Contract - November 2013 - (Page 68)
By Michael Webb
FEATURE: UNITED NATIONS
U.N. North Delegates' Lounge
The United Nations complex is in the midst of a five-year extensive
renovation after sixty years of intensive use that has taken a toll on the
Manhattan headquarters. Each of the 193 member nations was invited
to contribute to the makeover. The Netherlands government chose to
adopt the Delegates' Lounge adjoining the General Assembly Hall, and
selected one of four competing teams to execute the project. Dutch
designer Hella Jongerius, Rem Koolhaas and his firm OMA, graphic
designer Irma Boom, artist Gabriel Lester, and theoretician Louise
Schouwenberg collaborated closely to infuse the old lounge with a
fresh new look. It is a showcase of Dutch creativity that builds on the
idealism of the postwar era, in which leading architects including
Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier created an enduring symbol
of international cooperation.
"This was the first interior I have done, because I don't feel
comfortable working at that scale," says Jongerius, who is best known
for her ceramics and furniture. Her apprehension was well-founded:
the soaring, twenty-three-foot-high space is lit by floor-to-ceiling
north-facing windows that capture views of the East River, and the
designers had to accommodate the many concerns of the U.N. and
the Dutch Foreign Ministry. There could be no barriers in the room
obstructing views. "The delegates had to have a clear view of who
is in the room, and all the art works donated over the years had
to remain. We had to revise our original designs to meet the U.N.
requirements," Jongerius says.
Hella Jongerius customdesigned the wheeled UN
Lounge Chair for the lounge
renovation. It can be easily
moved to accomodate
informal meetings between
delegates. The Polder Sofa,
also positioned throughout
the space, was designed by
Jongerius for Vitra in 2005.
The blue and green upholstery
tones allude to the lushness
of the Dutch landscape. All
existing large-scale artwork
had to remain in the space.
Design interventions within constraints
At the outset, the design team made a close study of how the room
had been used, and had six meetings to define goals and allocate
responsibilities. OMA removed a mezzanine that had been inserted
By Michael Webb
The contrast between rough
and smooth surfaces and
sinuous forms heightens the
drama of the space. Ambient
lighting flatters customers,
while cove fixtures keep the
focus on the shoes.
A skylight was retrofitted
to have a faceted, geometric
form. Brass panels lining the
walls reflect both natural
and LED lighting within
the linear space. Custom
steel planters create
a hanging garden.
Dutch creativity revives
an informal meeting
space for diplomats
at the United Nations
A sleek, monochrome
backdrop allows for
products to take
By Russell Fortmeyer
Exuding civility in the middle of a hectic city, the men's clothing store
Mattison is a study in refined understatement. With a vine-covered
facade, diminutive sign, and black-trimmed windows and door, Mattison
fits well within a relatively quiet block of high-end retail establishments
located where Melrose Avenue meets Melrose Place in Los Angeles.
That restrained, elegant sensibility is what Los Angeles-based,
multi-disciplinary design firm Commune focused on in realizing the
vision of Derek Mattison, the designer behind the eponymous
menswear line that launched in 2012. Commune had developed a
rapport with Mattison while renovating his house. "Derek's idea was
that the store would be Christian Dior meets California, so we started
looking at Big Sur and how Dior could become more handmade, warmer,
and earthier," says Pamela Shamshiri, a founding partner of Commune.
Hard edges transition to softer surfaces
Shamshiri says Commune was inspired by Mattison's use of precise
details in his clothing-buttons, lapels, stitching, and seams-and the
strict color palette of grays, deep blues, and blacks. To begin, the walls
and ceiling were painted matte black, with the existing wood floor
refinished and painted a low-sheen black. This created a neutral space
that also played on Mattison's interest in the darker side of California-
think David Lynch-rather than a beach vibe.
The focal point of the store
is a black granite table with
scalloped edges that provides
a work surface for makeup
artists, contains storage,
and serves as the point of
sale. The architects customdesigned the table, chairs,
and chandelier fixture
with local fabricators.
Joseph Dirand couldn't have landed a more perfect commission for
his first restaurant than Monsieur Bleu, the modern brasserie inside
the new wing of the Palais de Tokyo that includes a second-floor
private area and terraces. The building is the designer's favorite in his
hometown of Paris, and he fondly remembers the frequent childhood
visits he and his photographer father made there when it housed the
Centre National de la Photographie. And, as evidenced by his spare,
black and white residential, hotel, and retail interiors, Dirand is attracted
to minimalism. "[The Palais de Tokyo] combines minimal with massive,"
he says. "It's very straight-everything is square, but also with
When he begins a project, Dirand first comes up with a
storyboard to imagine the space and how people will relate to it.
The Palais de Tokyo opened in 1937, so the designer started with
the architecture of the 1930s. "It was a time in between Art Deco and
Modernism," he says. "Designers still had an 'Art-Decorative' way of
working, but a new era was starting where everything was direct and
pure." Dirand was inspired by photos of Adolf Loos' composed, black
and white interiors, warmed by luxurious materials. "For me," he says,
"that was the link to the architecture of the building."
Vertical zones delineate intimacy and drama
Dirand found another piece of the puzzle during his travels. He
noticed a certain kind of restaurant-a modern and monumental
brasserie-that can be found in New York and London but had been
missing in Paris. "I didn't set out to create something fashionable," he
By Caroline Tiger
Joseph Dirand designs
a sublime Parisian
brasserie within the
Palais de Tokyo
A central fixture houses multiple functions
To create the timeless interior that Duffy desired, Jaklitsch and his
team drew inspiration from classics such as the movie La Dolce Vita
and retail interiors from the 1930s by French designer Jean-Michel
Frank-as well as Jacobs' concept for the beauty products' packaging.
By delineating wall surfaces
within the restaurant's tall
interior, Dirand created an
intimate feel for the lower
zone, wrapped by velvet
banquettes and wood
paneling painted black.
Designer Marc Jacobs is known for his edgy fashion collections,
theatrical runway shows, and his colorful personal life. But the interiors
of his brand's stores are typically subdued to keep the focus on the
products-which range from high-end to affordable men's, women's,
and children's clothing, as well as fragrances and accessories. One
recently opened store is the first brick-and-mortar location devoted
to the new Marc Jacobs Beauty line. Produced by Sephora, the line
includes more than 120 products.
The 425-square-foot corner space on Bleecker Street in
Manhattan's West Village-which had previously housed several Marc
Jacobs brand iterations, most recently the accessories line-opened
in August to become the fifth brand store within a few blocks. Like
most of the 300-plus Marc Jacobs stores located in more than
30 countries, the beauty store was designed by New York-based
Fourteen years ago, Jacobs' business partner Robert Duffy
hired the firm based on a contractor's referral to design his apartment,
and subsequently, several more residences. Then he asked Jaklitsch/
Gardner to design San Francisco's first Marc Jacobs store, even though
the firm had no retail design experience at the time. Their business
relationship blossomed based on shared values. "Robert and I both
resist easy consumption, and he's always looking for something that
is timeless and classic," says Stephan Jaklitsch, a principal at Jaklitsch/
Gardner. "The cycle of fashion is such that things get consumed every
six months, but architecture lasts longer and needs to be able to stand
on its own."
A menswear boutique by Commune
captures Southern California's edgier side
Zaha Hadid creates a dynamic
showcase for the shoe and
By Murrye Bernard
u.N. North Delegates' Lounge
Mattison (page 48)
Marc Jacobs Beauty (page 52)
Monsieur Bleu (page 56)
who Architect: Rem Koolhaas/
OMA. Designer: Hella Jongerius.
Graphic designer: Irma Boom.
Artist: Gabriel Lester. Theorist:
what Carpet: custom by Hella
Jongerius in cooperation with
Desso. Information desk: custom
by OMA. Information desk
chairs: Charles and Ray Eames
Aluminum Group Side Chair.
Coffee bar: custom by OMA.
Chairs: Knoll; Peacock Chair by
Hans Wegner; UN Lounge Chair
by Hella Jongerius. Sofa: Polder
Sofa by Hella Jongerius. Tables:
Sphere Table by Hella Jongerius.
Café and side tables: AVL
Workbench by Joep van
Lieshout. Café chairs: Fauteuil
Direction by Jean Prouvé. Floor
lamps: Max Abramovitz and
Wallace Harrison. Curtains:
Knots & Grid Curtain by Irma
Boom; Knots & Beads Curtain
by Hella Jongerius.
stuart Weitzman Milan
Flagship (page 44)
who Architect/Interior designer:
Zaha Hadid Architects. Project
team: Paola Cattarin, project
architect; Alessio Costantino;
Vincenzo Barilari; Zetta Kotzioni;
Maren Klasing. Contractor:
Tecnolegno Allestimenti Srl.
Local Executive Architects:
Milano Layout. Lighting:
Pollice Illuminazione. M&E:
Studio Planning. Structure:
what Back-painted and frosted
glass: Vetreria Re. GRC finishes:
Scenic up. 3D geometry: Mecubo.
Shelves: Corian manufactured by
Tecnolegno Allestimenti Srl. Hard
flooring: Resin HD. Carpet/carpet
tile: Stepevi. GRC geometry:
Scenic up. Lighting screens:
Barrisol. Benches: Fiberglass.
who Interior designer: Commune
Design. Interior design project
team: Pam Shamshiri, principal;
Christopher Cahill; Anna
Pomerantz. Contractor: Luxe
Built. Lighting: Sean O'Connor
Lighting. Landscape: Matthew
Brown Landscape Design.
what Hard flooring: refinished
existing floor. Carpet/carpet tile:
custom by Niba Rugs. Recessed
lighting: Lucifer Lighting.
Fluorescent pendants: Axis
Lighting. Floor/table lamps:
vintage floor lamp, JF Chen.
LED Strips at fitting room: LED
Linear. LED Strips at brass walls:
Celestial Lighting. Door: custom
steel sliders. Window treatments:
custom ripple fold velvet drapes,
linen sheer. Workstation/task
seating: vintage Dan Johnson
chair. Reception desk: Alma
Allen custom table. Shelving:
Valchromat custom millwork.
Planters: custom steel hanging
planters, E.R. Butler. Plumbing
who Architect/Interior architect:
Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects PC.
Architecture and interior design
project team: Stephan Jaklitsch,
AIA; Mark Gardner, AIA;
Christopher Courtney, Project
Architect; Margaux Schindler,
Designer; Jacqueline Shaw,
Designer; Lauren Larson, Interior
Designer; Jon Wilson, Product
Designer. Contractor: BNY
Construction, Inc. Millworker:
Erik Cabinets Ltd. Lighting:
Cooley Monato Studio.
Engineering: Evan Akselrad,
what Paint: Benjamin Moore.
Hard flooring: White thassos.
Recessed lighting: Eklipse. Cove
Lighting: Eklipse. Pendants/
chandeliers: custom designed
by Kacper Dolatowski of Axon
Design Inc. Other decorative
lighting: Feelux; OptoLum;
Eklipse; Visual Lighting
Technology; Louisville Lamp
Co. Lounge/reception seating:
benches by Christian Liaigre in
satin stainless steel and leather.
Makeup stools: custom by
PC in satin stainless steel
and leather, manufactured by
Wainlands Inc. and S.S. Furniture
Masters Inc. Makeup table:
custom by Jaklitsch/Gardner
Architects PC in polished black
granite. Upholstery: Christian
Liaigre. Display shelving: custom
by Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects
PC. Drawers/case goods: makeup
fixtures and vitrines custom
designed by Jaklitsch/Gardner
Architects PC, manufactured
by Erik Cabinets.
who Architect and interior
designer: Joseph Dirand
whitewashed fluted walls
with painted wood panelling,
and marble frames. Floor: green
Connemara marble, green St.
Laurent marble, oak parquet
painted white, white Ariston
marble stairs. Sideboards: blackstained wood and polished brass
by Joseph Dirand Architecture.
Bar: brass. Bar stools: Joseph
Dirand Architecture. Banquettes:
green Connemara marble and
velvet by Joseph Dirand
Architecture. Tables: enamelled
legs and black-lacquered top
with brass by Joseph Dirand
Architecture. Brass table: Joseph
Dirand Architecture. Chairs:
Zanuso Galerie Stilodrom.
Armchairs: ARP Galerie Yvan
Royer; ERTON galerie Artefact
Design; Eero Saarinen for Knoll.
Sofas: Charpentier Galerie
Artbrokerdesign. Reading lamps:
Louis Kalff Galerie Mis'en scène
40. Alcove wall lamps: Luigi
Caccia Dominioni. Ceiling light:
fitting by OZONE based on a
design by Michel Boyer.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - November 2013
Contract - November 2013
Columnist: Implementing an Ownership Transition: I Built a Firm—So How Do I Get Out?
Highlights from HD Americas
Breakthrough Design at 100% Design in London
Product Focus: Beyond the Plank
Product Focus: Hands-On Shopping
U.N. North Delegates’ Lounge
Stuart Weitzman Milan Flagship
Marc Jacobs Beauty
Bricks Over Clicks: Enhancing the In-Person Shopping Experience by Design
Designers Select: Tables and Casegoods
Small Project: A Sales Gallery Previews Zaha Hadid’s 62-Story Condo Tower in Miami
Contract - November 2013