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Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest December 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

“I have a lot of self-confidence. I believe in my eye, and I always have—maybe too much!”—Arne Glimcher One of the pleasures of editing AD’s December issue, which features luminaries from the art world, is working with innovative, unconventional homeowners and discovering what they envision for their environments. All of them can certainly relate to the statement above. Glimcher, the legendary founder of Pace Gallery, has spent the past 38 years personally creating a sublime sculpture garden at his East Hampton, New York, property, even though he admits that he once knew “zero” about landscaping. Artist Bosco Sodi, whose dramatic beach house in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, is featured on the cover, designed the structure to combine concrete, clay, and timber in a series of open-air palapas with traditional Oaxacan thatched roofs…

2 min
woolly mammoths

IIn 1960, Pierre Baudouin, a master weaver at France’s L’Atelier Raymond Picaud, asked the painter Léon Gischia if he knew any artists who would like to make tapestries. Gischia didn’t hesitate: Alexander Calder. Best known for his mobiles and public sculptures, Calder had a studio in Saché, not far from Baudouin’s Aubusson base, and soon began developing designs in ink and gouache—in black and white at first—to be sent to the atelier and realized in wool. Working with textiles wasn’t new for Calder. “He made his own neckties,” reveals the artist’s grandson, Alexander S. C. Rower. “He also drew designs directly on canvas that my grandmother then hooked into rugs by hand.” Produced first by Picaud and later by Pinton Frères, the majority of the tapestries were made with Australian wool dyed…

3 min
family portrait

For 70 days while sheltering in place, photographer Jason Schmidt and his wife, producer and director Cory Jacobs, filmed their son, Jules, playing the euphonium throughout their Park Slope home. “We found new corners of the house to shoot each day,” recalls Schmidt, a longtime contributor to AD. Those nightly sessions—Jules in the stairwell, Jules by the fireplace, Jules on the roof—became a calming quarantine project for the couple, who have been collaborating in one way or another since they met shooting U2 for Spin (where she was a photo editor) in the late 1990s. The series now lives on the website of Cottage Eight Films, the content studio they launched five years ago. Pictures are at the heart of their Brooklyn home, one half of a so-called Kinko house, a…

2 min
cozy up


2 min
deep dive

A gleaming white essay in streamlined Georgian Colonial Revival, the 1936 Jay Paley house in Holmby Hills, California, is architect Paul R. Williams’s most glamorous creation, where columns rise, wroughtiron frosts, and wings spread. “But if you don’t address the hurdles he had to deal with, you don’t understand the history of African Americans in architecture,” says LeRonn P. Brooks, associate curator for modern and contemporary collections at the Getty Research Institute, which is preserving Williams’s archives in partnership with the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture. (The Paley estate was featured in AD in 1937 and again in the fall of 1968, after it was purchased by hospitality heir Barron Hilton.) Many clients were film-industry liberals such as Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball, but the courtly Angeleno could…

1 min
texas hold’em

For Steven Holl, the November 21 opening of the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, feels like the final chapter of an eight-year book. In that time, his AD100 firm has designed a master plan and two other structures for the museum’s campus, which includes historic edifices by William Ward Watkin, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Rafael Moneo, as well as a sculpture garden by Isamu Noguchi. Nestled among them, the Kinder (pictured) marks the first dedicated home for the MFAH’s collections of modern and contemporary art. The trapezoidal concrete building is distinguished by a façade of glass tubes—what Holl calls “a cool jacket”—whose chimney effect reduces solar gain by 90 percent. Inside, a three-story atrium gives way to petal-like galleries, with a…