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Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest November 2020

Architectural Digest is the world's foremost design authority, showcasing the work of top architects and interior decorators. It continues to set new benchmarks for how to live well—what to buy, what to see and do, where to travel, and who to watch on the fast-paced, multifaceted global design scene.

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United States
Conde Nast US
11 Issues

in this issue

2 min
editor’s letter

“Architecture traditionally is so static and permanent. This is dynamic and mobile.”—Bjarke Ingels Danish starchitect Bjarke Ingels is famed for his mind-blowingly innovative buildings: a ski slope cheekily set atop the Copenhill waste-to-energy plant; a joyful pile of primary-color blocks for the Danish LEGO museum; NYC’s new the XI, two towers that gracefully lean toward each other in an unlikely spiral; Urban Rigger, a 2016 floating Copenhagen complex designed to address a student-housing shortage. Given Ingels’s vivid imagination, I was intrigued when my colleague Sam Cochran, AD’s Features Director and resident architect whisperer, informed me that Ingels and his Spanish life partner, Rut Otero (also an architect), and their son, Darwin, live in the Copenhagen harbor on a houseboat. But no conventional life aquatic: The couple’s sleek, futuristic home base is…

2 min
go with the grain

While interned in Idaho at Camp Minidoka during World War II, Japanese-American architect George Nakashima met master Japanese carpenter Gentaro Hikogawa. Using wood scraps and desert plants, they worked together to improve their stark living conditions. Nakashima, who had studied architecture at MIT and worked for Czech-American architect Antonin Raymond, also learned some traditional Japanese techniques, such as selecting timber and using butterfly joints. “He learned to improvise,” says his daughter, Mira Nakashima, who still has a small toy box he made for her at the camp. “You couldn’t draw something and then go buy materials. It was the other way around; the material came first.” That resourcefulness laid the groundwork for a prolific practice in New Hope, Pennsylvania. (Raymond, who owned a farm there, took the Nakashimas in after their early…

3 min
mix masters

When you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life.” So says Luke Edward Hall, the British artist, interior decorator, newspaper columnist, and designer of unisex jerkins, echoing another creative multi-hyphenate, Dr. Samuel Johnson, Georgian man of letters. Still, Hall’s partner, creative consultant and designer Duncan Campbell, chimes in, “There comes a point where you want a different pace, to be closer to nature, to have a different kind of socializing.” The bright young things toured the countryside in search of an impractical folly where they could spend weekends and even briefly considered shuttling idiosyncratically between two gatehouses before reason led them to something more usual. “It’s a kid’s drawing of a house,” Hall explains of the three-bedroom old farmer’s cottage that they found on a Gloucestershire estate. “A gable, four…

1 min
take me to church

I’m a student of the folly,” says Romanian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Serban Ionescu, who enthusiastically recalls studying Bernard Tschumi’s Parisian Parc de la Villette during architecture school at Pratt Institute. “It’s a more poetic form of architecture—a spiritual tributary versus a building made for function and usage.” So when a collector asked Ionescu about a palm-sized maquette in his Red Hook studio, he suddenly envisioned the prototype as a folly, replying, “It’s called Chapel for an Apple, and it could be 20 feet tall.” Three months later, after bringing the model to life with his fabricator friends from Shape Studio, Ionescu was in Hudson, New York—with hunks of steel suspended from a crane—installing the 5,000-pound figment of his imagination in a field owned by Sunfair, a forthcoming artist residency and concept…

1 min
sweet dreams

For his debut hotel project, Auberge Resorts’ Commodore Perry Estate in Austin, AD100 designer Ken Fulk pulled out all the stops—transforming a 1928 Italian Renaissance Revival mansion into exuberant accommodations. Our favorite room? The LaVerne suite, so named for a past owner and formed from what were once a group of smaller chambers. Pierre Frey’s Le Grand Corail fabrics cocoon the walls and canopy bed, accented by finds from Texas’s Round Top Antiques Fair. “We really put on our decorator hats, layering patina and style,” says Fulk. “The whole idea was for the space to feel utterly feminine, old-fashioned, and immersive.” aubergeresorts.com…

1 min
french immersion

“That stretch of Fifth Avenue has always been one of the great repositories of 18th-century French furniture in the world, with collectors like the Havemeyers, Clarks, and Wrightsmans,” says Sotheby’s expert Dennis Harrington. Count Cecile and Ezra Zilkha as following in those footsteps. The late Iraqi-American philanthropists lived large in a palatial apartment at the corner of Fifth and 66th Street, surrounded by treasures with blue-chip provenances that take in Rothschilds as well as style icon Babe Paley. This fall, more than 200 lots from the couple’s trove hit the block at Sotheby’s New York, in a dedicated sale that is set to fetch upwards of $7 million. “It’s rare to get in one collection this much Boulle that actually dates to the Louis XIV period,” Harrington says, noting the…