Last week, I, along with my friend, Lara, got a chance to visit the new 7 World Trade Center and some interesting living and work spaces at an event hosted by Cadillac and Architectural Digest magazine. It was not a blogger-sponsored event; I supposed Cadillac got my name because I fit in some demographic profile that they see as their target consumer.
I was fascinated with what the invite said about the day’s agenda. The theme of the event is called “Driven by Design” and it tried to make a connection between Cadillac’s focus on design and the various home/office destinations’ aesthetic sensibilities.
Just a caveat — I used my iPhone camera for these pictures. I really wanted to just enjoy this experience and did not want to lug my bulky camera around. So I apologize if some of the photos are not the best quality.
Our first stop was at 7 World Trade Center, one of the buildings damaged in the 9-11 attacks. From the top floor, we had the view of the 9-11 Memorial Pools. It felt a bit strange to be there and look at the site. Like many in the New York area, I have countless of bittersweet memories of the World Trade Center before the attacks. And it still felt surreal to be there last Thursday, a week after the 13th anniversary.
Michael Arad, the architect who designed the memorial, kicked off the event with a speech explaining his design and ideas for reconstructing Ground Zero. His calm demeanor and soft-spoken manner does not give away the challenges and frustrations that came his way prior to building the memorial. I liked that he shared with us his personal memories of the attack and how these led to his initial designs.
The following stop was a gorgeous townhouse in Chelsea that was designed by Stephen Fanuka, aka HGTV’s “Million Dollar Contractor.” Fanuka was actually there to give us a guided tour of the house and it was quite neat to see an 1860’s house gutted and converted into something pretty modern.
Some of the windows in the houses are Optimum windows, which had a noise-reducing feature that made you feel like you are miles away from the city. The top office space, which is a new addition to the house and my favorite, has these large noise-reducing windows. It’s flanked by a small balcony with outdoor tables and a hot tub. Just in case one needs a little break…
The other stop was the Neuehouse in the Flatiron district. Neuehouse is a pretty unique concept…think of it as an open office space that one (often a creative) can rent with the perks of movie screenings and gallery exhibits all under one roof. I like how the open setup encourages for collaborative work between members who may come from different disciplines, media to graphic design to record producing. It made me feel nostalgic for those days when I still worked in the city.
Image via here
It was a great day to visit some new and unique spaces in the city. I guess that’s what I love about New York — you just never know what lies behind each townhouse door or office space. It’s all a mystery from the outside and sometimes behind some nondescript door lies a design jewel.