy really shines in the four guest suites. “I had all the sundries lined up on move-in day,” she says, pointing to Mast Brothers chocolate bars, Pop Organic lollipops, and bottles of Voss water neatly arrayed atop a dresser. She also had notepads and umbrellas imprinted with John’s line drawing of the water tower, an image that has become the loft’s de facto logo. “It’s a complete experience,” she says.

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ecause the client’s sybaritic lifestyle includes home visits from his barber, the Gachots installed a spa-worthy “treatment room” on the lower level, with a massage table and swiveling salon chair. Down the hall there’s a gym, a steam shower, and a media room with a pool table and plush daybeds for watching movies and sports. Despite the home’s scale, a cohesive materials palette—teak, wenge wood, statuary marble, and Absolute Black granite—creates a surprisingly warm vibe that reflects the owner’s congeniality. And he wasted no time in putting the apartment through its paces. “Within a few days of moving in, he scheduled a party, but we were too tired to attend,” John says. “It was ironic that we had walked around in our booties for three weeks to protect everything, and then 100 of his friends came over and threw a rager.” Clearly the apartment weathered that event. And, like a well-run hotel, it’s always ready for its next round of guests.


A Rewire chandelier is suspended above a Kohler tub with Lefroy Brooks fittings in the master bath. The Eero Saarinen stool by Knoll is pulled up to a teak vanity by William Somerville.

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The Stones beside a sculpture by Pat Lenz at their San Francisco residence. For details see Sources.

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In their historic San Francisco home, art collectors Norah and Norman Stone give free rein to their playful sense of style

PET

PROJECT TEXT BY VICKY LOWRY PHOTOGRAPHED BY DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN STYLED BY MICHAEL REYNOLDS


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rom the outside, the stately house on a prime hilltop block in Pacific Heights, the gold coast of San Francisco, couldn’t be more traditional. Devised in 1927 by one of the city’s most prominent architects, Arthur Brown Jr., the classically appointed Beaux Arts residence features a handsome redbrick-and-limestone façade capped with a slate roof whose fish-scale tiles mimic the gentle arches of the windows below. The only hint that the interiors, not to mention the homeowners, are anything but staid is the plaster bust of a Greek god crowned with a vivid blue glass sphere perched behind one of those windows. The irreverent sculpture is by Jeff Koons, and it’s one of the many bold contemporary artworks that give the home of

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Left: The 1927 Beaux Arts dwelling was designed by Arthur Brown Jr., who was also responsible for San Francisco’s City Hall and opera house. Opposite: The foyer retains its 1937 decor by Frances Elkins, including a console and mirror by Jean-Michel Frank; the sculpture and photograph are by Hans Bellmer.

Norah and Norman Stone its exuberant spirit. The philanthropic couple, trustees of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) who are known for their colorful, imaginatively assembled outfits, purchased the historic house in 1994. Their first renovation retained almost all of the interior decoration, which is a work of art in its own right. The late, great designer Frances Elkins crafted the elegant rooms with a French vibe in 1937, installing chinoiserie wallpaper, upholstering banquettes in creamy leather, and draping windows with flouncy silks. But 75 years later, some of that wallpaper was deteriorating, the glass enclosing the solarium had started to crack, and, most pressing of all for the Stones, the living room just didn’t function well for entertaining. “When we did the initial renovation, we did the least amount of work possible because we decided the art would just have to fit in, and it was gloriously happy,” Norah recalls. Norman adds, “The art and architecture benefited from their


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In the living room, custommade love seats flank a steel cocktail table by Martin Szekely, the stone-top tables are by Taher Chemirik, and the multimedia work and drawing are by Dieter Roth; the neon sculpture is by Bruce Nauman, and the curtains are of a Rogers & Goffigon wool.


combination. There was a visual energy that neither one alone had.” “But after 20 years of having the same thing,” Norah continues, “we were in need of a face-lift.” For the restoration the couple sought advice from their longtime art adviser, Thea Westreich—“our lead thinker,” according to Norman—who had been helping them assemble their vast collection for two decades. (When the San Francisco house reached its capacity to hold art, the Stones built a 5,750-square-foot “art cave” on their Napa Valley estate.) Westreich not only steered them to what would be the living room’s first new furnishings—a set of eyecatching brass-and-stone tables by Algerian jeweler/artist Taher Chemirik, acquired at London’s Frieze art fair—but also introduced them to Tiffany Vassilakis, the decorator who had refreshed Westreich’s own New York City loft. “Thea doesn’t really like decorators,” admits Vassilakis, who serves as the inhouse designer for Wyeth, Manhattan’s go-to emporium for midcentury-modern furniture, and who handled the interiors for actor Richard Gere’s Long Island, New York, home and his hotel, the Bedford Post Inn. “She contacted me and said, ‘I just want to paint my walls white.’ I told her, ‘Okay, we’ll paint the walls white, but it has to be the right white.’ ” Vassilakis got the job.

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he Stones aren’t afraid of colored walls, but they did have other concerns. For example, they like to gather large groups, so the living room needed lots of seating that could adapt to any situation, whether a dressy art-world party or a sit-down lecture (on pillows) devoted to Buddhist meditation. (Norman, a retired psychologist who worked for many years at a government-run mental-health center, says “everything goes better” after he meditates for two hours each day.) Vassilakis installed clean-lined sofas and Dunbar benches covered in rich brown fabrics, easygoing white club chairs, and a constellation of low tables that, like the Chemirik pieces, are a cinch to move around. When a pair of graceful armchairs designed as prototypes by Kaare Klint in 1934 caught Norman’s eye at Wyeth, even though the original leather was ripped and the springs exposed, he announced to Norah that they had to have them—they would add “real punch” to the room.

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The cloak room’s mirrored walls and antique vanity are original; the “cat litter” sculpture is by Robert Gober.

“When Norman told me the price of those Danish chairs, I reminded him that was our budget for the entire remodel,” Norah remembers. Now that they have been reupholstered in purple leather, they more than hold their own beside an amusing Christmas-tree sculpture by Philippe Parreno. In truth, the Stones seldom disagree about a purchase, whether it’s art or artful design. Collecting has been a passionate collaboration for the couple since 1991, when they bought their first major piece: a vitrine by Joseph Beuys they saw on a visit to the gallery of London dealer Anthony d’Offay. That conceptual work is now a centerpiece at the newly expanded SFMOMA, which reopened in May with an exhibition that includes 20 classic works of late-20thcentury art from the Stones’ trove. “Collecting brings us closer together,” Norah says. “It’s a great preparation for remodeling a house. You won’t always agree, but you know you have to make decisions. That’s life really.”


Right: In the dining room, a painting and puppy vase by Jeff Koons, a Martin Szekely table, and 1970s chairs by Tommi Parzinger upholstered in a Sahco fabric set the tone. Below: A concretelined gallery features a painting by Keith Tyson and a sculpture and photographs by Matthew Barney.


The bed in the master suite is by Quatrain, the Roman shades are of a Rubelli satin, and the rug is by Stark; Murano-glass sconces flank a sculpture by Dieter Roth, and the print is by Andy Warhol.

“After 20 years of having the same thing,” says Norah Stone, “we were in need of a face-lift.”


Norah’s dressing room— decked out in mirrors and silver wallpaper—is all original; the light fixture is Venetian glass.

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The Earth Whisperer

Kim Wilkie’s landscape at Boughton House, the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch’s English estate, is a surrealistic setting where shimmering water features meet ancient geometries.

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KIM WILKIE

LANDSCAPE MASTER KIM WILKIE CREATES GARDENS THAT SEEM PREDESTINED RATHER THAN DESIGNED


Wilkie’s Green Wall at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania.

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His earthwork amphitheater at Great Fosters hotel.

nglish landscape architect Kim Wilkie prefers to intuit what a site wants to be rather than impose his will upon it. It’s an approach that has brought clients from around the world to the door of his farmhouse in Hampshire. But his best-known work is close to home: a garden at Boughton House, the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch’s seat in Northamptonshire. There, a pyramidal hillock, known as the Great Mount, had gone to seed, next to what Wilkie calls a “scrubby little stream” and a broad flat area. The duke asked him what should be done about the mishmash of features. “That’s when the idea to invert the pyramid came to me,” says Wilkie, 60. He sank a reverse ziggurat in the earth and built a pond at the center, calling his solution Orpheus, after the mythological musician who journeyed to the underworld. “As you go 21 feet down, it’s amazing how the quality of the air and sound changes,” the Malaysian-born talent continues, acknowledging that his big, bold earthwork is “as much James Turrell as it is Greek myth.”

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At Longwood Gardens, near Philadelphia, Wilkie played with depth, too, creating an outdoor performance area out of grass terraces—with enough mass and grade change to accommodate underground restrooms, beautifully fronted by a junglelike wall of ferns. Wilkie’s next feat, starting this fall in association with British architect Níall McLaughlin, is to overhaul the grounds of and approach to London’s Natural History Museum. In a marquee spot right in front of the 19th-century Romanesque edifice (a masterwork by architect Alfred Waterhouse), the landscape guru is installing a fern-filled sunken garden. This, in turn, will be ringed by a geological timeline in the form of a wall made of rock strata from the Cambrian period to the present. Accompanying all this is a bronze replica of Dippy, the diplodocus plaster cast that has been a beloved exhibit at the museum since 1905. “The grounds become outdoor galleries,” Wilkie says. “If people are waiting outside, they are actually already in the museum.” Fresh ideas like that are proof that this old hand is no dinosaur. kimwilkie.com —TED LOOS

PORTRAIT: CHARLIE HOPKINSON; LANDSCAPES: KIM WILKIE

The landscape architect at home in Hampshire.


For Great Fosters hotel, near England’s Windsor Castle, Wilkie restored and augmented the 1920s knot garden, where fantastical topiaries punctuate baroque planting beds.


Designed by MAD Architects, the Harbin Opera House in northern China features a sculptural lobby with timber-clad balconies and stairs. Opposite: The swirling faรงade of white aluminum panels.

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FROM LEFT: HUFTON + CROW/COURTESY OF MAD ARCHITECTS; ADAM MORK/COURTESY OF MAD ARCHITECTS

CHINA’S MOST AVANT-GARDE ARCHITECT, MA YANSONG, HAS HIS SIGHTS SET ON THE U.S. IS AMERICA READY?

THE MOLD


MAD founder Ma Yansong with an architectural model.

eorge Lucas, who plans to spend more than $700 million on a namesake museum of narrative art, could have chosen any architect he wanted. In the end the Star Wars creator picked the 40-year-old, Beijingborn talent Ma Yansong, whose buildings might look at home in a galaxy far, far away. In 2014 Ma and his firm, MAD Architects, unveiled designs for a tent-shaped structure to be built on Chicago’s waterfront. Litigation over the property’s land use ensued, and Lucas decided in June of this year to leave Illinois for California. That meant going back to the drawing board. But the filmmaker didn’t abandon Ma, who is now working on proposals for two possible locations. After a period when Western firms such as OMA and Herzog & de Meuron were busy constructing landmarks in China, a select few Chinese architects are now building in the West. Ma has been the most buzzed-about since he surfaced with a pair of slinky towers near Toronto in 2012. This year he broke ground on his first project in the U.S. (a condo complex in Beverly Hills) as well as in Italy and France. Meanwhile, he continues to work in China, where one of his most daring commissions is under way. Called Fake Hills, it is a huge apartment community designed to resemble a mountain range, part of Ma’s effort to bring ersatz landscapes into urban environments. He sees himself as an interpreter of Chinese sensibilities, specifically the penchant for combining the natural and the artificial into “one continuous experience.” Ma is full of contradictions. After studying at Yale, he landed a job with the late Iraqi-born superstar Zaha Hadid. His swirly opera house in Harbin, China, completed last year, reveals her influence, though Ma says his style has evolved. “When you look at her work,” he says, “the lines are very clean, the shape very perfect. My architecture is more random. Sometimes I sketch and then scan my sketch directly, to make the curves more freehand. I don’t want to make perfect industrial curves.” Lucas remains enthusiastic. As Ma says of his client, “People think of him as a businessman, but he’s very emotional. He trusts his first reactions—and he trusts me.” It’s too early to say what the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will look like in its California incarnation. But, Ma promises, “it’s going to be quite an experiment.” —FRED A. BERNSTEIN

FROM LEFT: EMILIO NARANJO/EPA/REDUX; XIA ZHI/COURTESY OF MAD ARCHITECTS

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Fake Hills, a sinuous apartment complex now under construction in the coastal city of Beihai, China. The firm’s projects are surveyed in the new monograph MAD Works (Phaidon).

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The library’s ottoman, chairs, upholstery, silk wall covering, and rug are all by Ralph Lauren Home; the chandelier is by Jonathan Adler. For details see Sources.


PORTRAIT BY MARIO TESTINO

Classic Beauty To brighten up her flat in a Victorian-era New York building, Jessica Chastain turns over the keys to designers Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller TEXT BY DEREK BLASBERG PHOTOGRAPHY BY DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN STYLED BY ANITA SARSIDI

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ack in May 2011, Jessica Chastain exploded onto the scene seemingly out of nowhere. She emerged, a fully formed movie star, on the Cannes Film Festival’s red carpet to begin promoting an astounding six films coming out that year, including The Tree of Life, Take Shelter, and The Help (for which she was nominated for an Oscar). In the five years since, she’s redefined what it means to be a Hollywood leading lady, playing a tough-as-nails CIA analyst in 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty (winning a Golden Globe for that one) and a flinty astronaut commander in last year’s The Martian. She’s already receiving awards buzz for her role as a gun lobbyist in Miss Sloane, due out in December. According to Chastain, the secret to making such complex characters come alive is to have a simple “real life.” To create a suitably grounding home base, she and her boyfriend, fashion executive Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, recently refurbished a 19th-century apartment close to New York’s Central Park. Their elegant redo has returned an address steeped in history to, in her own words, its “warm and cozy glory.” Sitting on the living room’s voluminous greenvelvet Ralph Lauren sofa, near one of the residence’s six fireplaces, Chastain veers down memory lane for a bit. “Being on a film set, you’re always going to different places,” she says. “And at the beginning of your career, you can’t afford to live in a nice place.” Chastain was raised in Northern California and attended Juilliard, in Manhattan, on a scholarship sponsored by Robin Williams. In those student days, she and two friends—a Julie and another Jessica—“shared a three-bedroom apartment probably the size of this room,” she says, laughing. “I’m not exaggerating.” When she first came to see her current home, Chastain realized that, as starving students, she and her friends often went to the restaurant directly across the street. “My grandmother would send me $20 once a week for the baked ziti. So every Saturday night, as a big splurge, we’d go there. I didn’t know until we saw the apartment, and I said, ‘Oh, my God, it’s right here.’ ”

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The subtly textured look of the living room walls was achieved with a Ralph Lauren Paint faux-suede finish. The chandelier, sofa, armchairs, and rug are all by Ralph Lauren Home. The burlap-wrapped low table is from Mecox, and the gilded mirror and slipper chair, which both belonged to Lauren Bacall, were bought at auction.


To help lighten the dining room, the designers lacquered its oak paneling white. The wall covering, table, and chairs are all by Ralph Lauren Home. The Venetianglass chandelier and Swedish painted mirror are vintage.


A custom-made banquette in the dining room nook wears a Ralph Lauren Home cotton velvet. The sisal rug is by Stark.

The ziti wasn’t the only good omen. The unit’s seller was composer Adam Guettel, whose 1999 record Myths and Hymns Chastain played whenever she was homesick for the West Coast. “As soon as I found out it was him, I felt like it was meant to be,” she recalls. She then learned that another previous occupant had been West Side Story composer Leonard Bernstein. (Yes, there is a fire escape!) The cabaret legend Bobby Short and TV star Larry Storch have each lived in the apartment, too, and the likes of Lynn Redgrave and Vera Miles have called the landmark building home. “When I found out about all the other artists and actors who have lived here, I was in love,” Chastain says. And so in the winter of 2015, she became the apartment’s latest owner. That spring Chastain met designers Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller and, alongside Passi, set about reviving the splendor of the Victorian-era space. “Soul retrieval was the real transformation here,” Carrier says. Fireplaces were important to the actress—“I told our Realtor I didn’t even want to see anything without fireplaces,” Chastain says—so she was thrilled when they discovered another one in the master bedroom that had been walled off. And an elaborate chandelier found in the laundry room was moved to a place of honor in the parlor. “Our biggest triumph was breathing new life, glamour, and sophistication into the old girl,” Carrier notes. “This home was built to be bold and beautiful, like its new owner.”

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Original woodwork surrounds pocket doors that open to the parlor. A Ralph Lauren Home chair is pulled up to a Noir desk. The batik wall covering, blue chair, brass Êtagères, plaid storage ottoman, and rug are all by Ralph Lauren Home. The jukebox is a vintage Rock-Ola.


Chastain and Passi created their own reference folders and presented them to Carrier, who combined their efforts. “Jesse was able to make it all flow,” Chastain says, adding that she was very decisive, while Passi preferred to mull things over. Many of Chastain’s ideas came from places she has stayed around the world, including New York’s Crosby Street Hotel and the Carlton hotel in Cannes. The in-bedroom bathtubs of London’s Dean Street Townhouse were the inspiration for the tub in the master suite. “On those rare occasions when Jessica and Gian Luca are able to push pause, they can light a fire and relax,” Carrier explains. “From room to room there’s a warm, welcoming glow that’s meant to signify homecoming.” The design—and the art on display—is a perfect blend of Passi’s aristocratic European heritage (he’s a count whose family’s noble roots go back more than a thousand years) and Chastain’s role as a cultural muse. One of their favorite artists is George Condo, and his pieces are displayed throughout the apartment. Chastain met him when he painted a dress that she donned for the cover of W’s 2013 Art issue. “I have emotional connections to everything,” she says. “And I want things to make me feel good when I’m around them.” She is also a fan of the photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto and has an image of his in the kitchen. “I really want one from his ‘Theaters’ series, but they’re very expensive,” she says. Chastain is drawn to vintage pieces as well— “things where I can feel the energy”—and is especially proud of her 1954 Rock-Ola jukebox, which she had meticulously restored and stocked with tunes by Frank Sinatra, Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, and other musicians of the era. She also brags about sourcing her own deals, including silk bedsheets she found on eBay. “What? They weren’t used!” she exclaims. “And they are in-credible.” In its current state the residence definitely reflects and grounds Chastain and Passi’s real life. But there’s also the sense that they are merely stewards of the space until it’s passed on to another set of creatives. Chastain points to a tufted chintz chair in front of the living room fireplace and asks, “Do you like my Lauren Bacall chair?” It formerly resided in the film legend’s Dakota apartment, a few blocks north of here, and Chastain acquired it at the 2015 auction that followed Bacall’s death. “It feels like she’s sitting in the room with us,” Chastain says with a smile, adding that she deliberately put the chair in the grandest of all the rooms. “I imagine she’s sitting there judging us.” Her verdict would, no doubt, be favorable.

Top: In the foyer, the chambray wing chair and floral wallpaper are by Ralph Lauren Home. The McLain Wiesand mirror is from John Rosselli & Assoc., and the Azerbaijani rug is vintage. Bottom: A silver chandelier by Ralph Lauren Home illuminates the kitchen’s butcher-block-top island. The stools are from the Sundance Catalog, and the Wolf range is paired with a Broan hood.

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“When I found out about all the other artists and actors who have lived here, I was in love,� says Jessica Chastain.

In the master bedroom, the copper pedestal tub is by Signature Hardware and the tub fittings are by Waterworks. Paintings by Jacques NestlĂŠ adorn a wall covered in a Ralph Lauren Home herringbone pattern. The chair is vintage.

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In the same space, the canopy bed, its draperies, and its bedding are all by Ralph Lauren Home. The oak-frame bench is from BK Antiques, and the rug is 19th century.


Design Notes

Actress Jessica Chastain goes for a look that mixes Hollywood glamour and old-world warmth

Plaid fabrics from Ralph Lauren Home (left, from $132/yard) punctuate the apartment.ralphlaurenhome.com

Astier de Villatte’s ceramic Adélaide salad bowl; $310. johnderian.com

Panther bronze andirons by Carole Gratale; $3,950 per pair. carolegratale.com

Color was a requirement,” says designer Jesse Carrier. “And blue really worked with the mahogany wainscoting and carved paneling.”

Marlowe Floral wallpaper by Ralph Lauren Home in Prussian blue; $174 per roll. ralphlaurenhome.com

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Ralph Lauren Home’s Hepplewhite wing chair; from $4,245. ralphlaurenhome.com


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: JOHN MANNO; DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN; NEIL LANDINO JR.; COURTESY OF DDC; COURTESY OF STARK; COURTESY OF AERIN; COURTESY OF SOHO HOUSE; COURTESY OF RALPH LAUREN HOME; JOHN MANNO; COURTESY OF CAROLE GRATALE; COURTESY OF ASTIER DE VILLATTE

Antique Persian rug from Stark; to the trade. starkcarpet.com

We embraced the home’s romance and antiquity but kept in mind that Jessica’s not her grandmother,” Carrier says.

Eighteenth-century Swedish Rococo floor mirror from Eleish Van Breems Antiques; $23,000. evbantiques.com

Chastain took inspiration from the in-bedroom baths at London’s Dean Street Townhouse hotel. deanstreettownhouse.com

Brass match striker by Aerin; $195. aerin.com

Vittoriale crystal chandelier by Napoleone Martinuzzi for Venini; $28,240 from DDC. ddcnyc.com


BLITHE SPIRIT

IN A STORIED HOLLYWOOD ENCLAVE, INTERIOR DESIGNER BRIGETTE ROMANEK CRAFTS A JUBILANT FAMILY HOME FROM AN ECCENTRIC MANSION WHERE GHOSTS AND ROCK STARS ONCE ROAMED TEXT BY MAYER RUS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN

STYLED BY MARTIN BOURNE

Ten-year-old Willow Romanek climbs a rock wall in the playroom. For details see Sources.


The historic Laurel Canyon manse, renovated by Brigette Romanek of Hancock Design and architect Eric Ryder of Ryder Design, is crowned with a bell tower.

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irst things first: The weird and wonderful Los Angeles home of interior designer Brigette Romanek, her husband, director Mark Romanek, and their two young daughters is not the Harry Houdini estate. Every day, Hollywood tour buses pull up to the imposing mix-and-match Mediterranean-style manse at the top of Laurel Canyon and the amplified voices of clueless cicerones can be heard waxing rhapsodic about the property’s alleged pedigree. “They say that Houdini cooked up his most famous escape acts here, his mistress is buried here, the house has 22 bedrooms—crazy stuff,” Brigette says. Such mythology becomes less far-fetched when one considers the evidence that Houdini did in fact live nearby in the 1920s. And then, of course, there’s the residence itself, which is pure magic. The original 1925 house that stood on the two rambling acres burned down in a massive conflagration in the ’50s, but the structure was rebuilt a few years later atop the remains of its stately forebear. Architectural pentimenti that survived the fire—chunky stone foundations, secret passageways, garden follies, meandering outdoor stairways with neoclassical balustrades— lend the place a decidedly mysterious, cinematic aura. “A lot of people claim this house is haunted, but I’ve never seen a ghost,” Brigette says, laughing. “Mark knows what a chicken I am, so he didn’t mention the haunting thing until after we were settled in.” The couple acquired the home two years ago from their friend Rick Rubin, the music mega-producer, who had utilized it as a recording studio and rock-androll dormitory for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Marilyn Manson, Maroon 5, and LCD Soundsystem, among others. Those artists only added more tang to a seductive story that already included whisperings of a murder (one occupant is rumored to have tossed his lover off a balcony); an Errol Flynn residency in the ’30s; and visits by the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Mick Jagger in the ’60s and ’70s, when the place was first used as a recording studio. “Even though we had to redo practically everything—mechanical, electrical, the floors and walls, the kitchen—I was determined to honor the

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The living room is outfitted with a pair of Marco Zanuso lounge chairs from Eccola, a Blackman Cruz console (left), and a Hans Wegner chaise longue.


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Above: (From left) Brigette, Isobel, Willow, and Mark Romanek chill out in the upstairs foyer. Painting by Zio Ziegler. Left: The burl-wood kitchen island features a marble top and a Wolf warming drawer and microwave.

IN THIS STORY, WARDROBE STYLIST: JESSICA DE RUITER. HAIR: CHANNION WADE, MAKEUP: PAULETTE MCWILLIAMS. BRIGETTE’S DRESS BY DRIES VAN NOTEN AND SHOES BY CÉLINE.

history of this place,” Brigette says. “I appreciate patina and texture, spaces that look lived in, moldings with missing sections. This house wouldn’t be so perfect if I tried to erase all the imperfections.” Like so many designers, Brigette began her career doing homes for her own family and then moved on to working with friends who admired her idiosyncratic taste. In May she announced the formation of Hancock Design, a new partnership with her friend fashion stylist Estee Stanley (see page 26). “We’re always talking about projects we’re working on, amazing things we’ve seen, our kids,” Brigette explains. “So it felt natural to support each other in a more official way, especially after she contributed so many great ideas to this house.” The Laurel Canyon estate proved the ideal playground for Brigette to exercise her talent for conjuring interiors that blend laid-back California cool with jaunty modern chic. She banished the home’s ubiquitous black wrought-iron chandeliers and sconces and replaced them with sparkly crystal fixtures, groovy vintage finds, and bold contemporary lighting—more Norma Jean, less Norma Desmond. In the entry she traded dark terra-cotta floors for a patchwork of rustic gray-and-white marble tiles plucked from a French château. Her de-stiffening scheme for the formal dining room involved opening


Roxy the labradoodle lounges in the dining room beneath an Apparatus chandelier.


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Seating in the library includes a B&B Italia sofa, lounge chairs by Franco Albini and Franca Helg, and African stools from Twentieth. The viscose carpet is by Hamilton Rugs.


Left: Brigette and her daughters arrange flowers in one of the property’s alfresco pavilions. Below: The loft bed in one of the girls’ rooms was fabricated by Quality Custom Cabinetry. Chair by Gaetano Pesce. Right: The master bath is clad in Calacatta gold marble. Sink fittings by Kallista, towel warmer by Ferguson, and vintage sconce by Sergio Mazza.

the space to the newly enlarged and modernized kitchen and adding giant arched windows. Brigette’s mix-master skills are exhibited with particular poetry in the vast living room, where Serge Mouille lighting, a Hans Wegner chaise, and African stools are arrayed on a dark-stained floor. Furry goatskin carpets offer a plush arena for wrestling matches between the family’s spunky labradoodles, Roxy and Rufus. At one end of the capacious room, a low table practically overflows with a grouping of simple blue-and-white pottery that looks like a contemporary art installation. Lest one be concerned about disturbing the precarious assemblage, Brigette is quick to point out that most of the vessels cost between five and 20 dollars. “I just like the way it looks,” the designer says, once again erupting into the lilting laughter that peppers her conversation. “My approach is very Gap-meetsGucci. I want my environment to be beautiful and inspiring, but most of all I want it to be comfortable for my family and our friends. My kids ride bikes and scooters through the house. Instead of saying, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ I say, ‘Go faster!’ ”

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Paradise Regained After his Aft hi Madrid M d id garden d is i decimated d i t d by b a deadly fungus, landscape guru Fernando Caruncho cultivates its glorious new incarnation TEXT BY MITCHELL OWENS

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY SILVIA CERRADA


Once restrained and now riotous, Fernando Caruncho’s famous green garden in Madrid—which he created in the 1980s—was reenvisioned with thousands of white cosmos. For details see Sources.

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lowly and relentlessly, the plagues took hold. Five years ago, Fernando Caruncho—the landscape designer known for peaceful gardens rich with archaic allusions and monumental geometries—watched, mystified, as plants withered and leaves became spotted with dark lesions at his Madrid home. The third-of-an-acre haven he had created for his family in the 1980s, at the dawn of his career, was dying. The culprits were anthracnose and Cylindrocarpon, unwittingly introduced when Caruncho proudly brought home specimens of Escallonia macrantha, a South American shrub with red, honey-scented flowers. “It is a fabulous plant,” he says, “but the ones I bought came with infections that destroyed the garden’s immune system.” For a year Caruncho tried every possible cure, but there was no hope. In despair, he ripped out everything that had flatlined, from the expanses of clipped boxwood to mounds of mature Escallonia that had lapped the garden kiosk like emerald waves. The scarred earth rebuked him: Caruncho himself had sparked the destruction. Now the magical retreat, a youthful triumph he had always assumed would remain the same, was gone. But its structure—the walled enclosures, the mysterious flights of steps, the U-shaped pergola topped with rebar lattice—had not changed. As he soon realized, it was simply waiting for him to cast off his grief and cultivate another incarnation. “Gardens, like people, have a cycle: They are born, grow, mature, and die,” Caruncho observes. “For the first time in my life, I understood that. I needed to accept the new conditions but return to the original ideas.” As for the wounded acreage, he adds, “I began to understand it more deeply, as when you love someone who has been in your life for a long time.” Today the garden’s famous austerity has given way to rational exuberance. For the past several years, Caruncho has filled the beds with thousands of white cosmos, an annual whose selfseeded display—what he calls “a moment of splendor,” with a catch in his voice—makes a joyful contrast to the architectural severity that encloses it. Flowers rise up, chest high, swaying in breezes, spreading like great clouds, and offering months of heartstopping tenderness before vanishing from sight. Eventually other species will replace them. “What plant did people love in the 19th century but is out of fashion? Perhaps I should reintroduce it,” Caruncho muses aloud. “Or maybe Myrtus tarentina, an evergreen native to the Mediterranean.” (The Escallonia debacle has turned him into an ardent champion of native plants.) “It is possible to have a garden that lasts forever but also is ephemeral,” Caruncho explains, noting that the cosmos’ fragile beauty has affected him deeply—professionally as well as emotionally. “Rebirth is the miracle of gardens, and that is something that will be with me for the rest of my life.”

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A stucco-clad pavilion, shaded from the sun by a white canvas roof, leads from the house to the garden.


Ivy blankets a metal kiosk, the focal point of the courtyard garden at the rear of the property.

Beds of ivy are divided by a bark path.

Potted citrus trees screen the pool; the pergola is made of redpainted rebar lattice.


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“Gardens, like people, have a cycle: They are born, grow, mature, and die,” Fernando Caruncho says. “For the first time in my life, I understood that.”

The pool is bordered on three sides by a pergola that has been furnished as an outdoor living area. The Guadarrama mountains dominate the horizon.


SOURCES Items pictured but not listed here are not sourceable. Items similar to vintage and antique pieces shown are often available from the dealers listed. (T) means the item is available only to the trade.

VALLEY GIRL PAGES 122–37: Flore de Brantes of Galerie Flore; galerieflore.com. For information on renting Château du Fresne, contact Galerie Flore.

THE HIGH LIFE PAGES 138–43: Interiors by Gachot Studios; gachotstudios.com. Landscape design by Plant Specialists; plantspecialists.com. PAGES 138–39: Custom-made teak cabinetry and counter by William Somerville; williamsomerville.com. Blackened-steel island by Kern/ Rockenfield (T); kernrock.com. Vintage Jean Prouvé barstools from 1950 Gallery; 1stdibs.com. On beams, Black Panther paint by Benjamin Moore; benjaminmoore.com. PAGE 140: Custom-made outdoor seating by NMS Co.; 631267-8992; with cushions and pillows by Sutherland (T); sutherlandfurniture.com; of Rough ’n Rowdy acrylic, in geranium red; and Slubby acrylic, in paper bag, both by Perennials (T); perennialsfabrics.com. Custommade bronze table by Object Metal; 718-852-2603; with Ramblas cement tile by Mosaic House; mosaichse.com. PAGE 141: On vintage Adrian Pearsall sofa, Croisé Collobrières linen blend, in café, by Pierre Frey (T); pierrefrey.com. Custom-made wenge-and-brass slat cocktail table by NMS Co.; 631267-8992. On 1960s Warren Platner chairs, shearling by Dualoy Leather (T); dualoy.com. Roman shades by Jonas (T); jonasworkroom.com; of Cumberland Cloth linen-wool, in khaki, by Kerry Joyce (T); dessinfournir.com. Flat-weave wool rug by Rosemary Hallgarten from ALT for Living; altforliving.com. PAGES 142–43: In master bedroom, on vintage Vladimir Kagan chair and ottoman, Bankers linen, in gold, by Brunschwig & Fils (T); brunschwig.com. Custom-made bed and Roman shades by Jonas (T); jonasworkroom.com. On bed frame, Forte leather, in roast, by Dualoy Leather (T); dualoy.com. Roman shades of Cumberland Cloth linen-wool, in khaki, by Kerry Joyce (T); dessinfournir.com. Brass Dome ceiling pendant by Orange Furniture; orangefurniture.com. In master bath, custom-made Stilnovo-style chandelier by Rewire;

rewirela.com. Parity tub by Kohler; kohler.com. Tub fittings and showerhead, all of polished nickel, by Lefroy Brooks; lefroybrooks.com. Eero Saarinen Tulip stool by Knoll; knoll.com. Custom-made teak vanity by William Somerville; williamsomerville.com.

PET PROJECT PAGES 144–53: Interiors by Tiffany Vassilakis; 212-243-3661. PAGE 147: Silk-and-wool rug by V’Soske (T); vsoske.com. PAGES 148–49: On custom-made love seats, Bechamel wool; with lumbar pillows of Fiorella linen-silk, in Rembrandt; curtains of Cloud Cover wool, in whiteout; on custom-made sofa, Vulcan cotton blend, in copper; on custom-made club chairs, Cambon wool blend, in lamb, all by Rogers & Goffigon (T); rogersandgoffigon.com. Solaris cocktail table by Martin Szekely for Galerie Kreo; galeriekreo.com. Pathway Mix brass-and-stone side tables by Taher Chemirik for Galerie BSL; galeriebsl.com. Custommade silk-and-wool rug by V’Soske (T); vsoske.com. On walls, C2 Luxe paint, in custom cream, by C2 Paint; c2paint.com. PAGE 151: In dining room, J.L.G. table by Martin Szekely for Galerie Kreo; galeriekreo.com. On dining chairs, Vernon cotton blend, in cream, by Sahco (T); donghia.com. Custom-made silk-and-wool rug by V’Soske (T); vsoske.com. PAGE 152: Empire-style bed by Quatrain (T); dessinfournir.com. Roman shades of Canalgrande crinkled satin, in peltro, by Rubelli (T); donghia.com. On club chair, Brushed Merino wool–cashmere, in petrus, by Maharam (T); maharam.com. Shankara Collection rug by Stark (T); starkcarpet.com. On walls, C2 Luxe paint, in custom cream, by C2 Paint; c2paint.com.

CLASSIC BEAUTY PAGES 162–73: Interiors by Carrier and Co. Interiors; carrierandcompany.com. PAGES 162–63: In library, on Brook Street tufted ottoman, Assyria Paisley cotton, in terracotta; Edwardian tub chair; on Colorado club chair, Moleskin Velvet, in Bordeaux; on walls, Shiva silk wall covering, in alizarian; Fairfax rug, in pale nutmeg, all by Ralph Lauren Home; ralphlaurenhome.com. Ventana two-tier brass-and-ebony chandelier, by Jonathan Adler; jonathanadler.com. PAGES 164–65: On walls, Specialty Finish Suede paint, in faded juniper, by Ralph

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST AND AD ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS OF ADVANCE MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS INC. COPYRIGHT © 2016 CONDÉ NAST. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. VOLUME 73, NO. 10. ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST (ISSN 0003-8520) is published monthly by Condé Nast, which is a division of Advance Magazine Publishers Inc. PRINCIPAL OFFICE: Condé Nast, 1 World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007. S. I. Newhouse, Jr., Chairman Emeritus; Charles H. Townsend, Chairman; Robert A. Sauerberg, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer; David E. Geithner, Chief Financial Officer; Jill Bright, Chief Administrative Officer. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and at additional mailing offices. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40644503. Canadian Goods and Services Tax Registration No. 123242885-RT0001. Canada Post: Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to P.O. Box 874, Station Main, Markham, ON L3P 8L4.

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Lauren Paint; ralphlaurenpaint.com. Adrianna medium chandelier, in antique gild; on Mayfair Salon sofa, English Riding Velvet cotton; on Renaissance Revival armchairs, Carleigh embroidered ticking linen, in tumbleweed; Ponderosa Weave jute rug, in wheat, all by Ralph Lauren Home; ralphlaurenhome.com. Swift Distressed White Burlap low table, from Mecox; mecox.com. PAGES 166–67: On walls, Artemesia Damask linen wall covering; Heiress double-pedestal dining table, in estate mahogany; on dining chairs, Heathland plaid wool blend, in juniper, all by Ralph Lauren Home; ralphlaurenhome.com. On custom-made tufted banquette, English Riding Velvet cotton, in aubergine, by Ralph Lauren Home. On mantel, orange disc (on metal base) from Mecox; mecox.com. Cadman basket by Ralph Lauren Home. Natura sisal rug by Stark (T); starkcarpet.com. PAGE 168: In parlor, Le Petit fauteuil; on walls, Burntwater Batik Paisley linen-blend wall covering, in tea; Lounging chair; on Florence storage ottoman, Deerpath Trail plaid, in hunter; Imogen rug, in lago blue, all by Ralph Lauren Home; ralphlaurenhome.com. Paris desk, in gray wash, by Noir (T); noirfurniturela.com. PAGE 169: In foyer, Hepplewhite wing chair, and on walls, Marlowe Floral wall covering, in Prussian blue, both by Ralph Lauren Home; ralphlaurenhome.com. McLain Wiesand Oculus mirror, in blued steel, from John Rosselli & Assoc. (T); johnrosselliassociates.com. In kitchen, Lillianne 16-light chandelier, in butler’s silver, by Ralph Lauren Home. Range by Wolf; subzero-wolf.com. Elite E60000 hood by Broan; broan.com. Milltown adjustable stools from Sundance Catalog; sundancecatalog.com. PAGE 170: Maura hammeredcopper double-slipper pedestal tub by Signature Hardware; signaturehardware.com. Etoile tub fittings by Waterworks; waterworks.com. On walls, Melcombe herringbone wall covering, in cashmere, by Ralph Lauren Home; ralphlaurenhome.com. PAGE 171: Canopy bed, upholstered in Hazel Wood damask, in limestone; with exterior curtains of Pont Marie Floral linen, in blush; and interior curtains of Wilton cotton blend, in Champagne; Wyatt quilted coverlet, in lavender; Langdon sheets, in lavender, Wiltshire cashmere blanket and shams, in cream, all by Ralph Lauren Home; ralphlaurenhome.com.

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BLITHE SPIRIT PAGES 174–83: Interiors by Hancock Design; hancockdesign.net. Brigette’s wardrobe styling by Jessica de Ruiter for the Wall Group; thewallgroup.com. Hair by Channion Wade; 323-321-4037. Makeup by Paulette McWilliams; paulettemcwilliams.com. PAGES 174–75: Extrasoft sofa by Living Divani; livingdivani.it. PAGES 176–77: Senior lounge chairs by Marco Zanuso and vintage Italian floor lamp, all from Eccola; eccolaimports.com. Equus console by Blackman Cruz; blackmancruz.com. Mongolian fur chair from JF Chen; jfchen.com. Lens side table by Eccola. Cocktail table from Twentieth; twentieth.net. Goatskin rug by Hamilton Rugs; 310-584-1957. PAGE 178: Brigette’s dress by Dries Van Noten; www.driesvannoten.be. Shoes by Céline; celine.com. In kitchen, 30" transitional drawer microwave and 30" warming drawer by Wolf; subzero-wolf.com. Vintage pendant from Lumfardo; lumfardo.com. Teak step stool, in natural, by Serena & Lily; serenaandlily.com. Surya flooring by Exquisite Surfaces; xsurfaces.com. PAGE 179: Arrow brass chandelier by Apparatus; apparatusstudio.com. Table and benches fabricated by Quality Custom Cabinetry; 805-658-2988. PAGES 180–81: Ray sofa by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia; bebitalia.com. Vintage Franco Albini and Franca Helg Tre Pezzi PL19 lounge chairs, similar style available at Cassina; cassina.com. African stools from Twentieth; twentieth.net. Custom-made multicone chandelier from Rewire; rewirela.com. Viscose rug by Hamilton Rugs; 310-584-1957. PAGES 182–83: Brigette’s dress by Dries Van Noten; www.driesvannoten.be. Shoes by Céline; celine.com. In girl’s room, custom-made loft bed by Quality Custom Cabinetry; 805-658-2988. Gaetano Pesce UP3 Easy chair from Diva Furniture; divafurniture.com. Vintage rug from Lawrence of La Brea; lawrenceoflabrea.com. In master bath, sink fittings by Kallista; kallista.com. Towel warmer by Ferguson; ferguson.com. Vintage Sergio Mazza sconce from Lumfardo; lumfardo.com.

PARADISE REGAINED PAGES 184–89: Landscape design by Caruncho Garden & Architecture; fernandocaruncho.com.

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Last Word HIGH NOTE

ANDRÉ MORIN

Up in modernist heaven Le Corbusier must be smiling. This past summer UNESCO added 17 of the pioneering architect’s projects to its list of World Heritage Sites, among them Cité Radieuse in Marseille, France. Designed in the 1950s, the apartment tower is now home to the rooftop art space MAMO (shown), whose latest display—on view through October 2—features a trio of graphic murals by Swiss artist Felice Varini. What appear to be irregular strokes of color, some coating the building’s iconic ventilation stack, form carefully composed geometric abstractions when seen from just the right angle. Corbu had always hoped the roof would double as exhibition space. Now, from his Chandigarh chair in the sky, he can enjoy a bird’seye view. —SAM COCHRAN

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