THE INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AUTHORITY
TOMMY HILFIGER LORD OF THE MANOR
FRANCA SOZZANI REMEMBERING HER PASSION FOR DESIGN PIERRE YOVANOVITCH FRANCE’S TOP TASTEMAKER JOHN PAWSON’S MANHATTAN MASTERWORK MIKE D A BEASTIE BOY’S MALIBU BEACH HOUSE
A DOUBLE-HEIGHT LIBRARY IN GREENWICH VILLAGE.
A MANHATTAN DUPLEX OVERLOOKING THE HUDSON RIVER.
Features 86 MINDING THE MANOR
Tommy and Dee Hilﬁger transform a Greenwich, Connecticut, landmark into a home for their family. By Kate Betts
98 LIGHT FANTASTIC
108 BEACH BOYS
Mike D of the Beastie Boys enlists architect Barbara Bestor to devise a haven in Malibu that celebrates the best of California living. By Mike Diamond
116 FORCE OF NATURE
Through his botanical sculptures, Japanese ﬂoral artist Azuma Makoto has risen to rock-star status. By Jane Keltner de Valle
120 ODE TO BEAUTY
Franca Sozzani’s Paris piedà-terre reﬂects the late Italian Vogue editor’s lifelong passion for art and design. By J. J. Martin
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126 BLOM COUNTY
British landscape designer Jinny Blom cultivates gardens that look like they’ve always been there. By Vicky Lowry
132 MAN OF THE WORLD
AD catches up with the internationally in-demand designer Pierre Yovanovitch at his brand-new Paris atelier. By Joshua Levine
136 HISTORICAL REVISION
Twenty-ﬁve years ago, author Andrew Solomon called on Robert Couturier to breathe new life into a crumbling New York townhouse—and the story is still being written. By Andrew Solomon
(CONTINUED ON PAGE 14)
ON THE COVER THE ENTRY HALL OF DEE AND TOMMY HILFIGER’S CONNECTICUT HOME. “MINDING THE MANOR,” PAGE 86. PHOTOGRAPHY BY OBERTO GILI; STYLED BY CAROLINA IRVING.
FROM TOP: ANTHONY COTSIFAS; DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN
Architect John Pawson’s seductive Manhattan duplex for antiques dealer Jill Dienst is all about the poetry of sun and shadow. By Mitchell Owens
CONTENTS march Discoveries 33 SHOPPING: PATTERN PLAY
BEASTIE BOY MIKE D’S MALIBU COMPOUND.
Geometric elements align to make a bold statement. Produced by Parker Bowie Larson
36 WORLD OF: VIRGIL ABLOH
The Off-White founder, Kanye West creative director, and trained architect returns to his design roots with a furniture collection and forthcoming books. By Jane Keltner de Valle
40 ARTISAN: FOLK REVIVAL
Décors Barbares’ Nathalie Farman-Farma gives new purpose to centuries-old textile designs. By Hannah Martin
44 DESIGN: BRIGHT EYES
Ana Meier teams up with her Pritzker Prize–winning father and Hervé Descottes to launch Richard Meier Light. By Sam Cochran
46 DEBUT: IN HER ELEMENT
At Friedman Benda, British designer Faye Toogood premieres an esoteric line of furniture and objects inspired by earth, moon, and water. By Hannah Martin
FLORAL ARTIST AZUMA MAKOTO CHECKS ON ONE OF HIS BOTANICAL SCULPTURES.
In Lisbon, cutting-edge talents from near and far put a fresh spin on Portugal’s beloved azulejo tilework. By Sam Cochran 56 AD VISITS: LIKE MINDS
The sprawling studio of artists Doug and Mike Starn is a testament to the brothers’ shared vision. By Vicky Lowry 60 ARCHITECTURE: PAIR OF ACES
Rising-star ﬁrm Christ & Gantenbein hits it big with backto-back museum projects. By Fred A. Bernstein
62 ART SCENE: DANCING IN THE STREETS
Artist Liz Glynn re-creates a Gilded Age ballroom for a mustsee public art installation. By Michael Slenske (CONTINUED ON PAGE 18)
AN 18TH-CENTURY DELFTWARE JUG.
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FROM TOP: TREVOR TONDRO; SHUNSUKE SHIINOKI; COURTESY OF ARONSON ANTIQUAIRS, AMSTERDAM
51 TRAVELS: HIGH HEAT
A SUSSEX GARDEN BY LANDSCAPE DESIGNER JINNY BLOM.
In Every Issue 24 EDITOR’S LETTER By Amy Astley 26 OBJECT LESSON: HERD MENTALITY
30 DEALER’S EYE: ROBERT D. ARONSON
The Dutch delftware dealer on what he’s buying, selling, and pursuing. By Hannah Martin 144 SOURCES
The designers, architects, and products featured this month. 146 LAST WORD: PEOPLE WATCHING
In New York, the Second Avenue Subway is the city’s newest art attraction. By Sam Cochran
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FRANCA SOZZANI’S PARIS TOWNHOUSE. FROM TOP: ANDREW MONTGOMERY; MATTHIEU SALVAING
The whimsical allure and enduring popularity of FrançoisXavier Lalanne’s 1960s sheep sculptures. By Hannah Martin
THE INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AUTHORITY VOLUME 74 NUMBER 3 EDITOR IN CHIEF
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1. & 2. WITH TOMMY AND DEE HILFIGER, WHOSE CONNECTICUT ESTATE, ROUND HILL, IS OUR COVER FEATURE. 3. A MANHATTAN TERRACE DESIGNED BY JOHN PAWSON. 4. & 5. THE LATE FRANCA SOZZANI, PHOTOGRAPHED AT HER PARIS HOME BY EMILY WEISS AND CAPTURED IN A PAINTING BY JULIAN SCHNABEL.
On December 22, 2016, as the AD staff was ﬁnishing up this issue and vacating our New York ofﬁces for the holiday week, we received the sad news of the untimely passing of Franca Sozzani, the legendary and longtime editor of Italian Vogue and our colleague at Condé Nast. We had included Franca’s Paris townhouse in this, our Star Power issue, because she embodied the word star—she was magnetic, powerful, luminous, rare. Franca’s beloved son, Francesco Carrozzini, who this past fall debuted his touching documentary Franca: Chaos and Creation, with his mother at his side on the international red carpets, encouraged us to publish the home as a tribute to her great passion for architecture and design. And so we offer fans of Franca—along with readers who may be unfamiliar with her—this personal glimpse of the last property she bought, one her son says was very special to her. It is indeed a privilege when public ﬁgures welcome us into their private worlds, and we are honored that among the other notables featured this month are Tommy and Dee Hilﬁger, whose splendid ivy-covered castle in Greenwich, Connecticut, boasts lush interiors by Martyn Lawrence Bullard and gardens by Miranda Brooks; Beastie Boy Mike D, relaxing at home with his kids in Malibu; celebrated antiques dealer Jill Dienst, in her masterful John Pawson–designed apartment in New York; and author Andrew Solomon, who writes about his own richly layered, Robert Couturier–decorated Manhattan townhouse. Don’t miss articles on fascinating design-world movers and shakers Virgil Abloh and Faye Toogood, major-league landscaper Jinny Blom, and Japanese ﬂoral artist Azuma Makoto. Rock stars one and all. 5
AMY ASTLEY Editor in Chief Instagram: @amytastley
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1. ANGELA PHAM/BFA.COM; 2. DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN; 3. ANTHONY COTSIFAS; 4. EMILY WEISS FOR INTO THE GLOSS; 5. MATTHIEU SALVAING
“If I weren’t in fashion, I would have gone into real estate or architecture. I love talking to architects.” —Franca Sozzani
THE STORY BEHIND AN ICONIC DESIGN
The whimsical allure and enduring popularity of artist François-Xavier Lalanne’s 1960s sheep sculptures
FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE AND HIS WIFE, CLAUDE, PICTURED IN 1965, WATCH OVER A FLOCK OF THE LEGENDARY MOUTONS DE LAINE, WHICH WERE AS MUCH SEATING AS THEY WERE SCULPTURE. 26
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LEFT LALANNE STOOLS IN SINGER ANDY WILLIAMS’S CALIFORNIA LIVING ROOM.
ABOVE VALENTINO, IN GSTAAD, SWITZERLAND, WITH HIS MENAGERIE OF PUGS (REAL) AND SHEEP (LALANNE).
BELOW DESIGNER REED KRAKOFF’S LONG ISLAND HOUSE.
A WEATHERRESISTANT LALANNE TRIO AT INVESTOR WILBUR ROSS’S HOME IN SOUTHAMPTON, NEW YORK. LEFT YVES SAINT LAURENT AND PIERRE BERGÉ’S PARIS LIBRARY. 28
FROM TOP: DAVID GLOMB; LUKAS WASSMAN; HORST P. HORST/CONDÉ NAST; ERIC PIASECKI; FRANÇOIS HALARD
or the 1965 Salon de la Jeune Peinture in Paris, French artist François-Xavier Lalanne wanted to make a statement. “If you come with a snail as big as a thumb, nobody notices,” he said. “You have to go with something immodest and slightly embarrassing.” His idea? Twenty-four sheep. Lalanne fashioned the faux livestock in the living room of the Paris apartment he shared with Claude, his wife and artistic partner. Four sculptures received impassive faces of patinated bronze while the others remained headless; all were swathed in ﬂuffy sheepskins. Les Lalannes then trotted the surrealistic herd off to the storied Palais de Tokyo exhibition hall, where the moutons—making their grand debut as art furniture, complete with casters in their hooves for easy mobility—were placed prominently at the salon’s entrance. Le Tout-Paris was charmed and covetous. “Having a sheep in your living room, as opposed to an armchair or a wood bench, is just pure fun,” says garden designer Madison Cox, a longtime friend of the Lalannes. That fun was as instantaneous as it has been enduring. (And pricey: In 2011 a group of ten sheep fetched nearly $7.5 million at Christie’s.) Several were commissioned by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, who positioned them throughout their Paris library. “[They help me] pretend I am on a farm in Normandy,” the couturier wistfully observed. And when Adelaide de Menil got wind of artist William Copley’s third divorce, in the 1970s, she sent her condolences: a rare black sheep to add to his collection. “I always prefer them in a big mass,” says decorator François Catroux, who recently gathered a trio in a Paris apartment. Architect Peter Marino remembers when FrançoisXavier asked what was his favorite mythological tale: “Without hesitation, I said, ‘The Golden Fleece,’ and he answered, ‘I shall make you an entire ﬂock.’” Cast in bronze, the Moutons de Peter now stand on his Hamptons lawn year-round and graze, just like the ruminants that inspired them. —HANNAH MARTIN
WHERE ART MEETS COMMERCE 1
Robert D. Aronson The Dutch delftware dealer on what he’s buying, selling, and pursuing
SPECIALTY: A ﬁfth-generation dealer trained by his father and grandfather, Robert D. Aronson is an expert on delftware—tin-glazed ceramics made in the Dutch town of Delft between 1650 and 1850. COLOR CODE: “Since cobalt is easy to work with, delftware made in the 17th century was mostly blue and white,” he says. “But from 1685 on, there are some rare examples of red or manganese-purple.” WHAT’S HOT: “Flower vases, particularly tulipières, are at the top of the market right now, and the bigger, the better. The largest one I sold, from 1690, stood about four feet.” FUN FACT: Many delftware factories started in abandoned breweries, explaining company names like the Double Tankard and the Metal Pot. AUTHENTICITY TEST: Pick it up. “A true piece of delftware should be lighter than you expect.” HUNTING: Black-glazed delftware. “It was only made between 1700 and 1720, and we’re aware of about 60 existing pieces.” RAREST FIND: “A pair of ﬁgures—King William III and Queen Mary II— holding ﬂower baskets, from 1690. It’s the only pair of royal ﬁgures that we know of in delftware. The molds, the shapes, and the type of decoration are all unrecorded.” PRIZED POSSESSION: A fairly simple pair of butter tubs with birds on the covers. “They’re the last objects I bought with my father.” NEXT UP: “In March we will bring 150 18thcentury delftware animals—cows, goats, horses, and the like—to TEFAF Maastricht in the Netherlands. It’s a menagerie I have known for most of my life; my grandfather was a friend of the collector.” aronson.com —HANNAH MARTIN
COURTESY OF ARONSON ANTIQUAIRS, AMSTERDAM
1. MID-18TH-CENTURY ROCOCO OVAL TUREEN AND COVER. 2. A 1630 PLATTER INSPIRED BY MOTIFS IN CHINESE PORCELAIN. 3. MONKEYSHAPED MILK JUG, CIRCA 1755.
Pattern Play Geometric elements align to make a bold statement
EDITED BY JANE KELTNER DE VALLE
THE BEST IN SHOPPING, DESIGN, AND STYLE
LOUIS VUITTON HAS INTRODUCED A LINE OF LUXURIOUS SMALL ACCESSORIES IDEAL FOR THE DESK OR VANITY. FROM TOP GRAPHIC CERAMIC VALET TRAY, 8" L. X 6" W.; $595. FLOWER LEATHER BOX, 5" L. X 5" W. X 2" H.; $630. SQUARE GRAPHIC CERAMIC VALET TRAYS, 3" SQ.; $365 EACH. LOUISVUITTON.COM, 866-884-8866
PH OTO G R A PH BY JO H N MANNO
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DISCOVERIES shopping 1
1. SCHUMACHER ANGOLO WALLPAPER IN MAPLE; TO THE TRADE. FSCHUMACHER.COM, 800-523-1200
3. ANN SACKS ALMAS DIAMOND TERRA-COTTA TILE; $53 PER SQ. FT. ANNSACKS.COM, 800-278-8453 4. ROBERTO GIULIO RIDA MINOSSE SMOKEDMIRROR-AND-BRASS CABINET. 32" W. X 16" D. X 59.5" H.; $95,000. BGOECKLERANTIQUES.COM, 212-777-8209 5. WEDGWOOD BYZANCE BONE CHINA ACCENT TIDBIT PLATE. 6" DIA.; $150 FOR SET OF FOUR. WEDGWOOD.COM, 877-720-3486 6. PENTREATH & HALL FALLING CUBES WASTEPAPER BIN. 12" H.; $74. PENTREATHHALL.COM, +44-20-7430-2526 7. MERVE KAHRAMAN DIPLOPIA MARBLEAND-BRASS COCKTAIL TABLE. 29" W. X 33" D. X 18" H.; $6,200. PROPERTYFURNITURE.COM, 917-237-0123
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P ROD U C ED BY PARK ER BOWI E L A R S O N
1. COURTESY OF SCHUMACHER; 2. COURTESY OF THE RUG COMPANY; 3. & 5. JOHN MANNO; 4. COURTESY OF BERND GOECKLER; 6. COURTESY OF BEN PENTREATH LTD.; 7. COURTESY OF PROPERTY FURNITURE
2. THE RUG COMPANY TILT WOOL CREWELWORK CUSHION IN CORAL. 22" SQ.; $120. THERUGCOMPANY.COM, 212-274-0444
DISCOVERIES world of VIRGIL ABLOH, WITH CUBE CHAIRS FROM HIS BLUE STATE CHAIR COLLECTION, OUTSIDE ALCHEMIST, AT MIAMI BEACHâ€™S 1111 LINCOLN ROAD, THE PARKING GARAGE DESIGNED BY HERZOG & DE MEURON.
Virgil Abloh The Off-White founder, Kanye West creative director, and trained architect returns to his design roots with a furniture collection and forthcoming books
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P ORT RAI T BY JASO N S C H M I DT
DISCOVERIES world of
AN IMAGE, SHOT AT THE BARCELONA PAVILION, FROM ONE OF ABLOH’S UPCOMING BOOKS. “I’M TRYING TO TEACH THE YOUNGER GENERATION ABOUT ARCHITECTURE THROUGH BUILDINGS THAT HAVE INSPIRED MY WAY OF THINKING.”
DANIEL BUREN’S LES DEUX PLATEAUX IN PARIS. “LINES ARE A LARGE CONSTRUCT OF THE OFF-WHITE BRAND. THEY’RE OFTEN USED IN INDUSTRIAL CASES, BUT THEY CAN ALSO BE AN ARTISTIC STATEMENT.”
uests at the Off-White runway show in Paris this past September left with more than your typical fashion memento: Many purloined the blue-foam cubes they had been seated on. (Colette’s Sarah Andelman called the next day to secure 20.) The pillaging was more than welcome as far as Virgil Abloh was concerned; it was an afﬁrmation. The lightweight seats were the seeds of his latest project, a furniture collection he would debut at Design Miami two months later. Best known as a fashion designer, DJ, and right hand to Kanye West—the millennial deﬁnition of a Renaissance man—Abloh holds an architecture degree from Chicago’s Illinois Institute of Technology, where he studied in buildings designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. “It inspired my way of thinking,” says the native Illinoisan. So much so he’s publishing a series of books that place models wearing his clothing inside iconic structures, such as Mies’s Barcelona Pavilion and Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye. “The idea is to teach my demographic—the younger generation who’s immersed in fashion—about architecture through these sites.” Abloh’s philosophy of furniture has a similarly crosscultural goal. “I’m taking the concept of streetwear and translating it to the art world,” he says, going on to reference Marcel Duchamp and Tom Sachs as like-minded inspirations. “My idea is to draw a link to that kid who has a thirst for the new graphic T-shirt,” he continues. “And the fact that 50 percent of the cube chairs were gone after my show proves that there’s an inherent value after being in my grips.”
“I design streetwear in quotes. So how do I do that in the art world? It’s this.” 38
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Abloh may lack humility, but he has a point. His most recent edition of the cube is black and, in a sly postelection political statement, is printed with the words Blue State Chair. The cubes are produced in limited runs, with some free for the taking if you happen to be in the right place at the right time; the rest will be sold at a price comparable to that of Abloh’s T-shirts. Other furnishings are ambitious and layered. One table has a leg that is a pile of rocks, while another leg is stacked Sheetrock. “I’m highlighting stuff people see every day, then organizing it in a different context,” Abloh says. “The art world can lose touch with things that real people identify with.” The designer’s next project is a Toronto shop, created with New York’s Family architecture ﬁrm, that will feature a meandering path surrounded by overgrown weeds. “I want it to feel like an experience, not a store,” Abloh explains. Does he ever worry he’s overextending himself? Just the opposite: “These projects convey my design ﬂexibilities,” he says. “You don’t become Raf Simons or Mies van der Rohe by not doing everything. At least, that’s how my brain is wired. What’s torture to me is to think of something and then not do it.” —JANE KELTNER DE VALLE
FROM TOP: FRANK HEUER/LAIF/REDUX; COURTESY OF OFF-WHITE; FABIEN MONTIQUE/COURTESY OF OFF-WHITE
“THROUGH THIS CANON OF READY-MADE ART, I’M HIGHLIGHTING STUFF PEOPLE SEE EVERY DAY, THEN ORGANIZING IT IN A DIFFERENT CONTEXT,” SAYS ABLOH, WHO EXHIBITED A FOUND-OBJECT TABLE AND A TRIVISION SIGN AT DESIGN MIAMI. “THE ART WORLD CAN LOSE TOUCH WITH THINGS THAT REAL PEOPLE IDENTIFY WITH.”
1. NATHALIE FARMAN-FARMA ON THE TERRACE OF HER NEW STUDIO IN LONDON’S CHELSEA NEIGHBORHOOD. 2. ANDRINOPLE, FARMAN-FARMA’S TAKE ON AN 1850S RUSSIAN FABRIC. 3. THE AUREL COTTON IS BASED ON A 1920S PRINTED RUSSIAN TEXTILE.
Folk Revival Décors Barbares’ Nathalie Farman-Farma gives new purpose to centuries-old textile designs
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5 4. FOLKLORE, PRINTED ON A WEIGHTY COTTON-LINEN BLEND, NODS TO TRADITIONAL RUSSIAN DESIGNS. 5. FARMAN-FARMA CALLS HER NEW STUDIO A LABORATORY OF DECORATING IDEAS. “I NEVER MAKE A FABRIC THAT I WOULDN’T PERSONALLY USE,” SHE SAYS.
P HOTOGRAP HY BY M I GU EL FLO R E S -V I A N N A
2., 3., AND 4. COURTESY OF DÉCORS BARBARES
hen Nathalie Farman-Farma purchased a ravishing 19th-century Russian fabric in 2000, her ﬁrst thought was a rather practical one: to make pillows. “Objects become so much more interesting when they’re put to use,” says the French-raised, London-based collector and designer, who recently moved into a charming new Chelsea studio. “The problem with old textiles is that after six months of people sitting on them, they fray; the ﬁber is too dry.” Farman-Farma’s solution: Reimagine them. Since 2010 she has been printing enchanting fabrics inspired by her favorite folk traditions from Eastern Europe and northern Asia—Turkmen robes, Russian pinafores, Slavic embroidery—under the moniker Décors Barbares. For the Andrinople print, she had elements of that crimson Russian pattern redrawn and transferred onto a cotton that was then dyed Turkey red using an ancient technique. Next, she notes, “I’m thinking of doing something based on this skirt I saw in Krakow.” She pulls up an iPhone photo of a buoyant white getup decorated with sweet red ﬂowers. “Wouldn’t it be great as café curtains?” That’s the way Farman-Farma works—function ﬁrst. “I always ask myself two questions,” she says. “Does it make me dream? And, How would I use it?” decorsbarbares.com —HANNAH MARTIN
1 A RICHARD MEIER– DESIGNED HOUSE ON NEW YORK’S FIRE ISLAND.
Bright Eyes 1. CYCLADIC SQUARE SCONCES, AVAILABLE IN 12" SQ. 2. A RENDERING OF THE CYCLADIC PENDANT. 3. CYCLADIC CIRCLE SCONCE, WHICH COMES IN 14" OR 24" DIA.
ight has always played a deﬁning role in the work of Richard Meier, whose white, rigorously geometric buildings seem to harness the sun— reﬂecting its rays and guiding them to cast dynamic shadows. And yet lighting is a category that has eluded the Pritzker Prize winner, with no such product bearing his name. At the urging of his daughter, furniture designer Ana Meier, that’s about to change. Launching March 14 at New York’s Ralph Pucci showroom is Richard Meier Light, an array of reﬁned ﬁxtures created by the two in collaboration with lighting master Hervé Descottes, cofounder of L’Observatoire International. “We were thinking about how light gives volume to planes, how it can dramatize forms,” explains Ana, who shepherded the sculptural collection—all white, naturally—as its creative director. The Cycladic Circle and Cycladic Square sconces, for example, divide their namesake shapes into halves, one aglow and one in shadow. As she notes, “Depending on the intensity of light, the ﬁxtures really change.”
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Ana Meier teams up with her Pritzker Prize–winning father and Hervé Descottes to launch Richard Meier Light The simplicity of those forms belies the complexity of their construction, which integrates Corian surfaces with state-ofthe-art, adjustable LEDs. At Descottes’s suggestion, gold-leaf lining was added to the shade of the Cycladic pendant, a handblown orb of Venetian glass capped by powder-coated aluminum. Ingeniously, the gold and the glass can be lit independently for two distinct looks. “Every detail has been thought through,” says the French designer. While those ﬁxtures all channel the ethos of the esteemed architect’s signature style, the Barcelona series offers a more literal interpretation, translating the front elevation of his Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art into two different sconces. Whereas one is recognizably buildinglike, with articulated pilotis, the other is an extruded curve that recalls Alvar Aalto’s iconic Savoy vase. “Architecture has the power to inspire, to elevate the spirit, to feed both the mind and the body,” Richard says. “With this collection, we have distilled this feeling into objects that touch people inside the spaces where they live, work, and visit.” richardmeierlight.com —SAM COCHRAN
SCOTT FRANCES/OTTO; 1. AND 2. SCOTT FRANCES/COURTESY OF RICHARD MEIER LIGHT; 3. COURTESY OF RICHARD MEIER LIGHT
In Her Element At Friedman Benda, British designer Faye Toogood premieres an esoteric line of furniture and objects inspired by earth, moon, and water
1. FOR 2012’S LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL, FAYE TOOGOOD CREATED ART OUT OF 49 WORK COATS, REPRESENTING EVERYONE FROM STONEMASONS TO SILVERSMITHS. 2. A SPOON CHAIR FROM TOOGOOD’S SERIES ASSEMBLAGE 5, CAST IN A UNIQUE MIXTURE OF EARTH AND AGGREGATES. 3. THE PATINATED UNDERSIDE OF HER BRONZE SPADE CHAIR.
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DESIGNS: COURTESY OF FAYE TOOGOOD
aye Toogood is holding her breath. Somewhere in the Czech Republic, her short and squat Roly-Poly chair (or the “dumpy elephant,” as she fondly calls it) is being cast in solid glass. “It’s a real gamble,” she says of the curing process, which takes ﬁve months. “None of us knows whether it will survive when they remove the mold.” The precarious piece is just one of 23 that make up Toogood’s new furnishings series, Assemblage 5: Earth, Moon, and Water, which will make its debut at Manhattan’s Friedman Benda gallery in late February. Perhaps it’s ﬁtting then that the fate of the show’s pièce de résistance be left in the hands of shape-shifting elements. Toogood, who spent her childhood in rural England assembling stones, mushrooms, and glass into compositions on her bedroom table, and who later cut her teeth arranging still lifes under editor Min Hogg at The World of Interiors, has always marveled at the wonders of nature. “For this collection, I wanted to get back to something primal and human,” she says. Each piece is realized in one of three materials devised by Toogood and her team in their new laboratory, a house in London’s hip Shoreditch neighborhood. “I wanted to make my own elemental materials,” she offers. Ancient adobe architecture inspired earth, a complex mixture of dirt and aggregates. “We were endlessly cooking,” she says of concocting it. “We baked almost 30 samples, like loaves of bread.” For moon, she went with nitrate-covered bronze,
DISCOVERIES debut 2
1 1. A VICTORIAN APARTMENT DESIGNED BY TOOGOOD IN LONDON’S MAYFAIR NEIGHBORHOOD. 2. THE NITRATECOATED BRONZE PEW BENCH FROM ASSEMBLAGE 5. 3. HUMAN-SCALE SCULPTURES IN TOOGOOD’S 2015 AGENDER POP-UP SHOP AT LONDON DEPARTMENT STORE SELFRIDGES.
“I hope the forms have an almost human quality,” Toogood says. “I hope they feel full of personality.” the color of dull, deep lead. And for water, she found Czech artisans who 4 would realize her pieces in clear glass. After a hiatus from the furniture wing of her studio (Toogood also does clothing and interiors), the designer delivers a much-anticipated group of new shapes with this collection. The Spoon chair (“Now Roly-Poly has a friend!” she exclaims) nods to African fertility chairs. And a batch of tables, benches, tapestries, and chalice-shaped stools took inspiration from a visit to Henri Matisse’s chapel on the French Riviera. In fact, the show kicks off a year of introductions: Toogood is creating light ﬁxtures with New York City design shop Matter, producing a wall covering with Brooklynbased Calico, and fashioning piled wool rugs with CC-Tapis. In keeping with the multidisciplinary nature of Toogood’s practice, the new furniture designs have already set other ideas in motion: She hopes to rethink her tapestries as coats and is hatching plans for earth, moon, and water suits. “Maybe I’ll wear one to the opening,” she says with a laugh. —HANNAH MARTIN
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4. THE PLAY TAPESTRY, WHICH IS BASED ON CHILDREN’S BUILDING BLOCKS. 5. THE SQUAT ROLY-POLY CHAIR— SHOWN HERE IN FIBERGLASS—WILL BE CAST IN SOLID GLASS FOR ASSEMBLAGE 5.
1. TOBIAS HARVEY; 2., 3., 4., AND 5. COURTESY OF FAYE TOOGOOD
High Heat In Lisbon, cutting-edge talents from near and far put a fresh spin on Portugal’s beloved azulejo tilework PH OTO G R A PH Y BY LUIS DÍAZ DÍAZ
WHERE TO GO, WHO TO KNOW, WHAT TO SEE EDITED BY SAM COCHRAN
OVERLOOKING LISBON’S TAGUS RIVER, THE NEW MUSEUM OF ART, ARCHITECTURE AND TECHNOLOGY OCCUPIES A TILECLAD BUILDING BY AMANDA LEVETE.
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1. ANDRÉ SARAIVA’S RECENTLY UNVEILED AZULEJO MURAL AT BOTTO MACHADO GARDEN. 2. THE ARTIST IN FRONT OF HIS WALL. 3. VINTAGE SUBWAY TILEWORK BY MARIA KEIL.
t the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris, while the French were unveiling the Eiffel Tower, the Portuguese were presenting feats of a considerably more compact variety. The country’s pavilion made dramatic use of azulejos, the glazed ceramic tiles that have been a hallmark of Iberian craftsmanship for ﬁve centuries. Today the art form remains a source of national pride and delight, as evidenced by a recent trip to Lisbon, whose steep streets reveal stunning examples at every turn. And thanks to two recently unveiled local projects, traditional tilework is getting a bold new spin. This past October the city welcomed its largest expanse of azulejos—an 11,625-square-foot mural by artist and nightlife impresario André Saraiva, who was commissioned by MUDE, the local museum of design and fashion. (He has Portuguese roots.) Comprising some 55,000 hand-painted tiles, each one fabricated at the historic Viúva Lamego factory, the work wraps the perimeter of the Botto Machado garden, inspiring selﬁes and serving as a graphic backdrop to one of the city’s bustling ﬂea markets.
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“We Portuguese don’t take ourselves too seriously—we are like clay, we adjust,” says curator Alexandre Nobre Pais.
“The wall is my dream city,” explains Saraiva, who splits his time between Paris, New York, Los Angeles, and his home outside Lisbon. He incorporated references to all four locales into the mural, an imaginary pastiche skyline. Rendered in his signature, exuberant style are Lisbon icons such as the Santa Justa Elevator, São Jorge Castle, and Discoveries Monument. Elsewhere there’s his Paris nightclub, Le Baron; his grafﬁti
CULTURE travels MORE TO DO IN LISBON SIGHTS The Portuguese capital lacks not for cultural attractions, from the cloisters and vaulted ceilings of the Jerónimos Monastery (mosteirojeronimos.pt) to the wondrous ruins of the Carmo Convent, now adjoining an archaeological museum (museuarqueologicodocarmo.pt). Architecture lovers will delight in the two-year-old National Coach Museum, designed by Pritzker Prize winner Paulo Mendes da Rocha to display 70 carriages (museudoscoches.pt). And across town Santiago Calatrava’s Oriente train station stuns with its lacy canopy.
1 1. VIBRANT AZULEJOS LINE THE FAÇADE OF THE HOME GOODS EMPORIUM A VIDA PORTUGUESA. 2. INSIDE CORTIÇO & NETOS, WHICH OFFERS AN ARRAY OF RARE VINTAGE TILES.
alter ego, Mr. A; and a boat bearing the name Jackie, an homage to his girlfriend. Asked whether he was nervous about the wall being vandalized, Saraiva responds with a smile, “Why do you think I left so much white space?” Across town, meanwhile, design aﬁcionados are ﬂocking to the new Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, where British architect Amanda Levete has created a sinuous building that rises from the boardwalk like a cresting wave. Cladding the structure is a multifaceted skin of ceramic tiles, its creamy crackle glaze catching the sun as it bounces off the river Tagus. Purists might argue that the tiles don’t qualify as azulejos on account of being afﬁxed to an aluminum framework rather than adhered using a more traditional method. But most people will be too seduced by the rooftop’s spectacular river views to give it a second thought. “We Portuguese don’t take ourselves too seriously—we are like clay, we adjust,” says Alexandre Nobre Pais, a curator at Lisbon’s National Tile Museum, which
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just reinstalled its trove of treasures. As he explains, his countrymen have been reinventing the craft ever since they began importing Spanish azulejos and mixing patterns in the 15th century: “We grasp what is interesting in others and integrate that into our culture.” As for Saraiva, he’s just getting started. “I’ve seen my technique improve so much since the beginning of this project,” he reﬂects, dining on grilled ﬁsh in the seaside town where he now has a small ﬁsherman’s cottage. “I would love to do a wall in New York. Azulejo is the rare artistic expression that really endures— time won’t fade it.” —SAM COCHRAN
RESTAURANTS “It’s the ultimate throwback,” artist André Saraiva says of his favorite haunt, Gambrinus, a wood-lined eatery that’s been serving up traditional Portuguese cuisine for more than 78 years (gambrinuslisboa.com). Iberian flavors get fresh twists at Bairro do Avillez, the latest hot spot from local chef José Avillez of Michelin-starred Belcanto fame (joseavillez.pt). Set inside a restored 18th-century palace, Palácio Chiado puts an elegant spin on the food-hall trend, with seven restaurants plus a bar under one roof (palaciochiado.pt). SHOPS If it’s azulejos you want, head to Cortiço & Netos for spectacular wares from defunct manufacturers (corticoenetos.com). Antique tiles, some dating from the 15th century, can be found at the charming D’Orey (doreytiles.pt). Nearby, Cerâmicas na Linha brims with chic home goods (Rue Capelo 16, +351-21-598-4813). And no trip to Lisbon would be complete without a stop at its famed specialty shops—from Conserveira de Lisboa, an emporium of canned delicacies (conserveiradelisboa.pt), to the closet-size gloves store Luvaria Ulisses (luvariaulisses.com). HOTELS Saraiva swears by the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, a time capsule of Estado Novo glamour commissioned by Portuguese autocrat António de Oliveira Salazar in 1952; don’t forget to check out the ballroom and rooftop track (fourseasons.com). Contemporary touches prevail at the new Memmo Príncipe Real, a 41-room hotel with sweeping views of the city (memmohotels.com). It’s a welcome follow-up to the brand’s sleek Memmo Alfama, set in the heart of Lisbon’s most historic district.
CULTURE AD visits
The sprawling studio of artists Doug and Mike Starn is a testament to the brothers’ shared vision
rowing up in New Jersey, Doug and Mike Starn would sit next to each other at their family’s kitchen table and do what kids do around the world: make art. In their case, the identical twins worked in complete harmony. “I’m painting on his painting, and he’s painting on my painting, and we’re perfectly happy,” recalls Mike. “It’s just the way we are.” The Starns have been collaborating in unison ever since, moving from childhood doodles to photography-based work that explores the intersection of art, science, and religion. In the 1980s, unable to afford enlarging an image to 30 or 40 inches, they just stuck small sheets of photographic paper together with Scotch tape, like a mosaic, before exposing them to chemicals in the darkroom. Since then they have pushed themselves far beyond photography, melding sculpture, performance, and more into their practice. Their 2010 rooftop installation, Big Bambú: You Can’t, You Don’t, and You Won’t Stop, a jungle-gym-like structure consisting of 6,800 bamboo poles, remains one of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most popular exhibitions ever, with 630,000 visitors and at least six marriage proposals reported over six months. For the past eight years, the brothers have worked side by side—fueling each other’s ideas, ﬁnishing each other’s sentences— in a former factory in Beacon, New York. The 40,000-square-foot
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2 1. THE BEACON, NEW YORK, STUDIO OF DOUG AND MIKE STARN. 2. FEATURED AT THE SPACE IS A VERSION OF THE BROTHERS’ 2010 INSTALLATION FOR THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART.
P HOTOGRAP HY BY W I LLI AM A B R A N OWI C Z
CULTURE AD visits 1
1. GLASS PANELS FROM A RECENT PROJECT FOR PRINCETON UNIVERSITY. 2. AMONG THE MATERIALS ON A WORK SURFACE ARE ALBUMS FOR THE STARNS’ NEW SERIES, DEBUTING AT THE ARMORY SHOW AND TRAVELING TO THE BALDWIN GALLERY IN ASPEN, COLORADO. 3. A NEWLY RENOVATED STUDIO SPACE.
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building once served as a foundry for casting metal sculptures as high as 50 feet not only for patriotic monuments on Washington’s National Mall but also for fantastical creatures by such artists as Louise Bourgeois and Jeff Koons. The Starns’ original Big Bambú lives here, festooned with a bamboo sailboat (test-launched two summers ago on the upstate New York lake where they each have a weekend house). The room-size sculpture, inset with a woven staircase leading to the second-story gallery and a third-story ofﬁce, continues to shift across the ground ﬂoor thanks to local rock climbers who extract and reattach poles using colored rope while 128 webcams capture the meticulous evolution. “Our vision is that nothing in the world is monolithic, nothing is one thing— everything is interconnected,” Mike explains. It’s an especially productive time for the brothers. The annual Armory Show in New York City, running March 2–5, is featuring a double booth of new pieces—including large-scale portraits and a ten-foot-tall glass sculpture—for Stockholm’s Wetterling Gallery. An exhibition of beloved album covers (complete with vinyl records) that they have reworked with paint opens at the Baldwin Gallery in Aspen, Colorado, on March 17, followed by a show of woven-bamboo furniture debuting April 27 at design dealer Cristina Grajales’s space in Manhattan. One of their most complex projects to date, a 90-foot-long stained-glass wall commissioned by the Art in Embassies program during the Obama administration, will be erected outside the U.S. embassy in Moscow this May. The freestanding façade, which consists of a composition of satellite images relating to space exploration and the cosmos, harks back to the brothers’ 1990s tenure as NASA artists in residence. The digital photos have been transferred onto layers of glass (some of it handblown) by Franz Mayer of Munich, a ﬁfth-generation workshop in Germany. “We’ve made translucent work with photographic ﬁlm and glass throughout our career,” Doug says, “but this piece has an additional meaning of transparency— science is positive—looking for truth in a transparent universe.” —VICKY LOWRY
CULTURE architecture CHRIST & GANTENBEIN’S NEW WING FOR ZURICH’S SWISS NATIONAL MUSEUM.
Pair of Aces
FROM TOP: IWAN BAAN (2); MARKUS JANS
Rising-star ﬁrm Christ & Gantenbein hits it big with back-to-back museum projects
manuel Christ and Christoph Gantenbein are architecture’s boy wonders—but it took a while for the world to notice. In 2002, at ages 31 and 30, the duo won a competition to expand the Swiss National Museum, a beloved institution in the heart of Zurich. Seven years later they won a second major competition, this time to add a new building to their hometown’s Kunstmuseum Basel, one of the world’s great collections of contemporary art. (In winning the commissions, they beat out the likes of Rem Koolhaas, David Chipperﬁeld, and Zaha Hadid.) With these victories, they were on their way to stardom. Funding controversies, however, delayed the completion of the Zurich building, which resulted in both projects opening last year. “It was a thrill and, frankly, also a relief,” says Christ of their annus mirabilis. In Zurich they added an 80,000-square-foot thunderbolt of concrete to a fussy 19th-century building. In Basel they produced a gray-brick structure that looks like an alp transported to the city center. Both extensions have won rave reviews. But the architects—who studied together at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology before founding their ﬁrm, Christ & Gantenbein, in 1998—are hardly resting on their laurels. The pair spent this past fall teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, which required constant transatlantic travel (and time away from their wives and children). Now they are engaged in projects ranging from social housing in Paris to a visitor center in Zurich for the chocolatemaker Lindt. There they’ll have to manage expectations. As Christ jokes, “People will expect Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” —FRED A. BERNSTEIN
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ABOVE AN AERIAL VIEW OF THE ZURICH PROJECT. LEFT CHRISTOPH GANTENBEIN (LEFT) AND EMANUEL CHRIST, PHOTOGRAPHED FOR L’UOMO VOGUE.
CULTURE art scene
LEFT LIZ GLYNN POSES AT A QUEENS, NEW YORK, WORKSHOP WITH A CONCRETE FOOTSTOOL AND SIDE CHAIR FROM OPEN HOUSE, DEBUTING AT CENTRAL PARK IN MARCH. BELOW THE WILLIAM C. WHITNEY BALLROOM, LONG DEMOLISHED.
Dancing in the Streets
like disaster,” says artist Liz Glynn. “I like being surrounded by rubble.” That much was clear on a recent visit to her Commerce, California, studio, a vast space ﬁlled with sculptural ﬂotsam and jetsam—from stacks of polyurethane molds to countless replicas of ancient tools. The latter she crafts in clay before digitally scanning their forms, which she then 3-D–prints and displays in groups that trace the evolution of toolmaking. This month Glynn will mine more history at New York City’s Doris C. Freedman Plaza, on the southeast corner of Central Park. There, as part of the Public Art Fund’s ongoing installation series, she will reproduce some two dozen of the antique French sofas, chairs, and footstools that once graced the William C. Whitney ballroom—a legendary
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Gilded Age space designed by Stanford White for his client’s Fifth Avenue mansion. Immortalized in Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, the opulent interior was said to have been the largest private ballroom in Manhattan until Caroline Astor one-upped Whitney in her own palatial home. “During that time there was this arms race in terms of ostentatious architecture for the most prominent New Yorkers,” says Glynn, whose new project is titled Open House. Meticulously cast in concrete at a Queens workshop, the furniture pieces will serve as a free-to-all “ruin” of what was once Manhattan’s foremost chamber of exclusivity.
P ORT RAI T BY V I C TORI A HELY- H U TC H I N S O N
H. H. SIDMAN/COURTESY OF PUBLIC ART FUND
Known for merging performance and sculpture, Liz Glynn re-creates a Gilded Age ballroom for a must-see public art installation
CULTURE art scene
1. GLYNN’S 2014 INSTALLATION RANSOM ROOM AT SCULPTURECENTER IN QUEENS. 2. TO ORIENT, 2016, FROM HER “TECHNOLOGICAL TOOLBOXES” SERIES. 3. SCULPTURES IN THE SPIRIT OF RODIN FROM GLYNN’S MYTH OF SINGULARITY PROJECT AT THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART.
“I’m much more interested in interaction and experience, even if that’s a bit messy,” says Glynn. 64
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Since earning an MFA at the California Institute of the 1 Arts almost a decade ago, Glynn has combed through old stories of money and power, reexamining them via installations that often bridge performance and sculpture. At Queens’ SculptureCenter, in 2014, she reimagined the room where 16th-century Spanish conquistadors once held the Incan emperor Atahualpa prisoner. To secure his release, legend has it, Atahualpa summoned gold and silver treasures from afar, but he was still executed, his precious trove melted down into ingots. Inspired by that tale, Glynn ﬁlled SculptureCenter with wax trophies that she lugged to the exhibition over the course of the show, melting her hoard in the ﬁnal week. For a multiphase project at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, meanwhile, she and a team of assistants attempted to replicate Rodin ﬁgures in plaster during a two-day performance. The resulting props were eventually assembled and recast as eight bronze sculptures that were displayed at the museum for much of last year. “I try to construct systems that let all different scenarios play out,” says Glynn, who mounted a show of her Rodin sculptures at New York’s Paula Cooper Gallery earlier this winter and is preparing for a fall solo exhibition at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. The latter project will tackle the perils of technology, incorporating caves (made out of shipping pallets) that host job-training seminars. “With performance that’s related to conventional theater, there’s this aesthetic control. I’m much more interested in interaction and experience, even if that’s a bit messy.” In Central Park that messiness may come in the form of casual encounters between strangers, the simple erosion of her Gilded Age replicas, or the larger issues involved. “There’s a lot of contention around air rights right now—people are building skyscrapers that hurt the landscape of the park because of their shadows,” Glynn says. “This is just one more moment in the ongoing conversation about affordable housing, public-private partnerships, and freedom of assembly.” Pausing to reﬂect, she poses the question: “Whose park is this now? It’s not something I can answer; it’s just something I can ask.” —MICHAEL SLENSKE
1. COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND SCULPTURECENTER, LONG ISLAND CITY, NEW YORK; 2. STEPHEN PROBERT/COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND PAULA COOPER GALLERY, NEW YORK; 3. FREDRIK NILSON
LOOKING INTO THE ENTRY HALL OF TOMMY AND DEE HILFIGERâ€™S HISTORIC HOUSE, WHERE A 19THCENTURY HUNTING DOG PAINTING IS SURROUNDED BY ANTIQUE ANTLERS; THE HOME WAS RENOVATED BY ARCHITECT ANDRE TCHELISTCHEFF AND FURNISHED BY MARTYN LAWRENCE BULLARD. OPPOSITE THE COBBLED ROSE GARDEN FEATURES A FOUNTAIN BY PHILLIP WATSON; MIRANDA BROOKS DESIGNED THE LANDSCAPE. FOR DETAILS SEE SOURCES.
minding the manor
Tommy and Dee HilďŹ ger transform a Greenwich, Connecticut, landmark into a home for their family TEXT BY
CAROLINA IRVING 87
ABOVE A CASTELLATED YEW HEDGE DIVIDES THE BOXWOOD KNOT GARDEN FROM THE ROSE GARDEN. STAG STATUES FROM LA MAISON FRANÇAISE ANTIQUES. OPPOSITE TOMMY, SEBASTIAN, AND DEE HILFIGER IN THE GAME ROOM. ON DEE, TOMMY HILFIGER SWEATER AND PANTS, HERMÈS WATCH, MANSUR GAVRIEL SHOES. FASHION STYLING BY SARAH SLUTSKY.
HAIR BY RICARDO ROJAS AT RICARDOROJASHAIR.COM; MAKEUP BY LIAM DUNN AT BERNSTEIN & ANDRIULLI FOR CHANEL COSMETICS
tommy and dee hilfiger’s castle sits atop a high hill in Greenwich, Connecticut, with views stretching all the way to the Long Island Sound. In fact, from Tommy’s third-ﬂoor ofﬁce, in what was once the billiard room, the quintessential American designer can even see New York City. “The immediate landscape is very rural—we feel like we’re in the English countryside—yet the city is so close,” says Tommy, who is sitting in the home’s wood-paneled entryway, lacing his sneakers in preparation for a game of tennis with his wife on the sunken court that lies just beyond a magniﬁcent lawn dotted with quirky cone-shaped boxwoods; Miranda Brooks masterminded the landscape. Behind him a dramatic staircase climbs to a second-ﬂoor landing outﬁtted with Flemish still-life paintings and a pair of stag antlers from Baron de Rothschild’s château. Given the decor—not to mention the romantic rooﬂine, ivy-covered turrets, and leaded bay windows—it would be easy to mistake the house for something closer to a historic manor house than a suburban home.
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“You can’t have a house like this and make it Americana,” Tommy notes. “We wanted to preserve that feeling of being in a European country home.”
IN THE BARONIAL ENTRY HALL, AN ANTIQUE IRON CHANDELIER HANGS OVER AN 1840S GOTHIC REVIVAL LIBRARY TABLE AND BULLARD-DESIGNED STOOLS, WHICH ARE DRESSED IN A ROBERT KIME PRINT WITH A SAMUEL & SONS FRINGE TRIM. SEVENTEENTHCENTURY OUSHAK FROM MANSOUR. TOUR HIS-AND-HERS CLOSETS WITH TOMMY AND DEE AT ARCHDIGEST.COM.
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ABOVE IN THE OAK-PANELED BREAKFAST ROOM, CHAIRS IN A CHELSEA TEXTILES LINEN-COTTON CHECK ARE PAIRED WITH AN ANTIQUE OAK TABLE. VINTAGE HORN CHANDELIER; 17TH-CENTURY DUTCH STILL LIFE; 19TH-CENTURY FRENCH CONSOLE.
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In many ways Round Hill, as it is now called, is a perfect mix of Tommy’s sporty, all-American style and Dee’s sophisticated European aesthetic. Dee, a handbag designer who had previously lived in Europe working as a model, fell in love with the house from the ﬁrst minute the couple drove up the switchback driveway. “The house was in disrepair, and we knew it needed a lot of work, but we also knew that this would be our home,” she says. “Tommy likes to buy and sell houses, but we’re here to stay!” Originally known as Château Paterno, the castle was built for real-estate magnate Charles Vincent Paterno in 1939 by award-winning architect Greville Rickard, a graduate of the Yale School of Architecture. In 1961 the art collector Joseph Hirshhorn bought the property and used it to house nearly 6,000 19th- and 20thcentury paintings and sculptures—most of which can now be found in the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. Over the years the castle had been remodeled in parts and added on to, but by the time the Hilﬁgers pulled up, the place had been long neglected. They immediately enlisted architect Andre Tchelistcheff to oversee a renovation that included new electrical wiring and a painstaking restoration of the original terra-cotta roof, whose tiles needed to be replaced; molds were made for new tiles, which were cast in Turkey and ﬁnally installed one by one. “It was truly a
labor of love,” says Dee, seated in a tufted leather chair in what she calls the Winter Room, a space outﬁtted with antique Bavarian antlers and a new plaster ceiling bearing a pattern of two 16th-century French insignias. “It was frustrating at times because we had to redo every single doorknob,” Tommy says. The house is a local historic landmark, he adds, so Tchelistcheff relied on old photos and architectural plans to re-create the original footprint and devised new additions based on existing elements, such as the soaring two-and-a-half-story leaded bay window in the entryway. “You can’t have a house like this and make it Americana,” Tommy notes. “It’s an English manor with French details. And we wanted to preserve that feeling of being in a European country home with the carved-oak paneling and a patina that is authentic and a bit worn.”
achieve that layered, lived-in feel while also adding entertaining spaces and creating more relaxed, familyfriendly rooms, the Hilﬁgers turned to decorator Martyn Lawrence Bullard, who had worked on their Miami home. In the dining room, Dee and Bullard mixed Ming dynasty porcelain from the 16th and 17th
What the Hilﬁgers wanted most was to pay homage to the history of the house while adding a modern edge.
RIGHT THE MASTER BEDROOM BOASTS AN ENGLISH MAHOGANY FOURPOSTER, AN ANTIQUE ITALIAN ARMORIAL SHIELD, AND A PAINTED BAVARIAN CHEST. EMBROIDERED BEDDING BY LEONTINE LINENS.
BELOW THE PROPERTY’S CHICKEN COOP. BELOW RIGHT A STARRY RALPH LAUREN HOME WALLPAPER COVERS THE CEILING OF SEBASTIAN’S BEDROOM. WALLS IN BENJAMIN MOORE’S CURRANT RED; BED BY POTTERY BARN KIDS.
centuries with Venetian glass, Portoﬁno linens, and Tiffany silverware. In the kitchen, 18th-century blue-and-white delftware is paired with curtains and upholstery by Chelsea Textiles and a rug that previously belonged to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The eclectic architectural and design elements that are part of Round Hill’s DNA could have posed a challenge, but Bullard drew inspiration from them and had a lot of fun with the details. “I call it that great American style from the 1920s and ’30s when Americans would tour Europe and bring back an interesting concoction of ideas from, say, Tuscany and France,” he says. “The exterior is a Norman-inspired château with Tudor elevations, but the interior is an English country house with French Gothic touches.” What the Hilﬁgers wanted most was to pay homage to the history of the house while adding a modern edge and weaving in personal elements. Dee’s Turkish heritage is reflected in the screening room, which Bullard designed around two large divans copied from an 18th-century house on the Bosporus. The handpainted fabric on the walls was inspired by a tile frieze in the Topkapi Palace. In a nod to Tommy’s 2014 acquisition of Miami Beach’s Raleigh hotel, Bullard bought a 1590 portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh and hung
“Tommy likes to buy and sell houses,” says Dee. “But we’re here to stay!” it in the dining room on a wall covered in paisley fabric printed to look like an Indian wedding shawl from the 1820s. The game room, a baronial hall dominated by a huge 17th-century stone ﬁreplace and a pool table, serves as a hangout for the Hilﬁgers’ seven-year-old son, Sebastian, and their older children when they come to stay. “Instead of something fancy like a Picasso, we put a sign from an old fairground on the wall,” Bullard says. There’s also a spa, a gym, and a bath lined in pheasant feathers. But one of the most glamorous rooms in the house has to be Dee’s expansive second-ﬂoor dressing room, which boasts sweeping views and a museum-like display of vintage couture gowns. “I felt it was too bad to have all of these gorgeous dresses hidden away in the attic,” she says, pointing to a Paco Rabanne mirror dress and a white chiffon Alexander McQueen number dripping in feathers; both seem to perfectly match the ethereal silver de Gournay wallpaper. Conveniently, the dressing room also doubles as Dee’s design atelier. “It’s inspiring because it’s my space,” she says. “There’s always a lot of stuff going on in the house, and this is a peaceful retreat.”
THE LIVING ROOM’S LABYRINTHINE PLASTERWORK CEILING WAS EXECUTED BY HYDE PARK MOULDINGS. GEORGE SMITH SOFA IN A CLARENCE HOUSE SILK VELVET WITH PILLOWS OF ANTIQUE TAPESTRY AND A SCALAMANDRÉ LEOPARD PRINT; COCKTAIL TABLE BY BULLARD.
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SMALL CHECK FABRIC IN SEAFOAM BY CHELSEA TEXTILES; TO THE TRADE. CHELSEATEXTILES.COM STRATON SINGLETIER CHANDELIER IN NATURAL BY RALPH LAUREN HOME; $9,900. RALPHLAURENHOME.COM
STAG HEAD PRINT BY KURT MEYEREBERHARDT; $1,400. GORSUCH.COM
The Hilfigers let their home’s baronial architectural and blue-blooded details guide their aesthetic choices
We wanted to achieve that look of layering you would see in an old estate,” says designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard.
SPANISH CONSOLE BY FORMATIONS; TO THE TRADE. FORMATIONSUSA.COM
CHINESE BLUEAND-WHITE GINGER VASE FROM SHOWPLACE ANTIQUE + DESIGN CENTER; $4,500. 1STDIBS.COM
THE UPPER HALL.
FIVE-PIECE STAGHORN PLACE SETTING BY VAGABOND HOUSE; $150. HORCHOW.COM
ALEPPO PANEL IN RED BY IKSEL DECORATIVE ARTS; PRICE UPON REQUEST. IKSEL.COM
EMBROIDERED POUF IN CORAL BY RAJ TENT CLUB; $142. RAJTENTCLUB.COM
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: JOHN MANNO; COURTESY OF RALPH LAUREN HOME; OBERTO GILI; COURTESY OF ABC CARPET & HOME; COURTESY OF MARTYN LAWRENCE BULLARD ATELIER; COURTESY OF RAJ TENT CLUB; COURTESY OF IKSEL DECORATIVE ARTS; JOHN MANNO; COURTESY OF MARTYN LAWRENCE BULLARD ATELIER; OBERTO GILI; COURTESY OF FORMATIONS; JOHN MANNO (3); COURTESY OF 1STDIBS; COURTESY OF GORSUCH
TANGIERS SIDE TABLE BY MARTYN LAWRENCE BULLARD ATELIER; $2,900. MARTYNLAWRENCEBULLARD.COM
MOROCCAN GLASS CUPS FROM ABC CARPET & HOME; $14 EACH. ABCHOME.COM
AURELIA TASSEL FRINGE IN BEAUJOLAIS BY SAMUEL & SONS; TO THE TRADE. SAMUELANDSONS.COM
THE SCREENING ROOM.
SMALL BRASS SNAKE-HANDLE BOWL BY MARTYN LAWRENCE BULLARD ATELIER; $339. MARTYNLAWRENCEBULLARD.COM
The screening room is a real Turkish salon,” says Bullard. “The divans are copied from a beautiful 18th-century house on the Bosporus.” AR C H DI G E S T. CO M
LIGHT Architect John Pawsonâ€™s seductive Manhattan duplex for antiques dealer Jill Dienst is all about the poetry of sun and shadow MITCHELL OWENS ANTHONY COTSIFAS STYLED BY MICHAEL REYNOLDS
SUNLIGHT SETS JILL AND DAN DIENST’S NEW YORK APARTMENT— DESIGNED BY JOHN PAWSON—AGLOW. THE LIVING AREA IS FURNISHED, FROM LEFT, WITH A VINTAGE PHILIP ARCTANDER ARMCHAIR, A SOFA BY STEPHEN SILLS IN A HOLLAND & SHERRY WOOL BLEND, A JORIS LAARMAN COCKTAIL TABLE, AND AN 18TH-CENTURY SWEDISH SWIVEL CHAIR. FOR DETAILS SEE SOURCES.
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ABOVE WHITE ONYX WALLS DIFFUSE LIGHT IN THE MASTER SUITE. CIRCA-1740 SWEDISH TABLE; CIRCA-1920 ALVAR AALTO CHAIR; CIRCA-1770 SWEDISH ARMCHAIR.
PAWSON DESIGNED THE MASTER BATH’S SOAKING TUB AND FITTINGS; THE COUNTER IS A 20-FOOT-LONG SLAB OF CARRARA MARBLE.
omewhere in Manhattan, just steps from the Hudson River, is one of British architect John Pawson’s most intimate works. It is a family home, suffused with his signature vocabulary of shifting light and exquisite proportions, an ecstatic language that eschews commonplace distractions. There are no baseboards; there are no cornices. The troweled plaster walls are as soft as suede, and the raw wood ﬂoors as plainspoken as those in a farmhouse. The effect is spare, even monastic—just don’t call it minimalist. “I don’t think it’s minimalist at all,” Pawson says, in a tone that suggests the word is starved and mean. Instead purity is the architect’s goal, whether designing a ceramic vessel (a bowl for 1882 Ltd.), renovating a monastery complex (the Czech Republic’s Abbey of Our Lady of Nový Dvur), ˚ or planning another Edition hotel for Ian Schrager and Marriott (the West Hollywood location will open in 2018). In Pawson’s interiors for the new premises of London’s Design Museum, sunlight is as much a material as terrazzo, marble, and ﬁr. That same alchemy is witnessed every day at that Hudson-facing duplex, where Jill Dienst, proprietor of the Scandinavian-antiques mecca Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter, and her husband, Dan, a lifestyle brands adviser and investor, live with Emma, their teenage
daughter, and three dogs, Country, Magic, and Pistol. Pawson’s ﬁrst major U.S. commission—Madison Avenue’s Calvin Klein store, completed in 1995— turned the couple’s heads, its blanched aesthetic echoing, in modernist fashion, the clean-scrubbed Nordic style that Jill had always admired. It wasn’t long before she and her husband became the architect’s most ardent fans and, ultimately, impassioned collaborators. “We design places around the way that people want to live,” Pawson says of his ﬁrm, “and what was nice is that Jill was always going to populate the apartment with beautiful things.” That extends to the small stone-ﬂoored laundry room (“It seems a bit like a Vermeer painting,” Pawson observes), which is centered on a circa-1750 Swedish table, the object that Jill says inﬂuenced the whole home. Having once worked for decorator Jacques Grange and antiquaire Hervé Aaron, she has an eagle eye for expressive details. The only wood in sight is Douglas ﬁr, “which has been used in Scandinavian manor houses for centuries and is softer to the touch than denser timbers like oak,” Jill explains. “No other species would have made sense to our objective.” What remains unseen is just as ﬂawless. “That little space behind the ﬂoating walls’ reveals is perfectly ﬁnished,” she continues, laughing as she urges a visitor to crouch and peer into
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ABOVE THE POWDER ROOM. OPPOSITE THE LIVING/DINING AREA FEATURES A JØRGEN HØVELSKOV CHAIR (LEFT), A BORNE, DRESSED IN A BLUE SCALAMANDRÉ VELVET, BY JILL DIENST AND STEPHEN SILLS, AND CIRCA-1750 SWEDISH CHAIRS AROUND A PIERO LISSONI TABLE. ARCH DI G E S T. CO M
ABOVE A SWEDISH BAROQUE TABLE CENTERS THE LAUNDRY ROOM. RIGHT THE ENTRANCE HALL’S STONE-AND-METAL FLOATING STAIRCASE RISES ABOVE A TAXIDERMY REINDEER.
the slenderest of voids. “They usually aren’t, but it would have driven me crazy if it wasn’t.” The culmination of ﬁve years of planning, construction, and reﬁning, the duplex began as raw space, an utterly blank slate. What intrigued Pawson about the commission was the pink-gold western light that glints off the Hudson River and the opportunity, given the structure, to conjure up double-height rooms. Thus, the main level’s biggest space is a multipurpose area that stretches the full length of the apartment. At the west end is a single-height sitting room that features a long, low slash of ﬁreplace. Dead center is a gathering area that rises to 18 feet. The east end of the spatial sequence is a dining space, also single height and where the far wall is surfaced with Douglas-ﬁr boards. Enormous windows, cloaked by ﬁlmy white curtains, face south, while at cocktail hour sunset pours through a single undressed window that is set like a medieval jewel within a deeply angled reveal. That solar crisscrossing—repeated on the upper ﬂoor, where a vast light well is lined with thin sheets of translucent, dramatically ﬁgured white onyx— illuminates intensely romantic roomscapes that have been distilled, honed, reduced to the elemental.
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A skeletal 1968 Harp chair by Jørgen Høvelskov seems to sail past a Robert Polidori C-print depicting a boiseried antechamber at Versailles. Antique Swedish side chairs, cabriole-legged aristocrats embodying that transitional moment when Baroque became Rococo, unexpectedly accompany a lean white Piero Lissoni dining table, and a taxidermy owl casts a quizzical gaze over a snow-white Joris Laarman cocktail table. Each of those furnishings is highlighted and shadowed as the sunlight waxes and wanes, an incremental procession that Jill records with her iPhone and, to Pawson’s great delight, then posts to @dienstanddotter, her Instagram feed. The photographs are “a very nice way for me to see how a space is used and inhabited,” the architect explains. “I wish all my clients did that.” With a cool palette inspired by Scandinavian winters, the Dienst apartment possesses a hallucinatory quality. It presents itself to the visitor like a dream, crisp but hazy, which is also how it is recalled days later. This quality pleases Pawson. Thanks to the Diensts’ creative input, the architect says that the duplex probably is the richest atmosphere his ﬁrm has ever produced, noting, “It is very special and unique in what we’ve done.”
THE STONE-PAVED TERRACE, OFF THE LIVING/DINING AREA, OVERLOOKS THE HUDSON RIVER AND NEW JERSEY.
THINLY SLICED WHITE ONYX PANELS FILTER SUNLIGHT WHILE THE ABSTRACT VEINING RECALLS ICY LANDSCAPES.
CHAMPAGNE GLASS BY REIJMYRE GLASBRUK; $115. DIENSTANDDOTTER.COM
For Manhattan antiques dealer and connoisseur Jill Dienst, Scandinavian style is all about being cool, calm, and collected
STAINLESS-STEEL FLATWARE BY JOHN PAWSON FOR WHEN OBJECTS WORK; $200 FOR A FIVE-PIECE PLACE SETTING. MARCHSF.COM CANDLESTICK BY TAGE ANDERSEN; $305. DIENSTANDDOTTER.COM
THE KITCHEN FEATURES A CARRARA MARBLE COUNTER AND AN ISLAND TOPPED WITH BASALTINA.
Consistency of materials results in a more peaceful experience,” Dienst notes. VINTAGE HARP CHAIR BY JØRGEN HØVELSKOV; PRICE UPON REQUEST. DIENSTANDDOTTER.COM
JP BOWLS BY JOHN PAWSON FOR WHEN OBJECTS WORK; FROM $1,091 EACH. SUITENY.COM
ANTIQUE BAROQUE ARMCHAIR BY BURCHARD PRECHT; PRICE UPON REQUEST. DIENSTANDDOTTER.COM
The apartment’s palette, Dienst says, is “natural—Scandinavian winter skies merged with Hudson River view.”
JILL DIENST IN HER SECONDFLOOR HOME OFFICE, WITH SCANDINAVIAN TREASURES.
PH50 PENDANT LAMP IN MINT-BLUE BY POUL HENNINGSEN FOR LOUIS POULSEN LIGHTING; $996. DWR.COM
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: ANTHONY COTSIFAS; COURTESY OF DIENST + DOTTER ANTIKVITETER; JOHN MANNO; COURTESY OF DIENST + DOTTER ANTIKVITETER; COURTESY OF DESIGN WITHIN REACH; ANTHONY COTSIFAS (2); JON LAM/COURTESY OF FRIEDMAN BENDA AND JORIS LAARMAN STUDIO; COURTESY OF DIENST + DOTTER ANTIKVITETER (3); ANTHONY COTSIFAS; COURTESY OF DIENST + DOTTER ANTIKVITETER; JOHN MANNO; COURTESY OF SUITE NY
ANTIQUE GUSTAVIAN SULLA CHAIR; PRICE UPON REQUEST. DIENSTANDDOTTER.COM CUMULUS MARBLE COCKTAIL TABLE BY JORIS LAARMAN; PRICE UPON REQUEST. FRIEDMANBENDA.COM
AN ANTIQUE SWEDISH TALL CASE CLOCK ADDS A VOLUPTUOUS TOUCH TO THE DINING AREA.
HANS J. WEGNER: JUST ONE GOOD CHAIR (HATJE CANTZ) BY CHRISTIAN HOLMSTED OLESEN; $75. BARNESANDNOBLE.COM
SCULPTURE FROM “SHAPING FLUID” SERIES BY CHRISTINA SCHOU CHRISTENSEN; PRICE UPON REQUEST. DIENSTANDDOTTER.COM
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Mike D of the Beastie Boys enlists architect Barbara Bestor to devise a haven in Malibu that celebrates the best of California living MIKE DIAMOND TREVOR TONDRO STYLED BY LAWREN HOWELL TEXT BY
SEEN FROM THE BACK LAWN, THE MAIN HOUSE OF MUSICIAN MIKE Dâ€™S FAMILY COMPOUND FEATURES A STANDING-SEAM ROOF AND BOARD-AND-BATTEN SIDING. FOR DETAILS SEE SOURCES.
years ago, my wife, Tamra, and I were living in a beautiful, spacious Spanish Colonial house in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. It was a California dream: three stories, steps down to a pool, commanding views of the city. It was close to Hollywood and Silver Lake, where everyone we knew lived, and we could walk across the street to Grifﬁth Park for endless miles of hikes with our dog. Then we discovered the beach. Our son Davis had just been born, and we were looking for ways to get out of the house. Two friends introduced us to one of those hidden spots that only locals seem to know, a secluded beach reached by meandering rugged pathways—it was a patch of sand with only a few people around, children and dolphins playing in the water, and gentle, surfable waves breaking just beyond. Out on the horizon lay all of Santa Monica Bay, and on clear days, we could see Palos Verdes and even Catalina Island. It was intoxicating, and we visited so regularly that the ﬁrst words Davis uttered were beach and ocean. Before we knew it, we were looking at homes for sale.
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ON SKYLER, HURLEY SHIRT AND SHORTS; ON DAVIS, FACT T-SHIRT, HURLEY SHORTS, NIKE SHOES
We were already in love with that particular beach, so proximity was key. We narrowed our search further so that our kids—we were about to have our second son, Skyler—might someday bike to friends’ homes or the water on their own. Then we found it: a large, ﬂat property with a lawn that stretched out to a fruit orchard bordered by a neighbor’s horse pasture. Never mind the agglomeration of ramshackle structures (a three-bedroom house with a few loosely connected guest cottages) and an eyesore of a fence enclosing it all. Our multilevel Los Feliz home paled in comparison. We took it. Tamra wasted no time ripping out the ugly fence all on her own. And our challenge became clear: to unite and logically redesign what had become a hodgepodge of nondescript buildings. The architects we met universally wanted to tear down all the existing structures and build a pristine new version of our compound. This would require way more money and patience than we had. Then we talked to our friend Barbara Bestor, whom we’d known for years. Barbara had kids, and she understood how we wanted to live. She also had experience working within tight money constraints. A quick alliance was struck. Barbara would do all the architecture, and I would oversee the interiors, collaborating
THE DINING AREA HAS BOCCI PENDANTS AND CHAIRS FROM AMSTERDAM MODERN. ARTWORK BY KELTIE FERRIS; BLUE BOWL AND TALL VASE FROM NICKEY KEHOE. OPPOSITE MIKE D JOINS SONS SKYLER (SEATED) AND DAVIS DIAMOND IN THE KITCHEN. REFRIGERATOR BY SUB-ZERO.
LEFT DAVIS AND SKYLER IN FAMILIAR WATER. BELOW THE INTERIOR OF THE POOLHOUSE SPORTS MIKE D’S CUSTOM-MADE MALIBU TOILE WALLPAPER.
We had the luxury of a lot of square footage but not a huge budget, so we couldn’t afford to be too precious.
LEFT A COLLECTION OF VINYL IN ONE OF THE KIDS’ ROOMS. BELOW THE MASTER BEDROOM OPENS TO A TERRACE. PHOTO SERIES BY LEROY GRANNIS; PILLOWS AND TASSEL BLANKET FROM
NICKEY KEHOE; RUG FROM DEKOR & CO. RIGHT AN OUTDOOR SHOWER FOR HANDY POSTBEACH WASHDOWNS IS CLAD IN GRANADA TILE. FITTINGS BY HANSGROHE.
closely with her team. We were already in construction on our Brooklyn home, which I was also designing, so I felt prepared to handle the job. One thing on which we all agreed was that the main house was too segmented and didn’t connect with the outside. Barbara’s smart solution was to raise the middle section, creating an entirely new great room, with radiant ﬂooring, that opened up completely to the terrace and lawn. She cleverly inverted the standard gabled roof, swapping it for a butterﬂy shape. We all love using bold color. The bright-yellow entry door nearly drove our painter to quit—so many coats were required to achieve the desired effect— but the result makes me happy every day. So do the vibrant tiles in the baths and the cerulean barn doors on the poolhouse. I had just designed a wall covering called Brooklyn Toile with the company Flavor Paper for our New York house, so a Malibu version featuring beach scenes was a natural ﬁt. Barbara embraced the indoor-outdoor living concept by adding skylights and clerestory windows and bringing the exterior walls’ board-and-batten treatment inside. We used the same upholstery fabrics for indoor built-ins and outdoor cushions and had matching dining table frames fabricated. I gave the interior model a resin-tint top courtesy of a surfboard glasser, while its sibling got a more sun- and weatherresistant hickory top.
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The master suite is on one side of the living room, with its own deck, where I can shed my wet suit and head straight into the outdoor steam shower. The boys’ zone lies across the living/dining area, and they gladly spill over into the poolhouse when their friends arrive. The remaining structures got thoroughly remodeled: all baths redone, all new systems, ﬂoors, and roofs. There’s a suite for our frequent houseguests, a training/yoga area that is a real luxury, and a combination poolhouse and screening room, all connected via an outdoor walkway. In the end we preserved the vibe of the place while gaining a uniﬁed compound that responds to the way we live. Bikes, skateboards, and golf carts all pull up from the beach and park at our side door. Our boys, now 12 and 14, and their friends race one another into the hot outdoor shower after setting their boards in the rack nearby. When it comes to entertaining, we can go from having no plans at all to hosting ten people for dinner with absolutely zero notice. If ten becomes 20, no problem—we use the long table inside and its outdoor twin just a few feet away. If more friends come over, boardwalks and paths lead us to the ﬁre pit, and then it’s time to roll the couches aside so we can deejay. What we had originally thought of as a summer house soon became our full-time residence. And though Tamra and I are now separated, the home we created with Barbara is so joyful that it still unites us as a family. The kids remain there while Tamra and I split our time with our sons and the place we all love, as friends and family happily wander in and out.
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ABOVE COCO THE DOG STRETCHES OUT IN THE GREAT ROOM. PHOTO SERIES BY JOHN BALDESSARI; SHARK ARTWORK BY MICHAEL MULLER AND SAGE VAUGHN; BUILT-IN SOFA BY BESTOR ARCHITECTURE; VINTAGE MODULAR SEATING BY MARIO BELLINI FOR B&B ITALIA; RUG FROM DEKOR & CO.; BENJAMIN MOORE PAINT. ABOVE LEFT DAVIS WORKS THE SKATEBOARD RAMPS.
We preserved the vibe while gaining a compound that responds to the way we live.
FORCE OF Through his wildly imaginative botanical sculptures, Japanese ﬂoral artist Azuma Makoto has risen to rock-star status—but his latest undertaking is his tallest order yet TEXT BY
JANE KELTNER DE VALLE SHUNSUKE SHIINOKI
RIGHT AZUMA MAKOTO, WEARING HIS SIGNATURE MONOGRAMMED LAB COAT, UNVEILS VOLUME 1 OF HIS “BOTANICAL SCULPTURE: DAMNED IKEBANA” SERIES. FOR DETAILS SEE SOURCES.
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he delicate art of ﬂoral design has long been mired in politesse— conventional, domestic, overtly feminine—but the work of Azuma Makoto is explosive, both literally and metaphorically. Over the course of two decades, the peroxideblond Japanese superstar has set dahlias on ﬁre, propelled a bonsai tree into space, and ﬂoated 10,000 heliconia blooms in the middle of an ocean, all to haunting effect. Traditional arrangements, these are not. Azuma’s radical approach can be traced to his background as a musician. He played in a rock band in the 1990s until a part-time job at a ﬂower market led him to his true calling. “I realized there were common points between
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music and ﬂowers,” recalls Azuma, who also has created installations for Hermès and Fendi. “They are both momentary and unique. Just as there are many expressions of red roses, music is also different depending on the mental state of the player and the environment that it was created in.” Azuma says that hearing is still his most vital sense: “When I confront plants, instead of looking at their color and form, I try to listen.” For Azuma fans, 2016 was a banner year. First, in March, at New York City’s Chamber gallery, he exhibited tree fungi coated with precious metals. Then, six months later, he set the fashion—and Instagram—world ablaze with nearly 30 monumental ﬂoral iceboxes made for the Dries Van Noten show in Paris (his second collaboration with the designer). Wild arrangements of Japanese gentian, Heliconia marginata lutea, clematis,
cosmos, delphiniums, and oriental lilies from the Aalsmeer market in Amsterdam were sent to a Belgian factory to be encased in blocks of ice, trucked to the Van Noten venue, and set on a tiled runway where the ice gradually melted. “A ﬂower’s life cycle is so short,” the artist says. “It is even more precious and heavy than a human being’s.” At the root of Azuma’s oeuvre is the tension between science and the natural world. “Technology gives me options and ideas, but inspiration comes from the plants,” he notes. “Japanese people believe gods exist everywhere in nature, so we approach it with awe and reverence. Without that respect, the process of changing natural life into artworks with my own hands does not happen.” Azuma’s latest botanical sculptures— made of ﬁber-reinforced plastics—don’t use flowers at all. They are based on his “Damned Ikebana” series, for which he
“Every day, 365 days, I live to pursue expressions of ﬂowers and plants,” Azuma says. “I don’t take time off.”
LEFT AZUMA IN HIS LIGHT- AND TEMPERATURECONTROLLED TOKYO FLORAL LABORATORY. ABOVE THE VOLUME 2 SCULPTURE MARRIES AN ANTHURIUM ANDRAEANUM STEM TO A PHALAENOPSIS BLOOM. RIGHT THE VOLUME 1 SCULPTURE BALANCES A TULIPA TURKESTANICA BULB ATOP A CYATHEA SPINULOSA FIDDLEHEAD.
combined scraps of stems, roots, leaves, and ﬂowers into compositions recalling traditional Japanese ﬂower arranging. “I collected pieces discarded in the course of creating beauty and transformed them into something beautiful,” he says. The new works imitate the old but in supernatural proportions. Each stretches more than eight feet tall and is handpainted to mimic the original. Azuma expects to exhibit them in Buenos Aires and Tokyo this spring. The series is one of his only creations to date that isn’t beholden to the fragile limits of time. Still, Azuma insists that temporal, living matter remains his most fertile ground—and soon he will sink ﬂowers into the ocean. “I want to continue bringing out the charms that ﬂowers and plants have,” he says. From botanical skyscrapers to deep-sea ﬂora, “charms” is a massive understatement.
Franca Sozzani’s Paris pied-à-terre reﬂects the late Italian Vogue editor’s lifelong passion for art and design
ode to beauty ABOVE A STAIRWAY IN FRANCA SOZZANI’S ART-FILLED FRENCH RETREAT, WHICH AD WAS INVITED TO TOUR JUST BEFORE THE EDITOR’S UNTIMELY DEATH IN DECEMBER. OPPOSITE A PHOTOGRAPH FROM SHIRIN NESHAT’S “WOMEN OF ALLAH” SERIES HANGS IN THE MEDIA ROOM; THE BOOKCASE WAS DESIGNED BY ARCHITECT MASSIMILIANO LOCATELLI, SOZZANI’S LONGTIME FRIEND, WHO RENOVATED THE 19TH-CENTURY TOWNHOUSE. FOR DETAILS SEE SOURCES. TEXT BY
J. J. MARTIN
ABOVE THE LIVING ROOM FEATURES AN ALVAR AALTO LOUNGE CHAIR, A MINK-COVERED SACCO CHAIR BY ZANOTTA, AND TWO VINTAGE MARCO ZANUSO SLEEP-O-MATIC SOFAS PLACED BACK TO BACK. AN ANDREAS GURSKY C-PRINT HANGS IN THE HALLWAY. OPPOSITE SOZZANI IN HER HOME OFFICE IN MILAN.
PORTRAIT: ANGELO PENNETTA/TRUNK ARCHIVE
n trim pencil skirts, chic cardigans, and kitten heels, her long, wavy, golden locks framing her glowing aquamarine eyes, Franca Sozzani, the longtime editor of Italian Vogue, was always the picture of perfection. The Milan-based editrix, who passed away just before Christmas, adopted a similarly uniform look for her homes, which she bought and ﬂipped like a savvy Las Vegas card dealer. In each residence— her former New York townhouse, the Milan apartment, a family getaway in Portoﬁno—Sozzani’s take on interiors was rigorously reductive. Stern black and white lines created a spotless and fuss-free gallery-like aesthetic in all her domestic surroundings (except for a riad in Marrakech, decorated some 30 years ago in a slightly more unbuttoned bohemian style and kept that way). “If I weren’t in fashion, I would have gone into real estate or architecture,” she said in an interview last fall. “But not interior design. Because what I really like is the division of the house, not where to put the couch and ﬂowers.” “She was always a minimalist,” notes her son, the ﬁlmmaker and photographer Francesco Carrozzini. “The furniture was always clean-lined, modern Italian and modern Scandinavian. The visual interest didn’t come from curtains or wallpapers; it was the way she layered things. Her houses were truly an expression of her personal philosophy. When she wasn’t working, she was thinking about her places: what she was going to do next—planning, ﬁxing, doing in the garden.” Sozzani ﬁrst spotted her Paris property, a magniﬁcent 19thcentury townhouse, while browsing an issue of AD France after an haute couture show six years ago. “I went immediately,” she recalled. “It was in bad shape, divided into three apartments, but it totally blew my mind. I said, ‘I want it!’ I knew there was great potential.” To refurbish as well as furnish the four-story home, Sozzani called upon one of her closest friends, Massimiliano Locatelli, who combined the existing apartments and then slashed huge holes in the ground-ﬂoor walls to bring air and light into the entry and living and dining rooms. “What I like most about Massimiliano is that he’s an architect,” Sozzani said with a laugh. “I’m sick of all these decorators! They’re too decorative. I love talking to architects.”
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“She could have been one,” Locatelli notes. “She even did the lighting and electricity plan for this house. She never wanted to come to the work site, because she hated dust, but she would make me send her photos documenting every single corner.” In her Paris home, pure white walls contrast with wood ﬂoors dyed black. Original moldings were reproduced, while the doors and ceilings all retain their bronze patina. A magniﬁcent skylight was added to the top ﬂoor, and the basement was converted into quarters for staff. On one visit, Locatelli sent Sozzani iPhone photos of this lower level, where the walls are clad in white subway tile. “In a picture of a maid’s room—just a small space, not the main living room or her own bedroom—she immediately spotted a tiny white wire next to the doorframe and focused on it,” he recalls. “ ‘That’s where the sconce will go,’ I told her. She said, ‘No, not there.’ When I got back to my ofﬁce and looked at the plans, I saw she was right. She knew exactly where she wanted each light, outlet, and switch. No detail escaped her vision.”
“I really need order at home,” Sozzani explained. “It gives me such a sense of peace.”
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Sozzani grew up in Milan in a home ﬁlled with Norwegian and Swedish design pieces. “It was very unusual for the time,” she noted. “My father was obsessed with modernity. But no one talked about ‘design’ back then.” Continuing his legacy, she stocked the Paris house with a valuable collection of pedigreed furniture and lighting from the 1950s and ’60s, including an original Isamu Noguchi lamp, four lamps created in the ’50s by Osvaldo Borsani for Milan’s Triennale, and 14 Medea chairs by Vittorio Nobili. A collection of small folded light appliques by Charlotte Perriand (which Sozzani ﬁshed out of a box at a Paris antiques shop) ﬂutter across a wall like glowing black butterﬂies. And a set of rare neon tube lamps by Borsani, presented to Locatelli by the artist’s archives at Tecno, were given to Sozzani by the architect. Outside the frenzy of fashion week, Paris provided Sozzani with an elegant refuge, where she could see local friends and attend the theater. Houseguests were pampered with such decadent amenities as retractable theater screens in their bedrooms. Yet, despite the indulgent air, the environment was also regimented. “I really need order at home,” Sozzani explained. “It’s fundamental. It gives me such a sense of peace. Everything is so chaotic in my personal and work life.” (That life has been marvelously captured in the recent ﬁlm Franca: Chaos and Creation, a documentary by her son.) “Paris was the last house she bought, and it was very special to her,” Carrozzini says. “At ﬁrst it felt a little empty, but over the years it ﬁlled up with beloved books, pictures, objects, even special bottles of perfume. She was very careful about bringing in only things that she loved, and this accumulation was like a visualization of time passing, each new layer representing years like the rings on trees.” The decor in Paris, as in all her homes, was centered on the art, an enviable collection of photography that was the fruit of Sozzani’s life in fashion. Wall-size photos by Andreas Gursky, Peter Lindbergh, and Vanessa Beecroft, plus paintings by Julian Schnabel, blanket some rooms like wallpaper, while small photos dance around ﬁreplaces and along hallways. “Images speak more than any other form of art,” Sozzani declared. “My whole career has been based on images, not text.” She piled her other prized possession—books—on Locatelli-designed mahogany shelving with thin iron shelves. “The only things I buy and really care about now are books and art,” she confessed. “Not shoes?” I asked the famous fashion editor. “Nah,” she replied, laughing. “By now they all look the same.”
LUSH PLANTINGS LINE THE PATH TO THE FRONT DOOR OF THE TOWNHOUSE. OPPOSITE TOP THE KITCHEN FEATURES A COOKTOP AND OVEN BY ALPES INOX, A BLACK CORIAN-TOP TABLE, AND FONTANAARTE PENDANTS. OPPOSITE LEFT IN THE MASTER BEDROOM, 17TH-CENTURY PRINTS GLOW IN GILDED FRAMES. OSVALDO BORSANI DESK; MEDEA CHAIR BY VITTORIO NOBILI.
IN A JINNY BLOMâ€“DESIGNED ENGLISH GARDEN, POLLARDED WILLOWS ARE REFLECTED IN A POND. FOR DETAILS SEE SOURCES. 126
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British landscape designer Jinny Blom cultivates gardens that look like theyâ€™ve always been there
successful gardener needs more than a facility with Latin binomials to tame and cultivate a plot of land. As one of the most sought-after talents in her ﬁeld, London-based landscape designer Jinny Blom brings an especially diverse set of skills to her job. Being English is, of course, a leg up— all that childhood time spent romping in country meadows. “When you’re a kid, you’re not thinking, This is an amazing garden,” explains Blom, the daughter of an agricultural engineer and a linguist. “You’re just in that environment and understanding it.” College theater courses taught her how to craft inviting settings, but Blom is also a trained psychologist, thanks to an earlier career path that took up a dozen or so years. That experience has helped make her adept at not only interpreting the desires of her clients but also unearthing the underlying personality of a property to bring order and a sense of calm. In Blom’s ﬁrst book, The Thoughtful Gardener: An Intelligent Approach to Garden Design (Jacqui Small), which comes out this month, she explains how a walking trip in the Spanish mountains led her to switch professional gears. “Protesting that I couldn’t give up my ‘sensible’ job as a psychologist,” she writes, “I found I couldn’t make an argument for keeping it.” Two decades later Blom has a booming practice, working with a blue-chip clientele whose names rarely get dropped and whose budgets are merely suggestions. “Twenty years is not that long in gardening,” she explains. “I had to go into turbocharge. I had a rule that I didn’t want to do things that don’t get built.” The Thoughtful Gardener, at once a lavishly illustrated coffee-table tome and a friendly hands-on primer, offers
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TRAINED HORNBEAMS ARE UNDERPLANTED WITH ROSES, ALLIUMS, AND LAVENDER AT TEMPLE GUITING MANOR, A MEDIEVAL COTSWOLD ESTATE TURNED HOTEL.
AN ORNAMENTAL MEADOW IN ENGLAND IS ENRICHED WITH POPPIES, CORNFLOWERS, ALLIUMS, AND TULIPS.
“An old house with run-down land” is Blom’s favorite challenge. a glimpse into some of the most magical gardens in the world—from a lodge in Kenya, where Kikuyu and Masai assistants broke into song when the plants were delivered, to the Buckinghamshire home of Victoria Getty, widow of Sir Paul, the philanthropist. “Lady Getty was quite terrifying,” Blom recalls with a laugh. “I asked her, ‘What do you want?’ She peered down her nose and said, ‘Well, you decide.’ It was one of my greatest experiences. I had complete freedom.” Whether the project is a tiny urban garden or a full-blown estate overhaul, Blom takes a straightforward approach. “First, we must destroy,” is how she likes to start the conversation with a client. But of course there’s more to her gut renovations than just stripping dead trees and overgrown brush. “Blom is herself a cultural geographer who scopes out the historical features of paths, gates, and antiquated farm buildings on a given property prior to drawing up a plan that proceeds almost instantaneously,” writes Paula Deitz, the American garden authority, in the book’s foreword. “My favorite thing is to get an old house with a load of run-down land,” Blom says. She has hit the jackpot with the Fife Arms, a faded Scottish Highlands hotel that has been in business since the early 19th century and is now owned by powerhouse art dealers Manuela and Iwan Wirth. After Blom completed a private garden for the Wirths, the couple invited her to transform the hotel’s green surrounds before the baronial landmark reopens to the public next year. “Jinny is undoubtedly one of the greatest landscape talents, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously,” Iwan observes. “There is absolutely no ego. And while she is approachable, Jinny knows what she wants—and she’s usually right.”
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MAN OF THE WORLD TEXT BY
JOSHUA LEVINE AMBROISE TÉZENAS
RIGHT A SITTING AREA IN PIERRE YOVANOVITCH’S OFFICE FEATURES A FLOATING SOFA AND CERAMIC TABLE OF HIS DESIGN. CHAIR BY AXEL EINAR HJORTH; PENDANT LIGHT BY JOSEPHANDRÉ MOTTE; FLOOR LAMP BY JOSEF FRANK. ABOVE A 1970S CHAIR BY ROBERTO MATTA WELCOMES VISITORS TO A SWISS CHALET DECORATED BY YOVANOVITCH. FOR DETAILS SEE SOURCES.
LEFT: JEAN-FRANÇOIS JAUSSAUD
AD catches up with the internationally in-demand designer Pierre Yovanovitch at his brand-new Paris atelier
ABOVE YOVANOVITCH DESIGNED A 45-FOOT-LONG LIGHT FIXTURE, COMPOSED OF THREE BLACK METAL RODS, FOR THE MAIN STAIRCASE OF HIS PARIS OFFICE. ARC H DI G E S T. CO M
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ABOVE A PORTRAIT BY STEPHAN BALKENHOL OVERLOOKS A SET OF BLUE-LACQUERED DANISH FURNITURE IN A PROVENCE DINING ROOM BY YOVANOVITCH. BRASS CEILING LIGHT BY PAAVO TYNELL. LEFT THE DESIGNER’S BÉBÉ OURS (“BABY BEAR”) CHAIR IN A CASAMANCE FABRIC.
intervention, the whole place felt airier and grander, almost as if he had altered its dimensions. “He couldn’t have raised the ceilings,” Morisset says, “but I can’t ﬁgure out how he did it.” Perhaps this mastery of space is also what makes Yovanovitch so deft at displaying the contemporary art that he and many of his clients collect. He has designed galleries for Kamel Mennour in Paris and London as well as exhibition spaces at the Patinoire Royale contemporary art museum in Brussels. Lately he’s gone further, commissioning artists to create work on-site for several residential projects. Through Kamel Mennour, he got Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata to fashion a giant wood bird’s nest for the bedroom of a house in Paris. “Hallucinant!” says a delighted Yovanovitch. (He now has collaborations under way with Ugo Rondinone, Daniel Buren, and James Turrell.)
FROM LEFT: JEAN-FRANÇOIS JAUSSAUD (2); AMBROISE TÉZENAS (2); JEAN-FRANÇOIS JAUSSAUD
ierre Yovanovitch apologizes as he hurries into the small sitting room where I’ve been asked to wait. The interior designer recently moved his ﬁrm into this grand 18th-century hôtel particulier in Paris’s Sentier neighborhood, and the ﬂoors are still cluttered with cardboard and bubble wrap, not to mention a Georg Baselitz painting or two waiting to be hung. Meanwhile, Yovanovitch is looking to open ofﬁces in the U.S., where an increasing number of his residential clients live. (“Americans give you a kind of fuel the French don’t,” he notes. “They say, ‘Whoa, my house is going to be the best house in the world’—even if it’s not true.”) The future New York ofﬁces will also serve as a showroom for his own furniture, like the plump Ours chair. (Once I catch the name, French for “bear,” I make out two fuzzy ears on the model sitting in the next room.) Yovanovitch plans to launch his collection in September to coincide with a design exhibition he is curating at New York’s R & Co. gallery. Yovanovitch is a suave guy, but right now even he appears slightly frazzled by all the projects he’s juggling. “I’m very ambitious,” the talent says. That’s putting it mildly when you’ve modeled your career on that of Jean Royère, the great midcentury French designer who opened branches in the Middle East and Latin America before spending his ﬁnal years in the U.S. “I’m working like a donkey,” he says. “This is not a serene life.” You wouldn’t know it by the surroundings. Yovanovitch’s understated aesthetic makes the room feel calm: Slabs of soothing, almond-color travertine—a material he loves—cover the lower part of the walls; oak chairs by Axel Einar Hjorth, a little-known Swedish designer from the 1930s, lend a rustic note. Yovanovitch reveres him as a kind of Viking precursor to Donald Judd in the purity of his lines. The gestures here are not showy but very reﬁned and precise, which is a Yovanovitch hallmark. (He’s always been a detail freak. Before turning to interiors, Yovanovitch oversaw Pierre Cardin’s licensing business in Belgium, and he just couldn’t stop himself from tweaking the look of the belts and ties: “They were ugly, ugly, ugly!” Eventually, he moved to Paris and was given charge of Cardin’s menswear collections.) “I didn’t want anything over the top. This is the spirit of French design,” he says. “Very chic but restrained, minimal in its way but still warm.” Yovanovitch is particularly good at shaping space. “He’s got an amazing sense of volume,” says Cédric Morisset of Carpenters Workshop Gallery, which collaborates frequently with Yovanovitch. Morisset remembers one cramped Paris apartment with oppressively low ceilings. After Yovanovitch’s
ABOVE YOVANOVITCH DEVISED THE PARIS OFFICES OF KERING, WHICH OWNS GUCCI, SAINT LAURENT, BALENCIAGA, AND OTHER LUXURY BRANDS. LEFT THE DESIGNER IN HIS PAPA OURS CHAIR. FLOOR LAMP BY HANS BERGSTRÖM. BELOW THE DINING ROOM AT YOVANOVITCH’S OFFICE; THE TABLE, CHAIRS, AND CEILING LIGHT ARE HIS CREATIONS.
“This is the spirit of French design,” says Yovanovitch. “Very chic but restrained, minimal but still warm.”
The elements that make a Yovanovitch space—the polished restraint, the coy dramatic gestures, the artisanal richness, the masterful manipulation of volume— are all on ample display in his new ofﬁces, or they will be when he’s done. For example, he designed the 45-footlong light ﬁxture that hangs in the central staircase. It’s just three black rods with bulbs protruding along its length, but it somehow makes the four-story staircase seem twice as tall. The result appears effortless, but getting here, Yovanovitch says, was a nightmare. When the designer came across the building a year ago, it was a run-down mess. “Rotten, rotten, rotten— just this side of unhealthy,” he recalls. But, struck by the opportunity it would give him to present his vision to clients, he signed a lease and undertook the herculean task of restoration. We’re interrupted by Emmanuel Barrois, who made the ofﬁce’s massive black-glass entrance doors. Barrois is now crafting windows for a top-secret venture on the Left Bank. “The more time I spend managing, the less time I get to work with artisans, which is really what I like to do best,” Yovanovitch says grumpily. But Morisset sees the payoff, even if Yovanovitch sometimes loses sight of it. “Pierre has managed to make himself one of the top ﬁve European designers,” he says. “Sure, he’s stressed, but I told him, ‘Look, you’ve got projects everywhere in the world. If Jean Royère can do it, so can you.’ ”
THE KITCHEN OF ANDREW SOLOMON’S ROBERT COUTURIER– CRAFTED HOME WAS OUTFITTED BY BRITISH DESIGNER JOHNNY GREY, WHO FASHIONED A GRAND PIANO– LIKE STAND FOR THE VIKING COOKTOP. OPPOSITE A PORTRAIT OF SOLOMON’S MOTHER HANGS IN THE MAPLE-PANELED STUDY FILLED WITH PIECES COLLECTED BY THE WRITER. FOR DETAILS SEE SOURCES.
Twenty-ﬁve years ago, author Andrew Solomon called on designer Robert Couturier to help breathe new life into a crumbling New York townhouse—and the story is still being written ANDREW SOLOMON DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN STYLED BY MARTIN BOURNE
TEXT BY PHOTOGRAPHY BY
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long after my mother died, her best friend became a real-estate agent. Dorothy had enjoyed a successful career as a psychologist, but losing my mother made her too sad to take on additional depressed patients, she explained; what she had liked best about her work was snooping through the lives of strangers and helping solve their problems, and she ﬁgured she could do so equally well in this new career. When I returned to New York in the summer of 1992 from South Africa, where I had been reporting on the end of apartheid, I had a phone message from Dorothy, saying, “I’ve found the house you’re going to live in for the rest of your life. Call me as soon as you can.” I told her I wasn’t even sure I wanted to stay in New York. She said, “When you see this house, you’ll stay.” The squalor was almost unimaginable. Grafﬁti covered the walls; leaking pipes projected from the ceilings; the roof had been taken off a room on the top ﬂoor, and the dangling roots of suspicious plants grew through the ceiling of what is now my bedroom. The place smelled alarming; I found a dead cat under
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LEFT A CANOPY BED INCORPORATING CHINESE CARVEDWOOD PANELS IS THE CENTERPIECE OF THE MASTER BEDROOM. SOFA AND ARMCHAIR BY COUTURIER. BELOW THE DRESSING ROOM’S BARRELVAULTED CEILING IS ADORNED WITH AN EMBROIDERED SILK PANEL FROM CHINA. CUSTOM-MADE MAHOGANY CABINETRY. OPPOSITE A GUEST ROOM KNOWN AS THE ICE CAVE WAS CREATED BY ARTIST STEPHEN HENDEE. BED BY MATHIAS BENGTSSON.
RIGHT SWATHED IN A ROSY COPPER DADO, THE POWDER ROOM FEATURES A CUSTOM-MADE STEAMPUNK-STYLE SINK. OPPOSITE THE DOME ROOM FEATURES A STONE FOUNTAIN FROM FRANCE AND MOSAICS DESIGNED BY ARTIST FARLEY TOBIN.
one of the bathtubs when I took possession. The windows were so dirty that light could barely penetrate around the peace-sign decals that adorned them. Inexplicable Formica cabinets sagged in several unhygienic kitchens. But the scale was noble, and the decades of neglect meant that the lovely original features of the townhouse—ﬁreplaces, carved balustrades, inlaid ﬂoors, detailed woodwork—had not been stripped out, as had happened to so many neighboring homes in the 1970s. I bought the property at a probate sale where there was only one other bidder. I had written about design for some years and knew I wanted Robert Couturier to revitalize the house. I recognized his knack for intersecting volumes and his unerring sense of proportion: His work is steeped in reﬁnement but not enslaved by it. He was sympathetic to my pretensions of grandeur and unfazed by my perfectionism. I can be rigid and uncompromising; Robert has a rare gift for being deﬁnitive but conciliatory. He had charmed me the ﬁrst time I met him, and his effusive kindness and generous sense of humor would be essential for the huge project ahead. I was convinced that his wild imagination, coupled with his fathomless scholarship of architectural history, could turn this desolate wreck into someplace warm and exuberant. Moreover, I had lived in England for many years and
Robert, with his singular ability to celebrate history without pandering to it, brought in a bit of Europe without being precious or coy. wanted a house that didn’t feel altogether of New York, and Robert, with his singular ability to celebrate history without pandering to it, brought in a bit of Europe without being precious or coy. Robert proposed that we punctuate the long, narrow living room with twin arches to the entrance hall. When we opened up the walls, we found brickwork for nearly identical apertures—proof of the rightness of his instincts. He added tall mirrors over the two ﬁreplaces, and the room began to breathe; then he designed wall moldings to enliven the ﬂat expanses subtly. I had always yearned for a double-height library, since books are my life. He ﬁgured out how to make the upper tier of bookcases seem almost to ﬂoat, using a wrought-iron catwalk as delicate as a spiderweb. He achieved coherence that encompassed the myriad acquisitions of my wide-ranging travels. He incorpo-
rated the tile panel I’d bought in Afghanistan into a bath wall and installed my panel of Chinese silk embroidery on the arched ceiling of the dressing room. Cloth woven in India from peacock feathers was to trim the dining room curtains; passementerie from Madagascar could be deployed in the living room; feather money from the Solomon Islands was framed for one of the baths; Mongolian chatelaines were positioned in the dressing room; and the Burmese begging bowl went onto a mantel. As Dostoyevsky wrote, “Beauty will save the world.” My work with Robert on this and other projects since has both reﬂected and profoundly inﬂuenced my personal aesthetic—and is enmeshed even in my sense of purpose. I found my dining table, crafted by the Bath Cabinet Makers, when I was living in London in the 1980s.
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RIGHT SOLOMON (CENTER) WITH HUSBAND JOHN AND SON GEORGE. OPPOSITE THE DOUBLE-HEIGHT LIBRARY IS AN ODE TO SOLOMON’S LOVE OF BOOKS. THE WINDOWS AND COUTURIER-DESIGNED SOFA ARE DRESSED IN SILK DAMASK.
GABRIELE STABILE/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX
It was produced, I was told, in 1927 as a showpiece in order to secure a cabinetry contract for the great Cunard ocean liners. After it had been in the dealer’s window for over a year, I walked in one day and said, “I have just received an inheritance from my greataunt and can offer you half your asking price in cash today, but nothing more.” That afternoon we found the table wouldn’t ﬁt through the doors of my London house, and it went into storage. When I bought the New York place, my father dryly remarked, “I see you’ve ﬁnally found a house to go with that table of yours.” The Austrian Biedermeier chairs are astonishingly of a piece with it, though they are a hundred years older than the table. Robert helped me envision the dining room as an oasis of highly stylized serenity, lacquering the walls so that the space feels moonlit.
I had always yearned for a double-height library, since books are my life. The house is unusually deep, and we had to ﬁgure out what to do about the middle of it, where there is almost no natural light. On the ﬁrst ﬂoor, the depth is swallowed by the long living room; on the third ﬂoor, it was a natural location for the dressing room and baths; and on the top ﬂoor, a terrace garden opens up the space. But the second ﬂoor, which was a warren of closet-size rooms when I found the house, was a mystery. When Robert suggested that he could make the small rooms into a large square one, I mentioned how much I loved John Soane’s breakfast room; he then devised a domed aerie, with arches opening onto the dining area, where we could have more intimate meals. He promised that it would be incredibly pleasing to sit in, and it is. A few years later, through a mutual friend, I met the mosaicist Farley Tobin, and we concocted a plan to tile the ceiling and the panel surrounding the French stone fountain that sits in an arched niche on one wall. It took ten years. Crews of Tibetan tileworkers were up on scaffolding at all hours of the night on an erratic and bewildering schedule. The intricacy of the small patterns within the tilework is a triumph not only of Farley’s art but also of her mathematics. I had bought two carved-wood panels at a Beijing ﬂea market, back when those markets were still full of treasures. William Soﬁeld incorporated them into a canopy bed, and Robert worked out the rest of the chinoiserie in the master bedroom. Robert also vaulted the dressing room ceiling and devised in my bath the complex layout of antique Iznik tiles I had bought in Turkey. He did the concept drawings
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for the Indian-inﬂected upper terrace and designed the railing; the planting is by Barbara Blechman, whose sense of restrained effusion has created a paradise far removed from the bustle of Manhattan. I was already established here when I met my husband, John Habich Solomon, 16 years ago. When John moved in, he would occasionally suggest changes, brightly venturing, “What would you think of moving that picture six inches to the left?” I would rejoin frostily, “If I had thought it would look better there, I would have hung it there in the ﬁrst place.” Robert, as keenly attuned psychologically as he is visually, and a cherished friend to us both, helped resolve such issues so that the house gradually came to reﬂect both of our sensibilities. It is in a state of permanent evolution, and those changes I once resisted have come to feel like a cheerful conversation between John and me. Then our son was born. Though we have three other children, who visit often but do not live here full-time, George, now seven and to whom Robert is an honorary godfather, introduced welcome chaos. We learned to tolerate the profusion of Lego bricks in some rooms, the general bouncing by which our velvets were rapidly subdued, a trail of soccer balls and miscellaneous chapter books. People have asked if I mind having such disruption of the precision I’d maintained before we became parents. Mostly, I don’t. The genius of Robert’s work is that the grand, underlying order he established in the house is revealed only more fully when such joyous pandemonium interrupts the hegemony of its elegance.
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.
MINDING THE MANOR
PAGES 86–97: Interiors by Martyn Lawrence Bullard Design; martynlawrencebullard.com. Architecture by Andre Tchelistcheff Architects; tchelistcheff.com. Landscape design by Miranda Brooks Landscape Design; mirandabrooks.com. PAGE 86: Antique A.W.N. Pugin oak side chairs from James GrahamStewart; jamesgraham-stewart.com. Window curtains of Pasha Paisley wool by Martyn Lawrence Bullard for Schumacher (T); fschumacher.com. PAGE 87: Nymph fountain by Phillip Watson Designs; phillipwatsondesigns.com. PAGES 88–89: In garden, stag statues from La Maison Française Antiques; lmfantiques.com. PAGES 90–91: Gothic Revival library table from James Graham-Stewart; jamesgraham-stewart.com. Stools by Martyn Lawrence Bullard Atelier; martynlawrencebullard.com; upholstered in Mughal Flower linen by Robert Kime (T); robertkime.com; with French Bullion viscose fringe, in rust/ gold, by Samuel & Sons (T); samuelandsons.com. On sofa benches, Fleuret Chevron fabric by Old World Weavers (T); starkcarpet.com; with pillows of Rayure Nantes linen-cotton, in blue, by Clarence House (T); clarencehouse.com. Antique Oushak wool carpet from Mansour; mansour.com. PAGE 92: On dining chairs, Medium Check linen-cotton, in navy, by Chelsea Textiles (T); chelseatextiles.com. Window curtains of Naz linencotton by Alidad by Chelsea Textiles (T). PAGE 93: In master bedroom, on four-poster, custom-made monogrammed bed linens and Fantasy satin charmeuse quilt, in mustard, both by Leontine Linens; leontinelinens.com. Antique armorial shield from La Maison Française Antiques; lmfantiques.com. In Sebastian’s bedroom, on ceiling, Northern Hemisphere wallpaper, in midnight-blue, by Ralph Lauren Home; ralphlaurenhome.com. On walls, Currant Red 1323 paint by Benjamin Moore; benjaminmoore.com. Speedboat bed by Pottery
Barn Kids; potterybarnkids.com. Carpet by Stark (T); starkcarpet.com. PAGES 94–95: Custommade ceiling plasterwork, designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard Design; martynlawrencebullard.com; fabricated by Hyde Park Mouldings; hyde-park.com. On George Smith sofa, Traviata silk velvet, in midnight, by Clarence House (T); clarencehouse.com; with pillows of Leopardo silk blend by Scalamandré (T); scalamandre.com; and antique tapestry fabrics from Y & B Bolour; ybbolour.com. Umbria cocktail table by Martyn Lawrence Bullard Atelier; martynlawrencebullard.com. Window curtains of Sinhala linen, in pomegranate, by Martyn Lawrence Bullard for Schumacher (T); fschumacher.com. Antique fireplace from La Maison Française Antiques; lmfantiques.com. Marquis armchairs (near fireplace) by Martyn Lawrence Bullard Atelier.
LIGHT FANTASTIC PAGES 98–107: Architecture by John Pawson; johnpawson.com. Select furnishings throughout from Dienst + Dotter Antikviteter; dienstanddotter.com. PAGES 98–99: Custom-made sofa by Stephen Sills; stephensills.com; upholstered in Rambouillet wool blend, in fossil, by Holland & Sherry (T); hollandandsherry.com. Cumulus cocktail table by Joris Laarman from Friedman Benda; friedmanbenda.com. Window sheers by Zak + Fox; zakandfox.com. PAGE 102: Custom-made borne by Jill Dienst; dienstanddotter.com; and Stephen Sills; stephensills.com; upholstered in Tiberius silk-cotton velvet, in azure, by Scalamandré (T); scalamandre.com. Window sheers by Zak + Fox; zakandfox.com. BEACH BOYS PAGES 108–15: Architecture by Bestor Architecture; bestorarchitecture.com. PAGES 108–09: Sliding glass doors by Fleetwood Windows & Doors, fleetwoodusa.net. On outdoor seating, pillows from deKor & Co.; dekorandco.com; and Room at the Beach; roomatthebeachmalibu.com. PAGE 110: Custom-made cabinetry and barstools by Bestor Architecture; bestorarchitecture.com. On island countertop, bowl and vase from Nickey Kehoe; nickeykehoe.com. Gossamer pendant light by Sather Duke and Ruby Metzner from Matter;
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mattermatters.com. PAGE 111: Cabinetry by Bestor Architecture; bestorarchitecture.com. Dining chairs by Gijs van der Sluis from Amsterdam Modern; amsterdammodern.com. Table frame fabricated by Ohio Design (from design by Mike Diamond); ohiodesign.com. Blue bowl and tall vase from Nickey Kehoe; nickeykehoe.com. 28.1 Random globe pendant lights by Bocci; bocci.ca. PAGES 112–13: In pool, Davis and Skyler wear swim trunks by Hurley; hurley.com. On chaise longue, pillow from deKor & Co; dekorandco.com. In master bedroom, on bed, square pillows and tassel blanket from Nickey Kehoe; nickeykehoe.com. Rug from deKor & Co. In poolhouse, on custom-made doors, Summer Sky 2046 paint by Fine Paints of Europe; finepaintsofeurope.com. On sofa, polka-dot pillows from Nickey Kehoe. On back wall, Malibu Toile wallpaper by Mike Diamond (Brooklyn version available from Flavor Paper; flavorpaper.com). In outdoor shower, tile by Granada Tile; granadatile.com. Axor Uno shower fittings by Hansgrohe; hansgrohe-usa.com. PAGES 114– 15: In garden, skateboard ramp by OC Ramps; ocramps.com. In great room, built-in sofa and concrete bench by Bestor Architecture; bestorarchitecture.com. Sofa’s pillows and rug from deKor & Co.; dekorandco.com. On concrete bench, succulents from Sea Lily Malibu; sealilymalibu.com; in planters from Rolling Greens; rollinggreensnursery.com. On walls, Atrium White PM13 paint by Benjamin Moore; benjaminmoore.com. On front door, Van Gogh Yellow 2070 paint by Fine Paints of Europe; finepaintsofeurope.com.
FORCE OF NATURE PAGES 116–19: Azuma Makoto of Jardins des Fleurs; jardinsdesfleurs.com. ODE TO BEAUTY PAGES 120–25: Architecture and interiors by Massimiliano Locatelli of CLS Architetti; clsarchitetti.com. PAGE 120: In media room, custom-made bookshelves by CLS Architetti, clsarchitetti.com. PAGES 122–23: In living room, Sacco beanbag chair (in custommade mink cover) by Piero Gatti, Cesare Paolini, and Franco Teodoro for Zanotta; zanotta.it. On sofa, cotton-velvet fabric by Loro Piana Interiors (T);
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loropiana.com. PAGE 124: In kitchen, cooktop and oven by Alpes Inox; alpesinox.com. Huna suspension pendant lights by FontanaArte; fontanaarte.com.
BLOM COUNTY PAGES 126–31: Jinny Blom of Jinny Blom Landscape Design; jinnyblom.com. MAN OF THE WORLD PAGES 132–35: Interiors by Pierre Yovanovitch Architecture d’Intérieur; pierreyovanovitch.com. PAGE 132: In Swiss chalet, handblown lights by Jeff Zimmerman from R & Co. (T); r-and-company.com. Custommade oak benches by Pierre Yovanovitch Architecture d’Intérieur; pierreyovanovitch.com; fabricated by Pierre-Eloi Bris; pebris.fr. Hand-knotted rug by Samuel Kasten Tisserand; samkasten.com. In sitting area, sofa and ceramic table by Pierre Yovanovitch Architecture d’Intérieur. On sofa, handwoven linen by Samuel Kasten Tisserand. PAGE 133: Custom-made light fixture by Pierre Yovanovitch Architecture d’Intérieur; pierreyovanovitch.com. PAGE 134: Bébé Ours chair designed by Pierre Yovanovitch Architecture d’Intérieur; pierreyovanovitch.com; fabricated by Jouffre; jouffre.com; upholstered in Niveal acrylic blend, in noir, by Casamance (T); angelabrownltd.com. PAGE 135: Papa Ours chair designed by Pierre Yovanovitch Architecture d’Intérieur; pierreyovanovitch.com; fabricated by Jouffre; jouffre.com; upholstered in Rumi mohair blend by Chapas Textiles from ALT for Living; altforliving.com. In Kering offices, Assis(asy)métrie armchairs by Pierre Yovanovitch Architecture d’Intérieur. In dining room, ceiling light, table, and chairs by Pierre Yovanovitch Architecture d’Intérieur. On chairs, Georges linen-cotton velvet in Naturel by Pierre Frey (T); pierrefrey.com. HISTORICAL REVISION PAGES 136–43: Architecture and interiors by Robert Couturier Inc.; robertcouturier.com. PAGE 137: Custom-made stove by Johnny Grey Studios; johnnygrey.com; with cooktop by Viking; viking.com. PAGE 138: On walls, Sudbury Yellow paint by Farrow & Ball; farrow-ball.com. PAGE 139: Custom-made bed by Mathias Bengtsson; mathiasbengtsson.com.
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People Watching Nearly a century in the making, Manhattan’s Second Avenue Subway finally opened this past New Year’s Day—and the wow factor certainly made up for the wait. Distinguishing the four stations are tile installations by a quartet of contemporary artists. At 96th Street, a porcelain blueprint by Sarah Sze unfurls along the walls, while 63rd Street features vintage streetscapes rendered in glass and ceramic by Jean Shin. And whereas Vik Muniz populated the platforms at 72nd Street with mosaics of some three dozen largely anonymous commuters, Chuck Close filled the 86th Street stop with portraits of fellow art stars such as Kara Walker, Alex Katz, and Cecily Brown (shown). Part of what makes riding the subway so special, of course, is the thrill of seeing faces both familiar and new. —SAM COCHRAN
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GEORGE ETHEREDGE/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX