While designing a 10,000 square foot, full-floor apartment with a 13-foot ceiling on a skyline-defining skyscraper in midtown Manhattan, AD100 designer Steven Volpe has the unique chance to investigate such concerns. But way back when Volpe and his team could bring in a single piece of light from Giacometti or a picture from Picasso, they had to overcome a major architectural challenge: constructing a building inside a building to dampen the spooky noises of wind buffeting a swaying structure.
Volpe and his design director, Ralph Dennis, concentrated on developing a new language of luxury that alluded to past archetypes without succumbing to outmoded patterns after the challenging issue of the superstructure has been overcome. For instance, their flooring solution used 20×30 inch of limestone and oak slabs placed in a herringbone pattern to evoke a modern recreation of a traditional parquet de Versailles.
The expansive living room, which measured up to 60-feet long, finely displayed the home’s degree of detail and refinement. A center table from Jules Wabbes from the 1970s was topped by a rare chandelier from Gio Ponti which divided the space and provided two different seating placements that helped to balance the room’s massive size. Important vintage pieces, such as museum worthy chairs from Diego Giacometti, a cocktail table from Wendell Castle, sofas from Joaquim Tenreiro, and obsidian lamps from Jean-Michel Frank, coexisted peacefully with other signature pieces by avant-garde designers like Fredrickson Stallard, Joris Laarman, and Nacho Carbonell. The apartment’s windows and window seats heave new bronze and oak surrounds, which gave another level of elegance to the space’s perimeter.
The formal dining room includes an alabaster dining table from Rick Owens, surrounded by a set of chairs from Jean Royere, all placed beneath a couple of Venetian glass chandeliers from the 1940s. As for another contribution from Royere, a Trefle wood sideboard with red leather inlay panels from around 1942 was also included.
Stitched walls with pale gray lambskin panels were placed inside a walnut lattice in the master bedroom as a contemporary twist on French designer Paul Dupre’s parchment covered Lafon chambers. Despite the complexity of its construction, the wall treatment looks to have been fairly easy and uncomplicated, like so many other elements throughout the flat. For the highest of creativity and workmanship, no detail was too obscure, and no chamber was too minor.