Staging for the Starchitects

Staging for the Starchitects

The world around us is changing, and our built environments are following suit, faster and faster… And then there’s New York City; a hotbed of groundbreaking (no pun intended…mostly…) architecture in a league of it’s own.

Home to some of the most expensive real estate on the planet, it’s as if each day, another much-anticipated constructive masterpiece is unveiled, and once confined to straight lines and right angles, New York’s longest-celebrated “Starchitects” now fearlessly embrace sinuous curves, bold slopes and daring reinventions of buildings-past…

Living room view from Penthouses 52B (top left) and 52A (top right) at Herzog & De Meuron’s 56 Leonard Street high-rise in NYC’s Tribeca, staging by studio D. (Interior images by Alexander Severin). Exterior bottom right image by Iwan Baan via ArchDaily.

We proudly offer ‘all things for all people’, serving properties of all different shapes, sizes and price points. However working inside new developments at the forefront of innovation and residential luxury is always inspiring, as we aim to tell each building’s story through custom staging design.

For the 52nd-floor penthouses atop Herzog & De Meuron‘s cantilevered skyscraper at 56 Leonard Street in Tribeca, we used low sofas and a neutral-toned palette to heighten every bit the drama of the 14-foot ceilings, concrete columns and floor-to-ceiling walls of glass- calling out to all Tribeca buyers looking to entertain guests amid such seductive city views.

Top left-right: The elegant, light-filled formal living room and dining room from a unit at Robert Stern’s 20 East End Avenue on the Upper East Side. (Staging + Images by studio D). Exterior shots via CityRealty & 20eastend.com.

The iconic moments in modern New York architecture take on many forms, and not all of them come in the shape of a “Jenga-like” tower. For instance, beloved NYC architect Robert A. M. Stern favors meticulously-detailed limestone buildings with intricate facades inspired by a classical Prewar style. While staging interiors at 20 East End Avenue, Stern’s signature bespoke building on the Upper East Side; we used a mixture of transitional and contemporary pieces in rich textures like leather and velvet designed to evoke a true sense of “Old New York” luxury, and illuminate the lavish comforts desired by Upper East Side buyers.

Top Row: Unit 4-5C at Shigeru Ban’s ‘Cast Iron House’ in NYC’s Tribeca, staged by Studio D. (Images via the Columbia Vitolo Team at Corcoran). Exterior Images: via castironhouse.com

And in between the ultra-modern and the traditional, there are those interested in a little bit of both… In 2017, Japanese architect (and Pritzker Prize-winner) Shigeru Ban stunningly re-imagined a 19th-century neoclassical building in Tribeca, all while immaculately maintaining its historic cast-iron facade. We used an ultra-sophisticated minimal and monochromatic theme to stage one of the massive 23-foot ceiling’d lofts inside the building (dubbed the ‘Cast Iron House‘), letting the contemporary interiors stand in stark contrast to its landmark exterior, and offering a beautiful blank canvas steeped in history to downtown buyers looking for an open and artistic, non-traditional living space.

In a Financial Times editorial entitled “Age of the ‘Starchitect'”, author Edwin Heathcote writes,

“Starchitecture is the embodiment of our age, the constructed celebration of celebrity. It is every bit as much the emblem of contemporary culture as Postmodernism was of the 1980s or Modernism of the 1930s.”

No matter how many visionaries carve their creations into some corner of our ever-changing cityscape, New York will always be New York; old and new all at once, the richest place on Earth, rough around the edges; timeless, glamorous and alive.

Contact us for more information on luxury home staging, interior design and model apartment services in New York and San Francisco.

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