NYC With a Big D
Cindy Allen -- Interior Design, 9/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
I recently spent an afternoon videotaping one of the illustrious inductees for our 2006 Hall of Fame. The interview wasn't only an up-close-and-personal look into the life of a bona fide artist—whose "art" just happens to be embodied in furniture and interiors. More important, our conversation offered me a front-row view of the genesis and process behind his many projects as well as a reminder that art, design, and architecture may be three separate cannons, but they're all aiming at the same target: universality.
Those were the thoughts running through my head as I left the shoot and returned to the office, where the editorial staff was smack in the middle of deadline week for our annual New York issue. And it occurred to me that the projects we feature, while obviously site-specific, are also environments where design rises above mere pragmatic considerations. In each story, design with a capital D makes a quantum leap.
Rockefeller Center may be this city's ultimate business address—Lehman Smith McLeish took it to an even higher level for the headquarters of the real-estate company that owns the place. Another business address, familiarly known as the Freedom Tower, won't be ready to welcome tenants for years now, but Skidmore, Owings & Merrill performed prodigious feats of imagination at a marketing center for Silverstein Properties. In the meantime, no fewer than three firms reinvented the venerable town house: refining and updating; demolishing and reconstructing; or starting from scratch. Every single one of these projects is ultimately about building community in the heart of a metropolis that's all too often anonymous.
As anonymous, in fact, as my Hall of Fame inductee shall remain. At least until next month. See you then.