OFFICE

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The exterior of the Benson Hill office in 39 North. Photography courtesy of Arcturis.  Like Silicon Valley in California, 39 ...

Nathan Litera Gives a NYC Brokerage Firm a “Mad Men” Vibe

The CEO’s office features custom shelving and cabinetry in Grand Antique marble. Serge Mouille’s two-arm wall sconce overlooks a custom desk in stained oak and a pair of Pierre Jeanneret’s Capitol Complex chairs. Image courtesy of Nathan Litera.

Nathan Litera’s first workplace project stands in marvelous contrast to most office spaces. To fulfill his client’s request for a warm, collegial environment for his 50-person brokerage firm in midtown Manhattan, Litera used luxurious textures and materials and combined custom, finely-crafted office furniture with a few iconic pieces. The Paris-based architect and designer previously designed the client’s home, and the space’s materiality and thoughtful detail reflect a residential level of refinement.

Designed at the start of the pandemic shutdown, the project features modular, six-foot-wide desks that can be separated and an open plan with multiple lounge areas, including a marble-topped bar, that lets staff spread out. “The client wanted something cozy and glamorous,” says designer Lyatt Samama, Litera’s wife and studio partner. “The main idea was to do an office that didn’t look like an office,” adds Litera.

For a lounge area, Litera created a fireplace/TV surround in Grand Antique marble, and softened the black-and-white palette with a reissue of Oscar Niemeyer’s Alta chair in rust suede. Image courtesy of Nathan Litera.
The back wall is clad in travertine, and the reclaimed oak floor has a herringbone pattern. Elsewhere, the the walls and ceiling have a calming coat of matte chalk paint, a traditional Belgian finish. Image courtesy of Nathan Litera.
A custom sideboard in stained oak with a travertine top divides two rows of desks. In addition to the office’s built-in sound system, there are two retro-style Elipson speakers on the sideboard. Image courtesy of Nathan Litera.
The custom workstations are in stained oak with bronze trim and have wireless charging plates. A low bookcase is a graceful end note to the line of desks. Pivoting glass doors framed in blackened bronze lead to the adjacent lounge. Image courtesy of Nathan Litera.
A bar in Grand Antique marble and a poker table allow the office to transition easily from workspace into a social hub. Image courtesy of Nathan Litera.
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