Tour Gerard Butler’s Two-Story Loft in Manhattan

The actor worked with architect Alexander Gorlin and film designer Elvis Restaino on his 3,300-square-foot loft in New York City.

This article originally appeared in the May 2010 issue of Architectural Digest.

Thirteen-foot-tall doors with a knocker mahogany that could summon the dead. A ceiling fresco depicting the rape of Ganymede. Plaster walls chipped and mottled with age, massive columns supporting limestone lions, crystal chandeliers casting spidery shadows…. Medieval castle? Ancestral manor house? Try a two-story loft in the heart of New York’s ultratrendy Chelsea district. The doors alone are remarkable enough to stop the most jaded Manhattanite in his tracks: Who in the world lives here?

Why, King Leonidas of Sparta, who else? The place starts to make a little more sense when one considers that its owner is the actor Gerard Butler, and Gerard Butler is known for channeling such larger-than-life figures as the Spartan king, Attila the Hun, Dracula, the Phantom of the Opera and Beowulf. “I wanted something elegant and gorgeous and at the same time rather masculine and raw,” the actor declares, his Glasgow burr somehow enhancing the description. “I guess I would describe the apartment as bohemian old-world rustic chateau with a taste of baroque.”

Several years ago, about the time he was impersonating Terry Sheridan in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Butler, who had been renting an apartment in Los Angeles, decided he was interested in more permanent digs. “I was looking at the loft and I was looking at a huge apartment in Notting Hill in London, and I knew that either one of them was going to bankrupt me. But New York is a city that fascinates me—I wanted a home in the middle of the craziness.” The loft, on the sixth and seventh floors of a converted manufacturing warehouse, boasted arched windows looking out at the Empire State Building and some 3,300 square feet of raw space—but that space had been broken up into a warren of small rooms. Butler’s realtor referred him to architect Alexander Gorlin, who gutted the place, leaving only two old support beams, then put up a single interior wall to conceal a bedroom, an office and a laundry room.

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