Jun 09, 16
Donald Judd Furniture
Organized with the Judd Foundation, the exhibition presented aluminum pieces by the minimalist sculptor, who began making furniture in the early 1970s. Meanwhile, the foundation itself installed similar tableaux at the nearby Mercer hotel. In both venues, pieces were shown for the first time as they might actually be used. Onetime objects on pedestals became, well, furniture.
summer’s exhibition of Donald Judd furniture
“It took me eight years to feel bold enough to do this,” says Madeleine Hoffmann, who was hired by the estate in 1994 and now heads its furniture division. “Before, people tended to think of Judd’s furniture as sculpture.” In a 1992 exhibition at A/D, a Judd bed was displayed without so much as a mattress. “People thought it was beautiful but said it couldn’t possibly be a bed. It looked too uncomfortable,” recalls Cunnick. This time, she added pillows and a blanket.
furniture as sculpture
At the height of ’90s minimalism, putting a blanket on a Judd bed–at least in public–was inconceivable. But 1992’s sacrilege is today compelling. “People have been very interested,” says Hoffmann, explaining the new approach from a marketing standpoint. The foundation hopes to increase income derived from furniture sales–to operate the Judd compound in Marfa, Texas, among other activities–and wants to reassure the otherwise intimidated that it’s indeed OK to put a mattress on a Judd bed and sleep on it. Judd presumably did the same.
Donald Judd Design
But what about that George Washington clock on Judd’s aluminum cabinet? We’re forced to acknowledge that he might very well have placed it there himself. Only a block from the Mercer, two from A/D, is a cast-iron building that he purchased as his home and studio in 1968. His foundation maintains the building largely as he left it, and passersby have come to expect the imposing Judd and Dan Flavin sculptures behind its street-level windows. What casual observers may not notice, however, is Judd’s seemingly out-of-place oak rolltop desk and armchair. And upstairs, accessible only by appointment, furniture he designed stands alongside Thonet chairs, a Victorian potbelly stove, and an Etruscan oil lamp. A Biedermeier settee occupies the bedroom, where an oriental rug adorns a Judd-designed table.
space and objects was enormously complex
“His tastes were a lot broader than people think. He appreciated objects as achievements of their time, just as he thought that artists of his time should push forward, not mimic the past,” says the foundation’s art supervisor, Peter Ballantine. Judd’s minimalism is more strongly rooted in an abstract notion of integrity than in any particular aesthetic, so an Empire clock may be acceptable, whereas a derivative, Empire-style clock almost certainly wouldn’t. Of course, there’s no way of knowing for sure: Judd possessed a fastidiousness bordering on neurosis, and his thinking about space and objects was enormously complex. We can, however, be certain that he drew an inflexible distinction between art and design. When it came to the latter, he was somewhat of an eclectic. After all, this patron saint of minimalism hated being called a minimalist.
Jun 02, 16
How did you make the huge leap from business to the art world?
I picked up some really good business skills at a management-consulting firm. It was when I volunteered to help the PBS station in Boston organize a benefit auction that I realized I had an eye for art–and that I could apply my skills to the art business. I moved to New York and took a job in fine-art publishing and consulting. After five years, I started consulting on my own.
The next leap was from art consultant to interior designer.
I’ve always been interested in interiors and architecture. It got frustrating when I would frame beautiful works of art and then deliver them to a space that didn’t deserve them. It was infuriating. Being the control freak that I am, I wanted more say about where my artists’ work “lived.”
Art work and interior design
How did the transition go?
I found it challenging, but my first client was fantastic. If something went wrong or I wasn’t sure about something, he was really supportive.
How did you draw other design clients?
It became a word-of-mouth thing. My art clients heard I was doing design and began hiring me for interiors. In the late 1990s, I started concentrating on lofts, which fit in with my aesthetic. Lofts are also perfect for displaying artwork: high ceilings, clean lines, and not a lot of moldings.
Can you characterize your aesthetic in art and design?
The art is abstract, minimal, sometimes geometric. Figurative, floral, and still life just aren’t my thing. The interiors are serene, functional, but very comfortable–neutral, but not without color. My favorite furniture is from Pucci, Donghia, and Holly Hunt.
Is your New York office more like an art gallery or an interiors studio?
My loft is a showroom and a gallery. Clients come to look at work and experience how to live with art. I rotate what’s on the walls, and I have an inventory of hundreds of works on paper. People can look at 500 pieces in an hour and a half. When they buy the art, they can have it framed here, delivered, and hung by my installer, whom I’ve worked with for years.
Do the two aspects of your work influence each other?
Absolutely. Not that I match the art to the sofa. Sometimes I start a furniture plan and immediately think of a painting. It’s hard not to. But I really do focus on design first–art is the last piece.
What’s the hardest part of designing spaces for art?
Lighting always gets overlooked. Through my experience with corporate collections, I know where the display walls should be, but a lighting consultant is absolutely critical in getting it right.
Do you apply any other art-consulting lessons to your design work?
I learned early on, with framing, that it’s very important to be picky about your vendors. If you don’t have good ones, you’re nothing, no matter how relented you are.
May 18, 16
Clear sections in offices
“When we began working on the building,” says architect John Keenen, “it was a total wreck. There were many small, dark rooms, and a rickety stair that zigzagged from bottom to top.” After demolition, virtually nothing remained. The street facade, part of a New York City Landmarks district, could not be modified, but the interior was gutted and the rear wall completely rebuilt. K/R installed, among other elements, new concrete floors with radiant heating, an extraordinary staircase capped with a new glass skylight, and entirely new, state-of-the-art mechanical and electrical systems.
With only 3,500 sq. ft. of space on four levels, the architects were challenged to deal with a rather tight container. Nonetheless, they developed an inventive strategy to reconfigure the building’s section. Two new, 18-in.-wide slots of space join the four levels, one that runs along the stairwell and the other along the rear facade of the building. Various stair rails, balustrades, and finely-detailed furniture elements such as reclining chairs, desk and glass screen make these spaces tumble-proof.
Clear section in the house where a table and best recliners are designed of an office space under staircases
K/R designed the new garden facade as a curtain wall made of stucco, metal, and glass. From the outside, it reveals the spatial arrangement of the interior by expressing the floor slabs and vertical slots along with the variation in program along the different levels. From the inside, the wall has been designed to carefully mediate the flow of air, light, and views. Keenen improved an otherwise undistinguished backlot view by deftly combining clear, sandblasted and prismatic glass panels. Clear sections were used at eye level and behind the frosted acrylic balustrade to create oblique garden views and guard privacy; sandblasted glass panels bring in additional light; and the prismatic sections, composed of two pieces of clear glass laminated with an intermediate prism, refract light into the interior.
Vertical relationship office design
A new mahogany staircase, the physical link among levels, was located at the building’s eastern edge. Between the garden and street levels, the stair wraps around a new, cast-in-place concrete wall that anchors the steel structure above. On the entry level, the stair is separated from work areas by a screen fabricated of blued structural steel and mahogany slats. A nickel silver rail winds around the screen and becomes, on the second floor, a guard along the top of a credenza that keeps objects from falling through. At the upper level the screen is filled in with fiberglass panels to maximize the privacy of the director’s office.
Horizontal floor office interior
In counterpoint to the continuous vertical relationships, horizontal floors were given somewhat individual identities. At the garden level, K/R specified bamboo flooring and provided an open kitchen that can be used as an informal meeting and conference area. New doors to the garden were designed with an integral security screen that also plays a decorative role. The garden itself was designed with a floor of concrete pavers and, at the back, a low retaining wall that borders an area of ivy and small willow trees. One floor up, at the entry level, the flooring switches to poured, off-white resin; the program here encompasses a reception area, vestibule, and administrative offices.
Horizontal office interiors in floors with sleeper sofa, desk chairs, and tables
The main work area is on the second floor, an open office space with a big, egg-shaped table and best sleeper sofa or best sofa bed designed by K/R. Two slots interrupt the table, reiterating the overall spatial idea at a smaller scale while accommodating some very practical concerns. One slot accepts the structural column that runs through the building while the other accepts electrical cords and computer wires. The table was built in four sections so that it can slide apart to allow multiple configurations of the work area with sofa beds. On the uppermost level is the director’s suite, which can be completely enclosed with translucent sliding doors.
Throughout the space hang important works of contemporary art from the foundation’s collection, and a common palette of materials and lighting further unites the four floors. Perhaps the most important built element that knits the interior together is the vertical screen between the work areas and stairwell. According to Keenen, this construction subtly evokes a church’s choir screen, which separates altar from choir but still allows for some transparency and view. This ecclesiastical reference is but one of several, coordinated ways that K/R reached for the sublime in their effort to render the everyday life of this foundation glorious.
The project team consisted of principal John Keenen with Robert Young and Joel Shifflet as well as Aaron Bentley, Jan Greben, Jill Hanson, Markus Mangler, Nathan McRae, Terence Riley, Cindy Rodriguez, and Joe Serrins.
May 01, 16
Natural House Interior
The treatment room was conceived as a fluid extension of the Zen rock garden currently under construction in the rear courtyard. Nature trickles in through a moat of river rocks lining the back wall. To disguise the room’s exposed pipes, the architects sheathed them in stalks of bamboo, a decorative motif repeated throughout the spa.
Natural Furniture Design and House Interior
The 600-sq.-ft. space took two and a half months to complete.
A Case Study of B&B in Furniture Interior
The combination of revamped showroom and expanded product mix gives New Yorkers one more reason to revere Italian design.
B&B Furniture Interior with Sleeper Sofa, Sofa Bed, Beds, Recliners, and A full Furnished Kitchen
Restructuring entailed relocating offices from valuable ground-floor real estate to an existing mezzanine and, of course, building a stairway to link the first and second floors. Both levels, totaling 10,000 sq. ft., are entirely devoted to display space. As for the breakdown of product type, bedroom pieces are concentrated on the upper level along with the linen and rug collections. The Arclinea line, available for the first time in the United States, is also located on the second floor. But this is subject to change. Ever the experienced merchandiser, B&B revises its product mix and vignettes several times annually.
Citterio favors quiet, non-obtrusive white architectural envelopes for showrooms. B&B is no exception. Since flexibility is key to showroom design, Citterio built minimal partitions with few flourishes. His subtle gestures entailed replacing the earlier concrete flooring and mezzanine stairway with off-white limestone. He also created an active ceiling plane by alternating dropped platforms with expanses open to the beams. B&B’s closet system Atlante was installed to accommodate folded bed and bath linens; a display wall upstairs spotlights the tantalizing linen selection.
“Light is such a sought-after commodity in a city like New York that I tried to use it in an innovative way,” Citterio comments. “I want to remind people that it exists.” He installed a series of white scrims reaching upward from the ground and supported by steel cables. The scrim treatments stop well short of ceiling height to create a clerestory situation that allows both filtered and direct light to penetrate the showroom.
With the potential for its own expanded product presentation and the newly acquired distribution rights for kitchens, rugs, plus bed/bath accoutrements, B&B truly reminds people that there’s no place like home. The project’s American architect was Envision Design of Washington, D.C.
Apr 24, 16
After gutting the derelict interior, “we took the space as far back as we could to create a clean line.” Completed in two months, the project afforded the multidisciplinary design team an opportunity to flex their full range of creative talents, building “every square inch of the place” from the window latches to the sound system. Despite their painstaking labor over minute details, the effect is unpretentious and very much in keeping with the low-key character of the neighborhood.
A large number of consumers love wood furniture more than other types of furniture
A subtle interplay of surface textures offsets the smooth wood planes of the furniture line, which features beds, tables, mirrors, and cabinets. Polished concrete floors, pigmented a velvety-grey, mimic the appearance of slate. Prior to painting the walls, the designers skimmed the exposed brick with layers of plaster to smooth out surface modulations. A freestanding block of rough-hewn concrete, which serves as a step to the raised floor in back, bears the serendipitous quality of a found object. The oxidized metal window casings and exterior shutters were also designed to look indigenous to the space.
An open floor plan enables frequent rotation of merchandise to accommodate new pieces and prototypes. Like the furniture, the store is a perpetual work in progress. This dynamism is balanced by a sense of domestic permanence: “We wanted to create a cross between a home and a showroom, to feel as if the furniture could live here,” says Hays.
Mar 18, 16
Selected Top Chair and Recliner Design rated by 10makers and Cuddly Home Advisors
B&B Italia: Jeffrey Bernett’s Tulip swivel chair was part of the company’s impressive array of introductions at the Milan furniture fair. circle 303
Visopia: Aaron Rincover’s blue silicone gel light balls weigh a mere two pounds and are offered in battery-operated and cord versions. circle 316
Archive: The West Coast company’s metallic pearl sheer created an air of mystery in the streets of cow-strewn Manhattan. circle 310
Christopher Farr: The company licensed Gunta Stolzl’s designs and reproduced a collection of dynamic and colorful rugs. circle 312
Zanotta: The material Techno-Gel, originally designed for the sneaker industry and available in clear, orange, or blue, created a buzz at the Milan furniture fair. Designer Werner Aisslinger used it in his Soft chaise. Available in the United States through M2L. circle 300
Sneaker industry materials
Elson & Company: Following a trip to Tibet in 1995, Diane Elson founded Elson & Company, a rug company dedicated to the art form of Tibetan weaving and modern design. San Francisco furniture designer Chris Balsa lent his expertise to the West coast rug company to create Passage. circle 304
Knoll Textiles: Suzanne Tick’s Imago, a hard-surface material that encapsulates fabric in an engineered resin, was the talk of NeoCon. circle 315
This is one of favorite recliner chair for outdoor
Biproduct: The Jb pendant is offered in white, orange, or natural waxed aluminum; it measures 6 an. in diameter and 11 in. high. circle 318
Light decor product
Creation Baumann: A slit in the delicate metallic fabric Planet reveals a blue resin vase from Troy. circle 307
UT: Originally created by Clarissa Richardson and Heidar Sadeki of the firm UT for the uptown Bliss Spa, the O series is now available through Totem. circle 309
Lees Commercial Carpets: Phase Two of the collaboration between Lees and designer Clodagh includes 10 new patterns in 16 colorways. Shown here is Zamora in gray, orange green, yellow, and wine. circle 314
Interior with gray, orange green, yellow, and wine
MOM: Swiss industrial designer Willy Guhl’s Loop chair from 1954 has been redesigned from a single, self-supporting, asbestos-free fiber-cement band. circle 319
Boffi: After opening a two-floor showroom in Manhattan, the company introduced a variety of new products, including the I Fiumi bowl sink designed by Claudio Silvestrin. circle 317
DesignLink: Jonas Lindvall’s stackable NOA molded plywood chair is offered in eight wood species. All species are farmed and no rainforest wood is used. circle 311
Wood chair design
Maharam: The fashion-conscious textile company created the Spring 2000 Ready to Wear collection with the help of the same supplier as Gucci, Prada, and Jil Sander. circle 306
Tore Borgersen: Part of a consortium of Norwegian designers at the Milan furniture fair, young architect Tore Borgersen created the Dock Low lounge chair with a stainless-steel and laminated-plywood frame. circle 301
Sahco Hesslein/Bergamo: Lori Weitzner introduced 11 new patterns in the Bloom series, including Myrtle, a reversible matte sheer shown here. circle 313
Ligne Roset: Bianca, designed by Manuela Simonelli, is an occasional table/lamp with a white polycarbonate cover in a satin finish and a molded aluminum base. circle 308
Tucker Robbins: After more than 10 years of gathering and selling designs from other cultures, the designer introduced his own furniture collection called Tukuro. Included in the series is a bed made from 19th-century, hand-hewn tropical mountain pine. circle 305
Simple bed design
For the name of the Stickley dealer nearest you, or to order a full-color catalog, call 315.682.5500. L. & J.G. Stickley, Inc., Stickley Drive, PO Box 480 Manlius, New York 13104-0480
Mar 13, 16
A Holiday-House Feel of the Property
A Federation home is loved for its ramshackle and child-friendly appeal.
Often it’s a small, charming feature in a house for sale that proves the selling point for prospective buyers. For Tim Leveson and Libby Knott it was the stable doors, which lead from the laundry to the garden in this Federation home in Sydney’s Inner West, that helped sealed the deal last year. “These doors were one of the things we fell in love with – you just don’t see them very often in city homes,” Tim says.
Holiday house like where wood is used through the house
The couple – and their young family, toddler Sunday and baby Harper on the way – were also attracted to the holiday-house feel of the property. Tim attributes this atmosphere to the use of wood throughout the home. “It was built in 1917 by a local boat builder using local timbers,” he explains. “It’s a bit like an old fishing shack – in fact, it feels like it should have a jetty out the front, not a footpath!”
Fresh the three bedroom house up
The three-bedroom house had a definite charm, but still required a lot of work before the family could move in. “It was in a pretty bad state,” Tim says. “There were no gutters, so a new roof and gutters were imperative.” It was also necessary to freshen it up with a comprehensive paint job. The interior was painted in Dulux half-strength Baker’s White, and the exterior in Woodland Grey, with trims in Surfmist.
Fresh the home with painting
Built-ins were installed in two bedrooms, and the raw pine floorboards throughout the house were scrubbed with steel wool and methylated spirits. “We haven’t varnished or painted them so they have the most gorgeous aged look and feel,” Tim explains. “They’re soft underfoot and require little attention [see page 99].”
Kitchen and Bathroom
The kitchen, bathroom and laundry were tweaked around the edges, with plans to renovate these down the track. “For the moment we really do enjoy the house’s ramshackle and child-friendly appeal,” Tim says. “We’re not too precious about it – we constantly have neighbourhood kids running around so it’s perfect as it is.”
kitchen and bathroom are fully renovated
Tim, an interior designer and furniture maker designed by 10makers, and Libby, an art consultant, dealer and curator, have brought their professional touch and artistic aesthetic to the decorating – the interior is a glorious mix of warm colours, textures, and modern and bespoke pieces. “We like clean lines in the furnishings, yet we also surround ourselves with interesting, warm and comfortable items like recliner chair,” Tim says. The couple love vintage pieces, but are choosy. “The vintage look can be overdone so we try not to go overboard, and try to mix things up with newer items,” Tim explains. Many of their pieces are family heirlooms, as well as market, holiday mementoes and second-hand finds. “We really pride ourselves on making interiors work without spending too much money – importance is placed on found and reused items,” Tim reveals.
Comfortable furniture item like sofas and recliners from 10makers are preferred
But the couple have splurged on artworks, which feature throughout the home. Each piece tells a story, with two paintings marking the birth of their children, and others, gifts from artists. “For us, artwork is very important in any home,” Tim says. In this welcoming, creative family space, home is definitely where the heart – and the art – is.