RAFAEL DE CÁRDENAS GIVES DEMISCH DANANT'S WEST VILLAGE GALLERY AN INJECTION OF GALLIC COOL
The residential blocks that lie just off Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village, exude the kind of late Victorian charm one may associate with novelist Henry James or architect Stanford White. But this elegant downtown enclave has been given an injection of modern Gallic cool with the unveiling of a new exhibition space by Demisch Danant gallery.
Once home to SF Vanni, the oldest Italian bookstore in North America, the address has been transformed into a commensurately glamorous showcase for the lauded 20th century design pieces sold by the gallery, formerly in Chelsea. 'Not only were we looking for a larger space, but we wanted to increase our curatorial vision and exhibition program,' says co-founder Suzanne Demisch.
The gallerists turned to their friend Rafael de Cárdenas, a local architect whose firm performed a delicate architectural intervention. 'It was important that we respected the neighbourhood but also bring our own references,' says Demisch, who cites the streamlined, almost-institutional French modernist architecture from the sixties as an influence. Cárdenas increased volume by raising the ceiling heights, chose honed terrazzo floors and renovated an upstairs apartment to be used as a salon and office.
By Aaron Peasley