Designed by British architect John Pawson, Gabriel’s space manifests a future-focused, tactile design perspective accented by Apparatus furniture and lighting.
This feature originally appeared in est magazine issue 47: Creative State of Mind (pp 90-101)
Your home is located in lower Manhattan within the 11-storey Herzog & de Meuron residential building ‘40 Bond’. What do you love most about where you live?
I love being downtown. It feels closest to the energy of New York that I dreamt about before moving here – one of artists and creatives, a place to explore and find your voice. Bond Street feels particularly special. It’s two blocks of cobblestone, and I live a few doors down from the building that once housed Robert Mapplethorpe’s studio.
Describe your approach to design:
My approach is fairly consistent, which is about first defining what I want to feel. Once I know there is a world of references to help create the story I want to tell. Whether temporal, cultural, or aesthetic, the references are all colours to help create a world. But the approach remains the same.
How is your space a reflection of you at present?
It has played a central role in a period of contemplation and experimentation in my life. It’s a cocoon with sensual surfaces and textures that invite you to linger and lounge. What I’ve allowed myself to do in this apartment is to let my brain go where it wants to go, guard my time alone, and indulge in whatever feels inspiring.
Your work is heavily influenced by literature, drama and theatrics; how does this play out in your home?
In a way, I see my environment as a set created for the fantasy of the life I want to live. All of the decisions are made to heighten the sense that I am experiencing my life from within it, but also that I’m seeing it as a story. I’m creating the tableaus of the story.
Does living and working among your own design enrich your ideas and design process?
Without question. I’m in constant dialogue with ideas, either enjoying those that are successful and wanting to expand on them or those that require further time and thought to get just right. It’s the only way I understand what I’m making, by living with it.
You’ve said relaxation is crucial to your creativity. Where do you wind down in your home?
Everywhere! The apartment essentially feels like one big room with graceful partitions, so I feel like I’m occupying the whole apartment. That said, the character of the individual spaces are very fun to sink into. This is the first dining room I’ve ever lived in that I use regularly and isn’t just a showpiece. It’s cosy and sensual and being reflected in the mirror across from the table gives you the sense that you are a participant in the drama of life.
What detail tells the story of your home best?
The materials; smoked mirror, leopard carpet, burl, suede, velvet, moire.