The architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Errill erected this vast white-brick temple to modernity in 1950 and called it Manhattan House. The architecture typifies
New York in one of its most confident eras, a period of American
Design coming of age on the world stage.
Dramatic artworks in this small apartment follow Chinese revolutionary style; they are by Spanish artists Caceres + Miranda.
All fabric upholstery, draperies, trims and the dining chairs are from: Geoffrey Bradfield Collection / Stark Fabric / Old World Weavers
There is absolutely no reference to European sensibilities here, which had long enslaved American design focus. The firm didn’t look back to the fusty Beaux-Arts ostentation. This was a new look of modernity and sophistication. Proving that true chic shuns convention, the living room of this apartment captures the original spirit of these pioneers. It is home to an art dealer and, as such, is also a foil to his ever-changing art collections. As Bradfield’s work is predicated to a large extent on the use of contemporary art, this project proved to be a fulfilling and creative working relationship. The interior takes on the feel of an impromptu gallery, which was at the request of the client.
Area rug and ottoman are from the Geoffrey Bradfield Collection – Stark Carpets; drapery fabrication is by Interiors by Royale. Cabinet-work and vinyl panels were custom-designed by Bradfield and made by Besaga Woodworking.
Desk, cocktail table, two side chairs, dining table and light fixture were sourced from John Salibello Antiques, New York.
Bronze cat sculptures are by Gwynn Murrill.
In addition, Bradfield found it very intriguing working for a bachelor, unafraid of colour. Daring burnt orange lacquer walls set off three over-scaled paintings by Caceres + Miranda, Spanish artists influenced by Chinese propaganda of the Cultural Revolution. A wall of bookcases houses auction catalogues.
The furnishings are custom-designed pieces upholstered in textiles by the designer, juxtaposed with 1950s accents. The use of a wall of mirrors in exaggerated squares doubles the area and introduces a sense of infinity and glamour.
Bradfield hits a home run here. The interior bespeaks masculine energy and creature comforts and yet fulfills his steadfast commitment to 21st Century style.
location: New York
interior: Geoffrey N. Bradfield
photography: Peter Rymwid
Habitat No. 207 / 2008