White Hot and Cool pix
At a bachelor's high-rise getaway in Miami Beach, Slade Architecture explored the idea of apartment as sculpture
Tom Austin -- Interior Design, 6/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
In the master bedroom of this Miami Beach condominium by Slade Architecture, the resin floor reflects a task chair by Charles and Ray Eames and a hanging chair by Eero Aarnio. The custom bed and desk, milled from solid foam have a lacquer-finished fiberglass skin.
Karim Rashid's sectional, Erik Jørgensen's chair, Marc Newson's table, and Gunilla Lagerhem Ullberg's rug form the living area's centerpiece. Jeffrey Bernett's chaise and Alban-Sebastien Gilles's table sit off to the side.
With the help of a removable crank, a 1,800-pound partition rolls 12 feet into the living area to create a guest room.
The unit's concealed side is clad in stainless steel and lined with closets.
Eero Saarinen's table and Harry Bertoia's chairs gather in the dining area.
Rosewood veneer wraps the kitchen island, while a paper-resin composite tops the breakfast bar.
Glass vases sit on one of the master bedroom's lacquered cabinets.
Glass mosaic tile clads the powder room off the foyer.
In the master bedroom, rosewood doors conceal the closets and bathroom. Philippe Starck designed the lamps.
|Walk into most beachfront condominiums in the state of Florida, and there's one special sofa parked facing the ocean. But when Slade Architecture was commissioned to renovate the Miami Beach getaway of a New York hedge-fund manager, husband-wife principals James and Hayes Slade wondered Why couldn't the entire apartment take in the view?
Originally, the two-bedroom condominium had standard fixed walls that divided the incredible vistas from the 23rd floor. "The first thing we did was knock down the walls and open the space up," James Slade says. Now, as Hayes Slade observes, the apartment is all about movable walls and rounded corners that undulate like an ocean wave. Or a "ribbon," she adds, that "pulls you through, to the view."
Immediately beyond the foyer, the 1,600-square-foot space unfolds. Guests are swept into an expanse of glossy resin flooring with hints of blue that bring in the sky and the sea. Straight ahead, in the living area, light filters through blue chiffon sheers, hung in front of a wall of windows, and bounces off an array of shiny white surfaces. James Slade calls it the 007 apartment—Barbarella and the Jetsons might feel at home here, too.
The living area's furniture provides the color. Jeffrey Bernett's aerodynamic orange chaise longue sits off to one side of the main seating group, a sort of modular conversation pit constructed around Karim Rashid's biomorphic green sectional sofa and anchored by a shaggy orange wool-linen blend rug. The effect resembles that of tropical vegetation bursting with color against the backdrop of white-painted Miami architecture. On a more practical note, the seating arrangement is intentionally configured to face the video screen that descends from the ceiling in front of the windows at night.
On both sides of the living area, the moving walls come into play. "Miami is such a mobile city, with people dropping in and out of town. This project reflects all that flexibility," James Slade says.
Part of a sidewall in the living area is actually a white-lacquered partition that cranks forward to create a guest room with a Murphy bed behind, then cranks back to return the living area to its full size. This 1,800-pound rolling unit is suspended on three steel ceiling tracks—the building's structural engineer had to be called in to make sure the concrete slab could sustain the weight. Built by a metalwork shop, the 3-foot-deep unit is so heavy because it contains closets and cabinets, and the side facing the temporary guest room is clad in stainless steel.
On the opposite side of the living area, the "door" to the master suite is essentially a 10-foot-wide pivoting wall. Even open, it conceals the bedroom's curvy white platform bed and surfboard-shape cantilevered desk. Both were designed in Rhino software, computer-milled from solid blocks of foam, and covered with a lacquer-finished fiberglass skin.
In contrast to all the whiteness, dark rosewood veneers the doors to the closets and bathroom at the rear of the master suite. The same wood wraps the island in the kitchen, which is open to the dining and living areas. Off the foyer, the powder room's dark glamour comes from red glass mosaic tile and a Bladerunner-style toilet that looks straight out of a hip South Beach nightclub.
The hedge-fund manager, who collects contemporary art in New York, chose to leave the white walls of this apartment completely bare—treating it as a sculpture or an installation in itself. In fact, the resulting interior has the vaguely surreal quality of a post–Miami Vice performance piece. Eero Aarnio's hanging Bubble chair in the master bedroom is certainly both sculptural and interactive, as Hayes Slade likes to point out: "When you sit in that chair, it amplifies the sound of the ocean, like being inside of a seashell."