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Bond Street Loft


A loft in NoHo showcasing contemporary art, was designed in a neutral palette accented with bright color and a rich blend of textures.

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Bond Street Loft


A loft in NoHo showcasing contemporary art, was designed in a neutral palette accented with bright color and a rich blend of textures.

This NoHo apartment, in a landmarked circa 1870 building designed by Stephen Decatur Hatch and converted to lofts in 1987, had been interestingly renovated by a rock musician before being purchased by a young hedge fund manager and his gallery director girlfriend. Naturally, the couple brought to the project their collection of painting, photography and sculpture, mostly by young emerging artists. Axis Mundi accommodated these pieces within a neutral palette accented with occasional flashes of bright color that referenced the various artworks. Major furniture pieces – a sectional in the library, a 12-foot-long dining table–along with a rich blend of textures such as leather, linen, fur and warm woods, helped bring the sprawling dimensions of the loft down to human scale.

Size: 3,400 sf
Design Team: John Beckmann and Nick Messerlian
Architect: Nemaworkshop
Photography: Durston Saylor, and Mark Roskams
© Axis Mundi Design LLC

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Sagaponack Cottage


A small shingle cottage in the Hamptons, features an all-white interior and clean furniture silhouettes.

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Sagaponack Cottage


A small shingle cottage in the Hamptons, features an all-white interior and clean furniture silhouettes.

The exterior of what looks like a vernacular Hamptons shingle cottage, designed by architect Blaze Makoid, is intentionally deceiving. For the interiors, Axis Mundi typically decided not to play by the rules. Instead of de rigeur nautical artifacts, floppy sofas and wicker furniture, the firm responded to Makoid’s all-white interior envelope by injecting rooms with comfortable modern elegance that’s more contemporary Cap Ferrat than Eastern Long Island. Clean furniture silhouettes—from Cassina, Poltrona Frau and B&B Italia—a Massimo Vitali beach scene, a Moooi chandelier and industrial finishes (such as the steel of the fireplace surround and the anodized aluminum of a sleek Bulthaup kitchen) spark a creative tension between indoors and out. The gray palette provides a quiet backdrop for the nature outside, except for the master suite, where custom oak panels and blue shades create a reassuring warmth conducive to sleep.

Size: 1,920 sf
Project Team: John Beckmann, Nick Messerlian and Richard Rosenbloom
Architect: Blaze Makoid Architecture
Photographer: Mark Roskams
© Axis Mundi Design LLC

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Light Filled Duplex


A one-bedroom duplex in the Meatpacking District packs a lot of function into a small space.

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Light Filled Duplex


A one-bedroom duplex in the Meatpacking District packs a lot of function into a small space.

Packing a lot of function into a small space requires ingenuity and skill, exactly what was needed for this one-bedroom gut in the Meatpacking District. When Axis Mundi was done, all that remained was the expansive arched window. Now one enters onto a pristine white-walled loft warmed by new zebrano plank floors. A new powder room and kitchen are at right. On the left, the lean profile of a folded steel stair cantilevered off the wall allows access to the bedroom above without eating up valuable floor space. Beyond, a living room basks in ample natural light. To allow that light to penetrate to the darkest corners of the bedroom, while also affording the owner privacy, the façade of the master bath, as well as the railing at the edge of the mezzanine space, are sandblasted glass. Finally, colorful furnishings, accessories and photography animate the simply articulated architectural envelope.

Project Team: John Beckmann, Nick Messerlian and Richard Rosenbloom
Photographer: Mikiko Kikuyama
© Axis Mundi Design LLC

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Greenwich Village Townhouse


A landmark Greek Revival townhouse in New York’s Greenwich Village was gutted and renovated into a suitably modern space.

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Greenwich Village Townhouse


A landmark Greek Revival townhouse in New York’s Greenwich Village was gutted and renovated into a suitably modern space.

"Revival” implies a retread of an old idea—not our interests at Axis Mundi. So when renovating an 1840s Greek Revival brownstone, subversion was on our minds. The landmarked exterior remains unchanged, as does the residence’s unalterable 19-foot width. Inside, however, a pristine white space forms a backdrop for art by Warhol, Basquiat and Haring, as well as intriguing furnishings drawn from the continuum of modern design—pieces by Dalí and Gaudí, Patrick Naggar and Poltrona Frau, Armani and Versace. The architectural envelope references iconic 20th-century figures and genres: Jean Prouvé-like shutters in the kitchen, an industrial-chic bronze staircase and a ground-floor screen employing cast glass salvaged from Gio Ponti’s 1950s design for Alitalia’s Fifth Avenue showroom (paired with mercury mirror and set within a bronze grid). Unable to resist a bit of our usual wit, Greek allusions appear in a dining room fireplace that reimagines classicism in a contemporary fashion and lampshades that slyly recall the drapery of Greek sculpture.

Size: 2,550 sq. ft.
Design Team: John Beckmann and Richard Rosenbloom
Photography: Adriana Bufi, Andrew Garn, and Annie Schlecter
© Axis Mundi Design LLC

 

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Upper East Side Duplex


 luxury apartments, soaring ceilings Defining them with Translucent glass brings natural light into

A monochromatic black-and-white interior for this luxury apartment with mezzanine spaces overlooking the living and dining rooms.

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Upper East Side Duplex


 luxury apartments, soaring ceilings Defining them with Translucent glass brings natural light into

A monochromatic black-and-white interior for this luxury apartment with mezzanine spaces overlooking the living and dining rooms.

When the Gimbels department store chain closed in 1986, many of its selling floors were converted into luxury apartments, including those of this branch at 86th Street and Lexington Avenue. The retailer’s soaring ceilings allowed Axis Mundi to create bedroom mezzanine spaces overlooking the living and dining rooms. Defining them with translucent glass welcomed natural light while retaining privacy. Downstairs, spaces bleed one into another, their basic monochromatic black-and-white palette acting as a unifying leitmotif. Yet each space feels distinct, with its own programmatic purpose, a feat largely achieved by varying floor and wall treatments—a graphic tile pattern in the entry, a red wall in the hall leading to the master suite, a colorful area rug in the living room. In the retailer’s heyday, the then-common saying, “Would Macy’s tell Gimbels?” implied the strategies the competitors kept from each other to gain the upper hand. Here, a structure iconic in its day also conceals something: a handsome, wholly contemporary repurposing that represents just the sort of innovation that made Gimbels the celebrated name that it was.

Project Team: John Beckmann, Nick Messerlian and Richard Rosenbloom
Kitchen by Minimal USA
Photography: Federica Carlet
© Axis Mundi Design LLC
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Combined Apartment


Two Upper West Side apartments were combined to accommodate a growing family’s needs.

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Combined Apartment


Two Upper West Side apartments were combined to accommodate a growing family’s needs.

When marrying two Upper West Side apartments to accommodate a growing family’s needs, the team at Axis Mundi was faced with a conundrum: how to distinctly delineate public and private spaces without sacrificing the greater openness conferred by the expansion. So they limned that line with a six-foot square sliding glass door, which enables parents to block out the sounds of rambunctious youth emanating from private quarters, while also shielding sleeping children from the later night activities of their parents—all of it without obscuring light or affecting the impression of open-plan living. Continuity of materials—hand-scraped walnut plank floors, a custom bamboo veneer kitchen and living room shelving—enhances the sense of sweeping, loft-like spaces. Materials also create intriguing textural contrasts, as in a powder room where a high-tech glass sink and black stainless steel penny tile is softened by a leather door with contrast stitching one must open to enter the space.

Highlights: A pair of Gio Ponti lounge chairs, black glass rock tables and a William Yeoward area rug from the Rug Company (living room), sliding glass shower door from Magnum in the master bath.

Total Area: 1950 sf
Design Team: John Beckmann, Richard Rosenbloom and Nick Messerlian
Photography: Mikiko Kikuyama
© Axis Mundi Design LLC

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Grand Army Plaza


White on white design, in harmony with the neutrality of this Richard Meier building, was chosen so as not to distract from the spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline.

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Grand Army Plaza


White on white design, in harmony with the neutrality of this Richard Meier building, was chosen so as not to distract from the spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline.

It wasn’t necessary to overthink things when Axis Mundi designed interiors for an apartment at Brooklyn’s glass-sheathed 1 Grand Army Plaza, the luxury building by Richard Meier already endowed with all the “starchitect” bells and whistles, as well as drop-dead stunning views of Brooklyn, the harbor and Prospect Park. What did require considerable aptitude was to strike the right balance between respect for these assets, particularly the panoramas, and livability. The all-white scheme doesn’t just complement Meier’s own aesthetic devotion to this purest of pure hues; it serves as a cool backdrop for the views, affording comfortable vantage points from which to enjoy them, yet not drawing attention away from the splendors of one of the world’s most distinctive boroughs. Sleek, low-lying Italian seating avoids distracting interruptions on the horizon line. But minimal color accents and pattern also sidestep what could have been a potentially antiseptic environment, making it tactile, human and luxurious.

2,200 sf
Design Team: John Beckmann, Richard Rosenbloom and Nick Messerlian
Photography: Adriana Buffi and Fran Parente
© Axis Mundi Design LLC

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Wall Street Studios


Most of the furniture, built-ins and silk carpets were custom designed for two residences of Downtown by Philippe Starck.
 

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Wall Street Studios


Most of the furniture, built-ins and silk carpets were custom designed for two residences of Downtown by Philippe Starck.
 

Good design must reflect the personality of the client. So when siblings purchased studios in Downtown by Philippe Starck, one of the first buildings to herald the revitalization of Manhattan’s Financial District, the aim was to create environments that were truly bespoke. The brother’s tastes jibed synchronously with the insouciant idea of France’s most popular prankster converting a building that once housed the buttoned-up offices of JP Morgan Chase. His collection of Takashi Murakami works, the gallery-like centerpiece of the main area, announces his boldness and flair up front, as do furnishings by Droog, Moooi and, of course Starck, as well as hide rugs and upholstery, and a predominantly red palette. His sister was after something soothing and discreet. So Axis Mundi responded with a neutrals and used glass to carve out a bedroom surrounded by drapes that transform it into a golden cocoon. Hide (albeit less flamboyantly applied) evokes a familial commonality, and built-in furniture and cabinetry optimize space restrictions inherent in studio apartments.

Design Team: John Beckmann, with Richard Rosenbloom
Photography: Mikiko Kikuyama
© Axis Mundi Design LLC

Upper West Side Duplex


A loft-like effect was created in a Neo-Georgian townhouses with a sandblasted glass bridge. The interiors incorporate classic furnishings by Jean Prouve, Charlotte Perriand, and Roland Rainer.

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Upper West Side Duplex


A loft-like effect was created in a Neo-Georgian townhouses with a sandblasted glass bridge. The interiors incorporate classic furnishings by Jean Prouve, Charlotte Perriand, and Roland Rainer.

Never judge a book by its cover they say. Axis Mundi takes that adage seriously. The circa 1920s facades of these townhouses by Percy Griffin may read neo-Georgian. But behind the door of this particular residence, glass and oak are paired to impart a warm contemporary aesthetic that better showcases the client’s collections of art by Andy Warhol, Arman, Robert Longo, Alex Katz and Lucio Fontana, and furniture by modernist icons Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand and Roland Rainer. Axis Mundi gutted the genteel, compartmentalized (read: dark) inner scheme, blowing it wide open to impart a new loft-like interior architecture outfitted with an exposed oak-and-Caesarstone kitchen and plenty of integrated, clutter-concealing custom storage along many walls. The glass—sandblasted on Poliform doors and a main-floor bridge, then descending in transparent railings along a new oak staircase to a garden level—invite light in and encourage it to ricochet freely throughout.

Project Team: John Beckmann and Richard Rosenbloom, with Nick Messerlian
Photography: Andrew Garn
© Axis Mundi Design LLC

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Downtown Duplex


Wenge wood, venetian plaster, walnut flooring, limestone tiles, panels of waxed steel, and blue marble counters convey a masculine sensibility for this bachelor's apartment near Astor Place.

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Downtown Duplex


Wenge wood, venetian plaster, walnut flooring, limestone tiles, panels of waxed steel, and blue marble counters convey a masculine sensibility for this bachelor's apartment near Astor Place.

The mammoth phalanxes of white-brick apartment houses that proliferated in the 1960s occupy an architectural purgatory; generic, with boxy interiors devoid of detail, many aren’t even interesting enough to excite a raised eyebrow. Our solution for this exemplar near Astor Place, which fortunately was blessed with premium skyline views, was to relieve the interior ordinariness by stimulating the senses with tactile variety. Axis Mundi created a complexly layered textural palette that injects visual adrenaline into the architectural envelope: a television set into a waxed steel panel topped by clerestory windows with a built-in planter for grasses; wenge wood walls rising from richly figured walnut floors; white subway tile surrounding a subtly colored penny-tile mosaic tub and wall; in the kitchen, Venetian plaster, steel, stone and wood mix harmoniously as a surprisingly spiced exotic concoction. The interiors exude a confident masculinity that challenges the complacency of bland, white-box living.

Project Team: John Beckmann and Esther Sperber | Studio ST
Photography: Andrew Garn
© Axis Mundi Design LLC

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14th Street Apartment


Bold striped wallpaper, Moooi chandelier, felt chairs and a Saarinen dining table transformed an ordinary dining area into a fresh scene.

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14th Street Apartment


Bold striped wallpaper, Moooi chandelier, felt chairs and a Saarinen dining table transformed an ordinary dining area into a fresh scene.

For a young novelist, Axis Mundi provided some quick design response on how to recharge her Dining Area. We applied a bold color-field striped wallpaper, selected a carbon-fiber Moooi chandelier by Bertjan Pot, Tom Dixon felt chairs and an oval Eero Saarinen dining table.

Design: John Beckmann
© Axis Mundi Design LLC