A pristine, gallery-like area in the heart of SoHo – SURFACE

Madeleine Keck often describes its interiors in musical metaphors. When we last caught up with the New York interior designer, whose eponymous firm masterfully designs immaculate residences that achieve a harmonious balance of light and composition, she compared her human to “instruments tuned for a symphonic performance”. His latest achievement, a lavish, art-filled residence inside a Renzo Piano building in the heart of Manhattan’s SoHo, is no different.

The light-filled area strikes a similar balance that allows Keck’s brand of warm minimalism to shine through. Her creatively-minded client’s extensive art and design collection, which includes pieces from Pierre Yovanovitch, Sheila Hicks and Christophe Delcourt, as well as his own photographs, complete the refined interior architecture of Piano without dominating it. Unexpected details abound – a vintage chair in the bathroom and a custom oak paneled closet bring touches of intrigue and sophistication throughout. Below we get the full download.

Inspiration: The apartment explores the boundary between a residence and a gallery. This is the fourth residential project for the client, a designer himself, who was drawn to Renzo Piano’s recently completed 595 Broome tower in SoHo. The streamlined architecture sets a stage for Magdalena Keck’s distinctive brand of warm minimalism that gently stimulates the senses while remaining functional and accessible. The architectural features of the building informed many of the design decisions.

Take away food: Furniture, art and lighting are used together to provide a level of subtlety and precision, resulting in a sequence of carefully curated vignettes. This project was also an opportunity to highlight precious pieces, such as a Donald Judd print that traced through the multiple collaborations between Keck and its client, and a textile suspended by Sheila Hicks. Both are part of a collection that the couple worked together to develop over several years.

Challenges: The construction part of the project was approaching when the pandemic started. There was a long pause before the crew could safely return to finish. The loss of momentum and regrouping was difficult. Furniture was due from all over the world, and the whole world was stopped in its tracks. For example, the sofa fabric was woven in India and then had to travel to Paris for the sofa to be made. Each step took months due to restricted workflow and worldwide shipping.

More details: The lighting is carefully studied to offer different atmospheres and levels, through suspensions, wall sconces and table lamps. The installation of tiny, almost invisible recessed lights throughout the apartment, as well as the relocation and replacement of sockets to blend seamlessly with the layout and scheme, exemplify the attention to detail. These small but important touches bring maturity and sophistication to the space, as do many unexpected moments. A vintage chair in the bathroom. A bespoke oak wood closet.

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