The aged patina of one of New York’s most desirable districts, Tribeca, finds a quiet counterpart in the penthouse of the Greenwich Hotel. Art dealer and designer Axel Vervoordt, and often-time collaborator, architect Tatsuro Miki’s rigorously pure aesthetic vision withstood two and a half years of construction time above the existing hotel, co-owned by Ira Drukier and Robert De Niro.
The two design traditions running through the project are the ancient Japanese philosophy of Wabi, and the closely related but more recently defined Artempo. Stemming from a 2007 exhibition of the same name co curated by Vervoordt, Artempo could be characterised as an inclination to find beauty and value in the changes time has wrought on all manner of objects, while making no time based distinctions between them.
The effect feels profoundly natural, almost as though the space were hewn directly from the stones and wood inhabiting it, often in large, unworked slabs, boasting elegance in their coarse forms. Natural light is softened and muted, absorbed into matt finishes. The stories of unrestored surfaces and repurposed objects filter through the sparse, open plan spaces, frequently evoking far humbler dwellings.
- Words: Ruth Ainsworth
- Photos: Rich Stapleton