Edward Siegel’s guide to Architecture+Design in New York City.
Edward Siegel, a partner and architectural design director at Cooper Robertson has designed buildings in historic settings, coastal enclaves and urban centers.With an extensive high-end private residential experience, Siegel led design work on numerous projects in New York City, the Hamptons, Florida, and the Bahamas. His work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Traditional Building, Progressive Architecture, and Dwell magazines. In 2014, Architectural Digest included Cooper Robertson in their prestigious list of top talents in architecture and interior design, the AD 100. For The Pavlovic Today, Siegel reveals that his version of New York chic is urban, fresh, elegant and sophisticated.
What are the essentials for designing the loft in NYC?
Edward Siegel: Tall, open, warehouse space with large industrial windows characterizes the original “lofts” of downtown Manhattan. Some of our clients want that tall, open, more casual space, and they are now being made available in newly developed apartment buildings minus the loft-like warehouse character. We are often hired to customize these white box spaces into homes that synthesize the needs of our clients, their tastes and the character of the base building. Not an easy task, but a rewarding one.
What kind of clients are New Yorkers?
Edward Siegel: New Yorkers are successful, well-traveled, well-educated with broad interests in a variety of cultural and athletic activities. They tend to have very specific tastes and demands for their living spaces. We find that the most interesting and challenging clients often lead to the most unique projects.
Describe an ideal living room for a single woman in New York City?
Edward Siegel: An ideal living room has tall ceilings, large windows allowing daylight in and views out, a comfortable and tasteful seating area focused on a fireplace (and for some a TV) and often has a pass-thru to the adjacent kitchen so that the cook doesn’t feel separated from living room. We often recommend shutters on the kitchen pass-thru so that one can periodically close off the kitchen if one wants.
What are your views on Feng Shui, should we really mind about it when we are building our homes and placing furniture?
Edward Siegel: I’m not a Feng Shui expert, but one of my clients hired one to consult on our design. I’m proud to say that nothing changed.
For an easy stay in New York city, what one should look for in terms of the accommodation/hotel?
Edward Siegel: I prefer to stay in small hotels that are located in residential neighborhoods. That way you get a better understanding of what it’s like to live in New York or any city for that matter. Tourist destinations in New York are spread around, but due to an expansive mass transit system, they are easy to get to from almost any residential neighborhood.
In which direction architecture is going today? Are you following the trends?
Edward Siegel: Today’s architectural trends include sustainability, resiliency, minimalism and gratuitous form making along with the ubiquitous “floating box” (thanks to Le Corbusier’s Villa). Sustainability and resiliency has always been part of our practice and will continue to be. Our projects derive their aesthetic from our client’s requirements, the region they are built in and the opportunities and constraints of their sites. Of course, our extensive education, broad experience and refined taste contribute to our projects’ overall successes as well.
When you hear “Mixed Media”, what comes to your mind?
Edward Siegel: These days it has a double meaning. In art it’s about using multiple media in one art piece. But more recently it refers to the burgeoning use of multiple Internet media outlets in addition to the older conventional ones (TV, magazines, etc.).
What do you consider to be your biggest professional achievement so far?
Edward Siegel: My favorite project thus far was a 35,000 square foot recreational facility for a private estate in Bedford, NY. It included an indoor tennis court, pool, two bowling alleys, a gym, media room, ping pong room, billiards room, steam room, sauna, massage room and a wine cellar. It’s rare to get the opportunity to design this kind of facility at such a high quality standard for a client with extraordinary taste. We’ve done several projects for the same client, and it’s his favorite.
What is New York chic for you?
In which color I should paint the walls in my living room?
Edward Siegel: Without ever having been in your living room I suggest a neutral. One of my favorite colors is Cotton Balls by Benjamin Moore. It is a warm white that suitable for almost any environment. We used it for freshening up the outside of the Maidstone Club in East Hampton, NY; and it’s the color I chose for the outside of a Bahamian Villa that I recently designed at the Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club on Great Guana Cay in the Bahamas.