Ermesponti in New York
Bringing to the centre of the world the value of Italian workmanship
Photo by Griffin Stewart
in a very special location in Manhattan.
A special flat
This large flat on the second floor on West Side 25th Street, a few steps away from the Madison Square Garden, is in an absolutely fantastic location, which – already on itself – makes the project exciting.
The Design-Apart project
The collaboration between Ermesponti and Design-Apart was born out of a simple idea: bringing the value of Italian workmanship to the centre of the world. This has always been our challenge; it is now and will be so for the future.
With this attitude, we have adhered to the Design-Apart’s project, after having met its two founders at the Biennale in Venice.
An Italian house in Manhattan
This is how within a few months, an Italian house was created in the Flatiron District in Manhattan, a showroom where Italian family will live for one year, and which can be visited to have a taste of Italian lifestyle as well as of the ‘Made in Italy’.
‘Hub’ of the Design-Apart project in New York
Right from the start we have contributed with pleasure to the survey, study, interior design and subsequent refurbishment of this New Yorker loft.
Thanks to our extensive experience as architects and site managers in a large number of projects, and as creators of “bespoke interiors”, we have acted as a hub during the preparation of the entire flat, guiding the work of all the companies involved and co-ordinating the work of the companies and workforce that were present.
A problem-solving attitude
The survey in New York enables us to have an accurate perception of how the project can be executed. Thanks to his long experience and sensitivity, Paolo, our architect, can not only reproduce the exact measures but also identify any details and potential problems that may interfere with the project and which shall be solved during its execution.
Design-Apart is a work and business platform, through which potential customers can contact high-quality Italian handicraft and manufacturing companies.
Its founders, Diego Paccagnella and Stefano Micelli, started from the idea that Italy and its handicraft companies have the right numbers to compete at top levels in the international market but they need new tools in order to move forward abroad.
To be able to achieve this goal, Design-Apart have chosen to focus their activity on two fronts.
On the one hand, cultural promotion of craftwork values in public sites, both in Italy and abroad.
On the other hand, opening, in different cities of the world, a series of living rooms, showrooms occupied by families, which can be visited with an invitation and in which fine craftsmanship products made in Italy by a group of previously selected suppliers/partners are exhibited and proposed to the market.
An end-to-end process
From the first architect’s sketch till the execution of the finished product, we have managed the process in an operational continuum that is part of our work method, and which enables us to have complete control over the entire process, with guaranteed times and costs.
Just like a skilful tailor, we design the layout starting from the customer’s requirements thanks to frequent communication with the client and on-site inspections, which enables us to precisely understand the field where we are working.
From the structure for electrical, hydraulic and fire-fighting installations to heating systems, from bearing structural elements to the tiniest details: everything is noted down and reported during the survey.
In a few weeks, we have been able to provide a made-to-measure project in which furniture is fully integrated with the electrical systems and hydraulic installations. And within a few months, we have been able to complete the installation of all the interiors.
First sketches: mid-June 2013
3D Rendering: 1st July
Inspection: 18th July
Making of furniture and fittings: 4 weeks (in Italy)
Installation: end of October
Opening: 15th November 2013
The main boiserie
In this wood panelling, the whitened oak veneer grains incredibly extend continuously all throughout its length.
Amazingly, it encompasses: the loft main entrance, the emergency exit through the building stairs, the air conditioning system and grill, an entire cupboard, some drawers, a laundry room, some kitchen shelves with oven and electrical appliances and, finally, a small pantry in the corner.
The design of this piece has required more time than all the others combined because it also depended on the appliances chosen by the customer and on the irregularity of the wall at the back and, therefore, in finding the necessary solutions.
Beauty and functionality
Satisfying the customer’s requests has been much like solving a puzzle, finding the right place for the huge washer-drier and for each single appliance such as the oven or the coffee maker.
The final project is a perfect arrangement of these different functions and, at the same time, it has the beauty of a modern work of art. A large flat wood surface with an abstract outline that is reminiscent of a Mondrian painting.
The beauty of this long wall is stressed by the large panelling that offers continuous grains all throughout its length, a technique that we also use when we make the interior design of yachts.
The media cabinet
The media cabinet is a huge structure that we have manufactured to keep all the multimedia devices and the hidden access to the hoist. It is in front of the loft entrance door and it is certainly the most important piece in the interior design.
It should be noticed that it has no handles: only a piece of solid wood protrudes from its carved surface.
The console table, a high-quality cabinet
First and foremost, the idea was represented with a sketch. Architect Daniela talked about it with master carpenter Alberto, and together they agreed on some details. Then, the master carpenter himself chose the solid wood, cut it and carved it.
Shortly after it was completed. A sheepskin top on four inclined solid wood legs and a glass tray supported by an underlying wooden cross: a small piece of cabinet-making jewellery.
A grand portal
It has been designed as a portal made from solid Italian walnut boards with a large niche in the centre.
The niche has a glass background divided into two parts (the hoist doors): the glass sandwich panel is made up of two glass layers – a transparent and an opaque one – with linen fabric inside.
The Sintagma bookcase
A modular bookcase where side and shelf – two elements that are absolutely equal – are fixed by an elegant dovetail joint. This story is really too old: Paolo designed it and patented it when he was only 18 years old, and it is still up-to-the-minute!
This is our best feature: designing and manufacturing – in an incredibly short time – sartorial interiors meant to last over time. Just like the Sintagma bookcase.
The importance of details
The taste for beautiful things is not the only trump card that we offer in our projects and in our works. The ability to pay attention to each single detail and to offer practical and elegant solutions to our clients certainly makes us stand out.
The attitude to solve problems generates beauty
Among the so many execution details in the New Yorker loft, we can certainly appreciate one of the oldest rules of architecture: Beauty comes from an approach aimed at solving problems.
We have thought up countless solutions that have helped us transform this huge flat into an elegant and functional house of character.
A space for the laundry
An example of this ability has been the installation of the laundry room. We used the space between the emergency exit and the wooden panelling, and transformed it into a small laundry room for storing a washing machine and a tumble-dryer, leaving room also for detergents and soaps.
The air conditioning system
The same air conditioning system is integrated inside the cupboard and the grill is made of the same whitened oak with aluminium core, which makes all bars stable over the years.
Given the depth offered by the compartment, we have designed some useful accessories on the back of doors: umbrella hooks, coat hooks, some top trays made of microfiber to leave keys and to empty the content of pockets.
The module side and wall are perfectly equal.
The elegant dovetail joint that links the parts is not only perfectly functional; it is also a decorative element of the piece of furniture.
Detail of the TV base: electric cables are hidden behind a small door.
Inside, the sockets of this lamp and other electric devices, the plugs of which are hidden, make this piece of furniture neat and tidy.
It should be noticed that it has no handles: the doors can be opened by a slight touch.
Electric cables are gathered inside the piece of furniture.
These special hinges, a real technology element, have been made to measure for the heavy walnut portal that imaginarily separates the kitchen from the living room.
Each single thing has its place in the house: the wood panelling hides a small tray to be used for emptying the content of pockets.
The console is supported by four inclined solid wood legs.
The console tray is made of opaque white glass, and it is supported by an underlying wooden cross.
The carved portal does not have any handle, but rather a solid walnut block that blends into the furniture.