The year was 1995. When the Calvin Klein Collection unveiled its New York flagship, it was the ne plus ultra of minimalism: The John Pawson design, a rational procession of natural light and limestone, reaffirmed that less can be more. But what once seemed admirably restrained had come to look, well, timid. And Calvin Klein’s new creative director, Raf Simons, rarely holds back.
After his Calvin Klein 205W39 line had debuted last fall, the 26,000-square-foot, two-story emporium needed a change before the collection hit the racks. “We had three months to figure out what we could do quickly with impact and integrity,” Stephen Cassell says. Fortunately, his team was already in place: He, along with Architecture Research Office co-principal Adam Yarinsky and artist Sterling Ruby, had just renovated the brand’s New York showroom.
Here, the limestone flooring was covered with nylon carpeting in a griege that deepens as feet cross it. Pawson’s famed glass railings were slipped into sleeves of Formica, the same retro material used for the blocky, Memphis-esque displays for apparel, accessories, and home goods. Scaffolding, the city’s ultimate forecast of change, became the focal point and, Cassell says, “layered in complexity.” Not to mention a means for hanging Ruby’s mixed-media sculptures incorporating found objects. Then, every inch of the once-creamy interior was coated in taxi-cab yellow. “We were curious,” Yarinsky notes, “what would happen if you take something familiar but turn it up to 11.”
“Beyond the Deep” by Lindsey Adelman x Calico Wallpaper
Lighting doyenne Lindsey Adelman joined forces with Calico Wallpaper to present “Beyond the Deep,” an immersive undersea installation at Via Pietro Maroncelli 7. It marks the launch of Adelman’s Drop System, a De Stijl–inspired lighting series that features hand-blown mini globes affixed to verdigris-finished brass tubes. Backdropping Adelman’s fixtures are Calico Wallpaper’s brand-new Oceania collection in three shades and fluid-like Sumi collection in a custom colorway.
“ACT III” by Apparatus
After creative director Gabriel Hendifar mined his personal cultural history as a first-generation Iranian-American to conceive Apparatus’s latest product introductions, he transformed the studio’s Milan showroom (Via Santa Marta 14) into a snapshot of bygone memories that simultaneously looks to the future. Hendifar infused each piece with Persian history—the brass-tubed Talisman sconce replicates details found on statues in Persepolis, while the gently curved Drum table evokes the Tombak, a foundational instrument in Persian music.
“Le Roi” by Marc Ange
After his installation Le Refuge took home top honors as the most Instagrammed piece of Milan Design Week 2017, Marc Ange returns both bigger and bolder. His signature leaf lamps, this time in a shimmering gold, beckon visitors inside a throne-like room where a giant bear lounge chair—illuminated by two Refuge lamps—presides over a duo of Les Araignées chairs, each upholstered in royal blue Sunbrella® fabric. Le Roi displays at Wallpaper*’s Mediateca di Brera space (Via Moscova 28) until April 22.
“Open Sky” by COS x Phillip K. Smith III
Phillip K. Smith III’s work challenges perceptions of light and space, particularly in California’s Palm Desert, where he’s based. So when Swedish fashion brand COS approached him to devise a site-specific installation during Salone del Mobile, he took on a new medium: 16th-century Italian architecture. Nestled inside Palazzo Isimbardi, Open Sky’s faceted mirrors reconfigure the surrounding colonnade into a geometric abstraction. The buildings dramatically pull away as one moves toward the center, until fully encircled by vast sky’s languorous drift and color changes. “Each participant is in control of how the sky and architecture merge across the nearly 14-meter-diameter surface,” Smith notes, making each experience unique.
“For You Everyone” by Herman Miller
To celebrate the launch of Cosm, Herman Miller’s first auto-tilt chair designed by Studio 7.5, the storied office furniture company transformed their Brera Design District digs into a veritable high-design automobile showroom called “For You Everyone.” Neon signage invites visitors inside, where Cosm’s size and color variations preside on clusters of pedestals. Visitors can then test drive the task chair’s Auto-Harmonic Tilt, experiencing how adaptable the workplace of the future is—and how Herman Miller is responding to the ever-changing office landscape.
“Into Marble” by Nendo and Marsotto edizioni
Prolific design firm Nendo teamed with Marsotto edizioni to devise “Into Marble,” a poetic exhibition where clean-lined marble furniture melts into liquid. Each piece sits askew on puddle-like pedestals, to which Nendo manually surfaced with gentle ripples. Pieces by Claesson Koivisto Rune, Jasper Morrison, Philippe Malouin, and Konstantin Grcic all make an appearance. “Into Marble” runs until April 22 at Spazio Bigli (Via Bigli 11/A).
“My Dream Home” by Piero Lissoni, Elisabetta Illy, and Stefano Guindani
Photographers Elisabetta Illy and Stefano Guindani present “My Dream Home,” an exhibit that juxtaposes photographs of Haitian children alongside drawings of their “dream homes.” Interior Design Hall of Fame member Piero Lissoni collaborated with Dmeco Engineering to design the venue: twelve stacked shipping containers in the colors of Haitian houses. All proceeds from the show, open until April 28 at the Cortile d’Onore of Universita Statale, will be donated to Fondazione Francesca Rava to construct homes in Cite du Solei, Haiti.
To mark the third phase of its home decor collection, Swarovski reveals four new product collaborations inside a grand greenhouse set within a hidden courtyard of a neoclassical Milanese palazzo (Corso Venezia 16). Objects by John Pawson, Nendo, Patricia Urquiola, and Peter Pilotto—who all push boundaries of crystal artistry—are featured, as are new lighting collections from Swarovski Crystal Palace by Tord Boontje and Marjan van Aubel.
Observatory by Lee Broom
Lee Broom’s stellar-inspired lighting fixtures, two years in the making, take center stage at “Observatory,” a traveling installation in a Grade II–listed building (Via Lovanio 6) in the heart of the Brera Design District. Eclipse, Orion, Aurora, and Tidal all glisten amid gallery-like environs, which Broom will show during NYCxDESIGN and the London Design Festival. “I wanted to create a celestial collection of sculptural lighting which is progressive and experimental using the latest LED technology,” says Broom.
“Altered States” by Snarkitecture x Caesarstone
To kick off Eurocucina, quartz manufacturer Caesarstonetapped Snarkitecture to explore the kitchen island at Fuorisalone. The New York–based collaborative practice then examined liquid as the kitchen’s most crucial element, channeling ice, water, and steam to create Altered States at Palazzo dell’Ufficio Elettorale di Porta Romana. Anchoring the amphitheatrical installation is a circular kitchen island surfaced in layers of Caesarstone White Attica, a nod to natural topography. Over 250 metal mesh pedestals in monochromatic gradients—emblematic of Snarkitecture’s oeuvre—gather around.
“Perfettamente Imperfetto” by Dimorestudio
One of three installations by Dimorestudio, Perfettamente Imperfetto (Via Solferino 11) showcases the studio’s Progetto Non Finito and Oggetti collections. Decidedly neutral backdrops, such as a corridor lined with white parachute silk, highlight precious materials and artistic expression, as seen in spider-like floor lamps that nod to Louise Bourgeoise.
In view of the High Line park and the Hudson River, an easy arm’s length from the foodie mecca of Chelsea Market, and a stone’s throw from the meatpacking district’s mayhem, Google has a new home. With space split between two Chelsea landmarks, National Biscuit Company buildings from 1898 and 1913, and revamped by Interior Architects, the search engine’s sales team enjoys impressive digs that are nevertheless decidedly understated. The goal here was to play against type by celebrating the low-tech and the local.
Luckily for one New York couple of empty-nesters, Interior Design Hall of Fame members Gisue Hariri and Mojgan Hariri know a thing or two about family dynamics—after all, the sisters are now in their fourth decade of running Hariri & Hariri Architecture, having previously studied together at Cornell University. And they used that knowledge to settle the couple into a more compact home while, at the same time, expanding their horizons.
Rottet Studio tackled not one but two Four Seasons Hotels Limited properties in Bogotá. The larger and more centrally located one, in the hopping Zona Rosa district, is the Four Seasons Hotel Bogotá. It comprises a row of three 1980’s brick buildings vaguely neoclassical in style and long operated as a different hotel. Once Four Seasons signed on, the doors closed for 16 months while Rottet and senior associate Chris Evans flew in from the U.S. to work their magic.
A laid-back, sand-between-the-toes spirit pervades this sophisticated pied-à-terre. “The look is intentionally unusual, but there’s also a sense of fun because we’re in Miami Beach,” Alessandro Isola says. It’s a vision in white, accented by water tones. The apartment is one of 26 that Interior Design Hall of Fame member John Pawson conceived for the Ian Schrager Company’s Residences at the Miami Beach Edition. Working within Pawson’s characteristically minimal 1,500-square-foot layout, Isola delivered a two-bedroom that can accommodate a couple and up to four children.
First stepping into this house in the leafy suburbs of Antwerp, Belgium, architect Dirk Engelen saw an unhappy mishmash of eras. The structure, built in 1936, had been remodeled twice, first in the 1950’s and then in the 1970’s. “The original details were lost. The huge front window was half boarded-up, and the flying staircase was very ’70’s,” he recalls. Consulting the building drawings confirmed that there was nothing of the 1930’s interior left, save the old radiators. Engelen stripped out everything else, including the partition walls, resulting in an open-plan 6,400 square feet on three levels.
Six years ago, a real estate developer bought an unremarkable 1970’s house in Mexico City with the plan of remodeling it into an exemplar of indoor-outdoor living. It proved impossible, however, to find an architect who shared his vision of transforming the building rather than demolishing it. Then luck struck. On the recommendation of a friend, the developer approached designers Ezequiel Farca and Cristina Grappin, who eagerly accepted the challenge of overhauling the home while staying within its existing four-story typology.
Part of the Residences at W Austin, located in a clean-lined high-rise by Andersson-Wise Architects, the unit was purchased just in time to stop installation of the developer’s stock finishes. The sight that initially greeted Dunnam Tita as well as Furman + Keil Architects’s Philip Keil, who’d worked on the owner’s previous home, was 3,400 square feet of raw concrete. To transform it in keeping with his tastes—which lean mid-century though “not off-the-shelf,” Dunnam Tita says—she and Keil gravitated toward a materials palette influenced by Carlo Scarpa.
Gut renovations often yield the unexpected, but for Goil Amornvivat and Thomas Morbitzer of AM/MOR Architecture, a duplex in Stuyvesant Square proved more surprising than most. Located at the top of an 1888 former parish house, the condominium offered little indication of what was hiding beneath a mid-1990’s renovation that prioritized square footage over a logical layout. So the first move was to rip out, and eventually replace, the upper level that had created the low ceilings. Then it was time to begin probing. “It was one poke at a time,” Amornvivat says.
Even travelers who love Tokyo’s high-octane pace occasionally crave a serene retreat. Somewhere to kick off their shoes, relax in a cotton kimono, and take a dip in mineral-rich hot-spring waters. However, that traditional hotel experience used to be available only elsewhere—around Kyoto or deep in the countryside. Now, at last, there is a typically Japanese inn or ryokan, complete with a proper hot-spring spa, right in the middle of Tokyo. That’s thanks to Hoshino Resorts, a company with roots stretching back to 1914, and Azuma Architect & Associates, which has designed four Hoshino properties.
Interior Design Hall of Fame members Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku renovated the acclaimed Auberge de l’Ill restaurant in 2007. In 2014 in nearby Strasbourg, they turned part of an 18th-century royal stud farm into Marc Haeberlin’s fourth restaurant, Les Haras. So when the Haeberlin family decided to enlarge the Hôtel des Berges and add a spa, client-designer trust was well established. “They essentially gave us carte blanche,” Jouin says. The sole requirement for this third collaboration, Manku adds, was for the annex to be both “sensory and spiritual,” a retreat for the body and soul.