Perched atop the Greenwich Hotel in TriBeCa New York City is a penthouse of solace, in the spirit of the Japanese aesthetic Wabi-sabi. With a rich sense of minimalism, the Penthouse’s character is strengthened by materials soaked in history.
When Robert De Niro and Ira Drukier – the Greenwich Hotel’s owners – approached Belgium interior designer Axel Vervoordt, they were passionate about creating a space manifested by its intrinsic link to the history of TriBeCa. Vervoordt drew on the concept of the ‘workshop’, the very foundation of the city that was built by hard working immigrants with a vision for a new era. Tribeca was the space where East met West and where the humble was celebrated.
Together with Japanese-born Belgium-based architect Tatsuro Miki, Vervoodt has created a majestic sanctuary so far removed from the bustle of the street below. Core to both designers was the incorporation of Wabi-sabi in its entirety. The Penthouse design incorporates the philosophical beliefs of Wabi: beauty found in the imperfection and authenticity; Artemop – where time becomes art; and poor materials that are rich in spirit.
This idea of perfect imperfection is evident throughout. Reclaimed timber beams and ancient stone are employed, imbued with the history of the hands which formed them, while the walls are rendered with upstate New York earth.
These quiet spaces of beauty touch some inner peace that is core to all of us. It’s an age old Buddhist teaching that has been reinvigorated by a visionary into a new global philosophy of design, one where we learn to connect, respect and appreciate our existence.
Credits: The Greenwich Hotel