Welcome to Inez and Vinoodh’s Manhattan loft! In a postindustrial landscape, the promise of large spaces presents significant challenges for adaptation to the quotidian needs: sleeping, eating and so on. Owning a voluminous home is one thing, but figuring out how to live in it is quite another. Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin understand the dilemma.

How it all started

The Dutch duo Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin met in 1986 and have been working in collaboration ever since. Their hyper-stylized and audacious editorial images and artwork have been seen in magazines, galleries, and museums around the world.

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Accounts of the couple’s dynamic during photo shoots describe Inez as the stationary eye while Vinoodh circulates around the model as the roving camera — two visions creating a single image. They are a reunited whole, as represented by their iconic work Me Kissing Vinoodh (Passionately) (1999) in which Inez’s violently contorted face is mid-kiss with Vinoodh.

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During the 1990s and early 2000s, the Dutch-born fashion photographers bought two lofts in an ice factory on New York’s Lower East Side.

The couple spent the next three years trying to find an elegant and efficient way to consolidate the units. A solution finally came into focus when the pair hired Simrel Achenbach of the Brooklyn design-build firm Descience Laboratories. Sim convinced them to abandon the door idea and simply make the loft as big and beautiful as possible. And that meant demolishing the party wall to produce a 3,400-square-foot home divided into two long stripes of space.

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Following the couple’s aesthetic visions, including Truman Capote’s Hamptons home, a Charlotte Perriand designed French ski chalet, and modernist 1970s wood-and-glass houses of The Ice Storm variety, Achenbach transformed the apartment into a tapestry of fine mill-work.

The interior of Inez and Vinoodh’s Manhattan loft

Once the outline of the loft was resolved, New York based Daniel Sachs came on the scene to help orchestrate furnishings and decorative objects. He managed to create the impression that they had lived in the space since the ’70s.

Disposed in a combination that strikes a good note, some of the elements are organic, and others are pure glamour: tables by Yves Klein and John Dickinson, chairs by Perriand and Poul Kjærholm, mirrors by Georges Jouve, massive hanging lamps by Isamu Noguchi, vintage Moroccan carpets, and all kinds of curiosities.

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A place that is more like a group show than your typical home, the couple’s friendships and their adventures on the art scene can be traced through the loft. A drawing by Brice Marden, for example, was a gift from the artist on the occasion of their son’s birth. A piece by Richard Phillips was based on one of their photographs. Gallery owner Andrea Rosen, who happens to be Achenbach’s wife, gave them a Polaroid by Nobuyoshi Araki.

The result: an artful, light-filled loft, exuding a warm boho meets sleek modern vibe, that captures the middle ground between artsy clutter and elegant restraint.

Enjoy and make yourself at home.

photos: Simon Watson for Architectural Digest


Also published on Medium.