NYC: For Your Viewing Pleasure
In the Big Apple, architecture and design live in harmony, hiding a rare treasure: their interior spaces. Join us on an exploration of New York’s great indoors.
Text: Marcelo Elola | Photos: Fran Parente
This ten-acre park in downtown Manhattan belongs to the city’s monumental library. In 1884, it was renamed Bryant Park in honor of William Cullen Bryant, poet, journalist and editor of the New York Evening Post.
During the Great Depression and due to the construction of the 6th Avenue subway line, the park was completely abandoned. In the 1970s, it became a “no-go zone” – a chaotic haven for drug dealing, prostitution and crime. But by 1989, everything changed. For four years, the park was closed off completely, and a non-profit organization called the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation rehabilitated the area in a joint public-private venture.
The project focused on creating new street-level entries and updating the formal French gardens, adding comforts like public bathrooms – a rarity in Manhattan – restaurants and bars, a carousel, hundreds of chairs that visitors can move around as they please and, more recently, free WiFi.
The surrounding area got a new lease on life and quickly began to fill with luxurious offices. Today, Bryant Park welcomes more visitors per square meter than any other park in the world, and in addition to having the best lawns in Manhattan, it’s a favorite spot for winding down the day, playing outdoor games like pétanque or enjoying the city’s unforgettable Fashion Week.
Famous for its notebooks and sketchbooks featuring countless themes – from your favorite cities and to classic authors – this legendary Italian brand has developed a new concept near New York University (NYU), in the heart of SoHo and even on West Broadway.
The interactive initiative includes a Stamp Station where you’re invited to personalize your own notebook. In these places of inspiration and recreation throughout the city, you’ll find the complete collection of Moleskine special editions, and you can participate in a range of workshops or events.
There’s even a café that allows you to relax and enjoy the endless possibilities that Moleskine has to offer, all within your reach and to your specifications.
In a magnificent building in the heart of Tribeca – originally the Western Union Building designed by Voorhees and Walker in 1928 – more than 100 communications companies store miles of cables and gigantic technological equipment. The public has no reason to come here, but the 17th floor is an exception.
Georg Petshnigg was so captivating by the Art Deco building that four years ago, he decided it would serve as the platform and office for his startup, FiftyThree.
The architectural language of the office is as simple as its proposal: “to put the essential tools for creation within arm’s reach.” Large interior spaces and transparencies make FiftyThree a perfect place to work, free from pretense and focused on practicality and the three materials that lend a sense of harmony to its clearest and purest forms: wood, glass and metal.
The interior design results in a comfortable space that’s technologically engaging and inspired by the intuition and immediacy of the analog world, where creativity is rendered with pen and paper, guided by simplicity, without fancy flourishes. Just like the company’s app, Paper, which was recognized as the world’s best Apple app in 2012.
This incredible hotel, pub, bar and restaurant is much more than a shining example of classic European architecture. Refined and sophisticated, NoMad (North of Madison Avenue) is a product of the fusion between chef Daniel Humm and French interior designer Jacques Garcia: an incredible mix of talent and ego that pays tribute to the history of New York, with a special nod to local bars.
The design is characterized by textures and contrasts: sumptuous upholstery, walls covered in imported French leather, incredible boiserie (wooden paneling) and a central patio with a unique skylight. The fantastic library comes complete with a spiral staircase, railings and walkways de rigueur, and a small but cozy salon with an immense stone fireplace for special occasions.
Inspired by his loft in Paris, Garcia’s vision combines with the wonderful restaurant, pub and bar overseen by Will Guidara and Daniel Humm to result in a unique venue that contributes to the restoration of a terrific neighborhood.
Designed by Sejima + Nishizawa (Japan) and Gensler (New York), this stellar example of contemporary architecture was named one of the Seven Wonders of Modern Architecture by Condé Nast Traveler. And the 175-foot-high, asymmetrical cubes of this unique museum certainly catch the eye in the heart of Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
It’s an urbane and elegant combo with airy interiors and pure geometric forms, a mix of minimalist and deconstructionist architecture. And it’s perfect for large-scale installations.
The history of this small but substantive museum impresses with its attitude, boldness and audacity. On the vanguard in promoting young and innovative art, the New Museum has been fearless about showcasing new ideas.
Recent highlights at the museum include a work by Belgian artist Carsten Höller, which connected three floors with a spiral tube that visitors could slide down, like something out of a water park. That’s not the sort of thing you’d find in a traditional museum! in
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