Sophisticated and handsome, the J. Batchelor showroom by Kristin Hein Philip Cozzi has caught south Florida's eye
Linas Alsenas -- Interior Design, 2/1/2002 12:00:00 AM
Joseph Batchelor is causing quite a stir. The 34-year-old opened his first showroom at the Design Center of the Americas just two and a half years ago, and already he has developed relationships with some of the hottest names in furniture, lighting, and fabrics, from Philippe Hurel to Fortuny, Ted Boerner, Christopher Farr, and Antoine Proulx. Now, with a larger showroom by New York firm Kristin Hein Philip Cozzi, Batchelor has established a still more impressive presence at DCOTA's Dania Beach premises.
The new showroom is a product of his distinctive professional liaisons. DCOTA vice president of marketing Kimberly McNatt observes, "Joseph has been able to develop a more curatorial, creative relationship with manufacturers. They collaborate on interesting spaces and exhibits, enhancing both the showroom and the line." As design impresario Ralph Pucci reflects, "I was attracted to Joseph because he is young, ambitious, talented, and very focused."
When Batchelor started to think about expanding, it was Pucci who made the introduction to Philip Cozzi, then Pucci International's design director as well as the designer of its loft-showroom in New York, the Brooks Brothers flagship on Fifth Avenue, and Dana Buchman and Lagos shops. Soon after securing the J. Batchelor job, Cozzi started his own practice with his fiancée, Kristin Hein. ("It was the project where Kristin and I really developed our professional relationship," he says.)
"The first ideas Philip sketched on a piece of paper worked well—the design had structure and was very symmetrical," Batchelor recalls. The showroom's aesthetic was determined with its Florida context in mind. "We didn't want a 'New York loft' look like Pucci's in Manhattan. Light walls, limestone flooring, and windows that look out over a terrace and palm trees—these are all very south Florida," explains Batchelor. Originally, a wide-plank wood floor along the lines of the Tate Modern's in London had been planned, but Cozzi suggested 3-foot squares of creamy limestone instead. Hein selected cocoa matting to anchor floor areas for various product collections. "Kristin's fortes are color, texture, and materials," Cozzi says. He and Hein were also careful to make the interior comfortable and inviting, neither like a showroom nor austere like a gallery, so they painted sculptural floating walls in bold, warm colors as backdrops to changing vignettes of furniture and accessories. Add Batchelor's charming personality to this ensemble, and you've introduced a truly formidable player to the field.