As far as heaven goes in homes, Yabu & Pushelberg’s 4000sq ft. West Village apartment, in an iconic Richard Meier building, reaches pretty close to transporting me there.
A designer’s dream, the couple and business partners (of an incredible 31 years), bought the entire floor. With floor-to-ceiling windows, the floor initially presented as a blank canvas with only a toilet and mirror in the entire space. After leaving the floor empty for two years to ‘get a feel for the space’, the designers began their work into creating the ultimate testament to their design genius in their third and favourite home. What they’ve created in their home exemplifies their masterful way with space, material finishes and eclecticism in furniture, art and object curation.
Like with most of their designs, an ethereal neutral palette is applied allowing their remarkable art collection to be the centrepiece of the space. In fact, the generously proportioned, free-flowing, open-plan living and entertaining quarters give off a large gallery vibe. The pervading sense of calmness and lightness are endowed by the abundance of natural light filtered by the floor length sheer curtains that soften and add whimsy. These are met with an expanse of creamy, light travertine that encases the entire floor, punctuated with a unique collection of furniture.
Each piece of furniture, accessory, art or object in this apartment have their own history and journey. Masterfully curated assortments of seating scenarios are framed with luscious rugs sourced from their travels. The mix of eras is tactful, and the clashing of materials is delightful. I love the blue lucite coffee table surrounded by carved timber chairs. The art collection includes a mesmerising Anish Kapoor in the entrance hallway, and a crystal encased deer head by Japanese artist Kohei Nawa. The stories imbued in the collections include a log bench in the hallway that was a fallen tree retrieved from the bottom of a lake in India. Custom furniture designed by the duo also features in the project. An example the ‘Perry St’ sofa, built to bend and fit the angle presented by the facade of the building. Unsurprisingly, the sofa has taken off and requests now see it featured in other prominent Yabu & Pushelberg projects – including Park Hyatt New York.
What’s really great about this project is the multiple elements of surprised cocooned into what appears to be a clean, simple and minimalist space. Exposed concrete columns celebrate the structure and add intrigue to the open planning. There is a clever separation between the private and public quarters. The free flowing living spaces act as entertaining areas where guests won’t feel as though they’re intruding on the private rooms as they’re all hidden behind almost secret doors embedded into the hallway. Behind these doors are the bedrooms and dwelling rooms. The neutral palette continues throughout and what’s distinctive is the persistence of specifying a single material finish in every custom element of the private quarters. The travertine-clad bath is a standout – so calming, whilst linear.
One can’t be too surprised when design legends produce a home for themselves that is absolutely breathtaking. It’s actually not easy to design something as personal as your own home when you specialise in design. They’ve nailed theirs though, and it’s no wonder this is the favourite of their homes. An art collector’s dream.