After a lifetime of trying to create spaces for everyone else, this is the first time I did it for myself.--Ian schrager
Located on the most desirable block in NoHo, 40 Bond, the Pritzker Prize–winning architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron’s first in New York City. Ian Schrager, the groundbreaking impresario of boutique hotels (the Delano, in Miami, and the Royalton, in Manhattan, for example), developed 40 Bond as an elegant rethinking of the cast-iron building sheathed in high-tech green glass.
The finished product was so alluring that he decided to move into the penthouse as his home and to add a pavilion on the roof. Herzog and de Meuron are not exactly baroque designers, but Schrager wanted to work with the master of hyper-minimalism, John Pawson to try to get close to his own true aesthetic.
“The architecture, the air, and the light are Pawson—the bones, the brilliant way he framed the views,”says Schrager. “I went to a minimalist architect, but I don’t want a minimal apartment.” Schrager hired the French interior designer Christian Liaigre to furnish the apartment. Landscape architect Madison Cox planned the manicured roof garden.
John Pawson’s minimalism requires a kind of maniacal precision and a purity of materials. This 1,382 square foot split two-bedroom residence features two bathrooms, powder room. Spanning the facade’s twenty-one bays, one long edge of the apartment’s floor plan is left clear, preserving an uninterrupted 40-metre vista, with views out to the city at either end.
A series of white walls mark out areas for family living, kitchen and library, maximising the sense of an open, loft-like layout, whilst creating a sequence of gathering spaces in which the activities of everyday domestic life can naturally take place. This approach allows the focus to fall on the combinations of materials and the detailing of the junctions, the pairing of fired black granite and brushed, stained Japanese cedar in the kitchen, for example, playing with ideas of similarity and contrast in terms of texture and tone.
““This apartment is the most sophisticated thing I have ever done. It’s about the quality of the materials,” Schrager says, “I tore out hundreds of Austrian-white-oak floor planks when the color did not turn out to my liking. Everyone was saying, ‘Leave it! It’s not worth it!’. I wanted a wide-plank gray-beige floor, and the second time we installed it I approved every plank.“
Sergey Makhno | Viter House