26 posts tagged "Jessica Stam"
You may not know the name Rafael de Cárdenas, but if you’ve visited Miami lately, chances are you’ve seen his handiwork. (Or if you’re model-obsessed and pored over the gorgeous spreads of Jessica Stam’s apartment in the October issue of Elle Decor.) De Cárdenas is the architect behind new exhibition space O.H.W.O.W. (short for Our House West of Wynwood). Conceived by Aaron Bondaroff and Miami collector Al Moran, O.H.W.O.W. put itself on the Miami Art Basel flock’s map of must-sees when it played host to It Ain’t Fair, a group show staged by Bondaroff in conjunction with Deitch Projects’ Kathy Grayson and Nicola Vassell, Javier Peres, Terence Koh, and a handful of other art world nabobs. But even Miami locals who wouldn’t know a Dearraindrop from a Dash Snow have taken note of O.H.W.O.W., thanks to the Op Art-inspired design de Cárdenas dreamed up for the venue (interior pictured here). “Cabbies have started calling it ‘The Black and White Building,’ ” de Cárdenas remarks. “It’s funny that they’ve already come up with a nickname.” Instant landmark aside, de Cárdenas made his reputation on intimate spaces—his firm, Architecture at Large, was responsible for the interior of Charlotte Ronson’s Nolita boutique and Waverly-esque West Village restaurant Charles, for example, and helmed the renovations of Jessica Stam’s Manhattan and East Hampton abodes. Here, de Cárdenas talks to Style.com about model homes (pun intended), Our House West of Wynwood, and why style is overrated when it comes to design.
How did you get involved with O.H.W.O.W.?
I grew up in New York, and Aaron Bondaroff and I have been friends for a long time. We’ve collaborated quite a bit. I designed his Wreck Center pop-up last year, for instance, so it was kind of natural that I work on O.H.W.O.W., too.
On the one hand, that seems like kind of a dream project—a huge space, an open-minded client, and a building that was, in essence, a blank slate. But on the other hand, it must be hard to know where to start on a project with so few built-in constraints. Was that a challenge?
When you’ve been designing for a while, you come to each new project with a bag of tricks. There are ideas you like, that you know tend to work for you. O.H.W.O.W. was kind of like a playground. I got to take my favorite ideas out for a run—like, the whole black and white motif, for example. I love that contrast. But in a way, my approach to design operates as its own control. I’m very invested in the way spaces are experienced. So that leads to things like the pattern on the O.H.W.O.W. floors suggesting pathways through the galleries.
Natalie Portman—not exactly Hollywood’s panty-problem poster child—is not a total goody-goody, either. When it comes to celibacy, the actress, who turned down a role as a nun, just doesn’t get it. Good to know.
Awards season may be at risk again. People, can you not work these things out before red-carpet time?