A Style that Comes Together

After designing the pieces Let it Be and Come Together in 2017 and 2018, designers Ludovica and Roberta Palomba at Poltrona Frau have fortified their third installment that further pays homage to the Beatles. Get Back and the other two pieces inspired by the musical legends are welcoming, tailor-made pieces that offer a return to comfortable spaces, where one can really feel at home.

Get Back

Inspired by the refrain, “Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged,” the Get Back sofa was designed a product of “in-depth research into comfort,” according to the brand when the piece was introduced at this year’s Salone del Mobile.

With generous, spacious and open lines, reclined backrests that encourage relaxation, and numerous modular elements to combine freely in lots of different compositions, it’s difficult not to find a sense of inner peace when sitting on this sofa.

On top, soft cushions and chaise elements offer unexpected depth, as well as an alluring invitation to “Get back home” and enjoy the relaxing and convivial atmosphere of your living room.

Let it Be

Rejecting convention and formalism, Let it Be was the first of the Beatles-inspired modular furniture systems designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba for Poltrona Frau.

Channelling the popular Beatles song, this seating solution embraces and reinterprets the notion of the Roman triclinium where individuals lay down, ate, talked and lazed about in earlier times.

As a refuge for relaxation, the sofa’s infinite configurations afford individuals the opportunity to curate different arrangements to fit their space and lifestyle.

The purity of the design is accentuated with beautiful details including leather and saddle leather stitching as well as refined plush cushions.

Come Together

Keeping comfort and sociability in mind throughout the creative process, Come Together was born out of a desire to offer people a place for sharing even moreso, an invitation to rediscover the dimension of physical and concrete proximity of exchanging ideas and emotions.

Each facet of the design encourages people to come together and enjoy the company of others. With limitless compositional possibilities, this system features a series of accessories that are versatile and functional.

Differing elements were designed to connect seating compositions to ultimately create more livable, shareable and convenient arrangements.

All photos courtesy Poltrona Frau.

Transforming the already luxurious grand piano into a genuine work of art requires both imagination and respect for centuries-old traditions.

Few possessions are as classic and exquisite as a grand piano, an accessory that complements an elegant residence as naturally as a tuxedo suits James Bond. Even if rarely played, that timeless piece of functional art makes a profound statement about the homeowner’s style and sophistication. And like yachts or haute couture, a grand piano can be customized to indulge the most extravagant tastes.

Meticulously handcrafted in Queens, New York or Hamburg, Germany, every Steinway & Sons piano is a masterpiece. The company’s defiant adherence to Old World craftsmanship — each grand piano takes up to a year to build — is rare in an era when manufacturers are rewarded for automation, cost-control and uniformity. Even a standard-issue Steinway grand is impressive, but the company’s collaboration with renowned artists and designers elevates the product to another level altogether.  

GOLD LEAF by Fazioli. 24-carat gold leaf completely covers this F228 piano model, giving it a touch of royal prestige. The transparent polyester that protects the gold leaf gives the surface a precious luminosity of iridescent shades.

Photo courtesy of Fazioli/Roberto Zava-Studio Step.

In addition to accommodating an exclusive clientele seeking something completely unique and willing to pay a premium for it, Steinway appreciates the excitement its exclusive art case pianos generate among a broader audience. “A very cool and unique limited edition that garners some press also brings attention to Steinway & Sons as a whole,” explains Director of Product Management Robert Polan, who oversees the company’s custom piano program worldwide.

“A lot of care is taken to find partners that are compatible with Steinway’s mission and principles,” says Polan, citing frequent musical associations like the “Imagine” John Lennon limited edition. “In other cases, the connection is more along the lines of a company with a similar dedication to craftsmanship and quality — a great example being what we’ve done with Lalique,” he says. Polan reports some partnerships are forged to commemorate a Steinway milestone, such as a collaboration with designer Frank Pollaro for “The Fibonacci,” which celebrated the company’s 600,000th piano in 2015, priced at $2.4 million.

 

 

 

 

THE HELICONIA Designed by Lalique. Originally designed in 1992 by Marie-Claude Lalique — the granddaughter of René Lalique — the heliconia flower forms the perfect decor for these fine instruments. Lovingly crafted at the Lalique manufactory in Alsace, 75 crystals make the instrument shine, while silver-colored inlays are decoratively arranged into the design creating interesting reflections as well as a sense of clarity. 

Photo courtesy of Steinway & Sons.

Most whimsical of Steinway’s limited editions is a $2.5 million piano created by pianist/painter Paul Wyse based on “Pictures at an Exhibition,” a masterwork by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky inspired by the paintings of fellow countryman Viktor Hartmann. “In this case, ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ was this unique and momentous occasion in history where visual art and music converged in a perfect way,” says Polan.

Like Steinway, Baldi Home Jewels has been creating luxury goods for more than 150 years, and the company’s use of semiprecious gems and 24-karat gold redefines home furnishings like bath fixtures or tableware. The Florence, Italy-based firm partnered with Steinway to create “Armonia Limited Edition by Baldi,” in which the cases, lids, music stands and legs of glossy ebonized pianos are embellished with Italian Renaissance ornamentation. Decorative bronze elements are hand-chiseled to perfection — an exacting process consistent with Steinway’s own commitment to craftsmanship — and plated in precious metals with a choice of nine different patinas.

PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION. Painted by Paul Wyse for Steinway & Sons. Photos courtesy of Steinway & Sons.

Steinway’s “Heliconia,” the product of a partnership with Lalique, is a black or white grand piano adorned with 75 jewel-like pieces of the renowned French glassmaker’s signature frosted crystal. 

Created from a design by Marie-Claude Lalique (granddaughter of founder René Lalique), the result is a stunning, understated marriage of two great artisanal legacies. “Lalique is a company with a very similar history and tradition of craftsmanship, so as ‘kindred spirit’ companies, this partnership made sense on many levels,” says Steinway’s Polan.

Gene Korolev, who learned the art of piano refurbishment in Russia’s cultured city of Saint Petersburg, reimagines Steinway grand pianos with his daughter, Katherine Banyasz. With his 40-plus years of piano experience and her background in interior and graphic design, their Piano Solutions XXI creates glamorous, over-the-top instruments from a studio in suburban Los Angeles.

The Piano Solutions principals are quick to distance themselves from the ostentatious rhinestone-clad showpieces Liberace made famous. “I like to tell a story, not just slap some patterns onto a piano case,” explains Banyasz, who reports her father’s craftsmanship is an appealing antidote to the prevailing culture of mass production. An early work paid tribute to French fashion designer Coco Chanel, an Art Deco design in which nearly 50,000 cubic zirconia crystals tell Madame Chanel’s story, with her silhouette appearing inside the lid.

When the Chanel piano sold for $250,000, the father-and-daughter entrepreneurs recognized the demand for elaborate, finely-crafted art case pianos. “Anybody who appreciates art, wants something unique to pass from generation to generation, or who finds meaning in the themes,” is how Banyasz characterizes the company’s exclusive clientele.

NEW YORK SERENADE by PIANO SOLUTIONS XXI. Photos courtesy of Piano Solutions XXI.

Piano Solutions XXI’s “New York Serenade” is a Steinway grand enveloped with images of Manhattan landmarks created through the application of about 165,000 cubic zirconia crystals. Its music rack features a couple seated on a park bench viewing the skyline and the entire composition represents a love letter to the Big Apple. A total of 2,880 crystals were affixed to the sides of the piano’s 36 black keys, which Korolev remembers consuming many of the 3,000 hours of labor invested in this project. New York Serenade is on the market for $1.5 million and Banyasz believes a luxury Manhattan hotel would be a natural buyer.

Fazioli was founded in Italy 130 years after Steinway but produces among the most coveted instruments in the world, and serious musicians dominate its clientele. Only about 100 are handcrafted annually at its factory near Venice, and admirers suggest playing a Fazioli is the musical equivalent of racing a Ferrari. Founder Paolo Fazioli insists that the drive to explore new techniques and aesthetics is embedded in his company’s DNA. “This is our life, experiments. You can increase quality and do a good job, but only if you continually experiment,” he says.

THE HELICONIA Designed by Lalique

Photo courtesy of Steinway & Sons.

MARCO POLO By Fazioli

Photo courtesy of Fazioli/Roberto Zava-Studio Step.

Among Fazioli’s experimental art case models is a grand piano entirely clad in 24-karat gold leaf, the ethereal “Butterfly” designed by architect Bing Thom, and the high-gloss red “Marco Polo,” originally commissioned by a client from China. The crimson instrument’s inside lid features a reproduction of an ornate Canaletto painting that celebrates the ancient connection between Venice and China

Showstopping Pianos

Fazioli: www.fazioli.com

Piano Solutions XXI: www.pianosxxi.com

Steinway & Sons: www.steinway.com

Collaborators

Baldi Home Jewels: www.baldihomejewels.com

Lalique: www.lalique.com

FROM JIMI HENDRIX’S ELECTRIC LADY STUDIOS IN NEW YORK CITY TO GRAMMY-WINNING PRODUCER PAUL EPSWORTH’S THE CHURCH STUDIOS IN LONDON, THE ARTIST-DRIVEN RECORDING STUDIO IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF POPULAR MUSIC.

 

Vibrant spaces designed with the artist in mind, studios like these have become commonplace in North America and Europe where the shared appetite for popular music has created something of an arm’s race, as each studio tries to pack in the latest technology and attract the best artistic talent.

 

A name that may soon be added to this list is Beijing’s 55TEC, a brand new studio that is currently dominating the Chinese pop charts with a string of chart-topping hits, and is turning China’s recording industry into a global competitor.

 

55TEC, designed by the world renowned acoustic design firm Walters-Storyk Design Group (WSDG), is answering China’s appetite for pop, an appetite that has been pushed into overdrive by its growing young population and recent economic strides into cosmopolitan status.

 

A New York-based firm, WSDG has built its reputation on sterling room design in recording studios and live performances spaces across the world. “WSDG knows how to make a world class studio,” explains Li You, head engineer and owner of 55TEC.

 

“Our clients have been very pleased with the look, sound quality, and vibe of our live and control rooms. This is all due to WSDG’s design work.”

 

The studio has boasted almost 30 charting singles in its first 18 months of operation and is showing no sign of slowing down. Its latest triumph is a song by action movie superstar Jackie Chan, which has currently spent 18-weeks at #1 on the Chinese pop charts. Chan’s hit song, “Nothing Is The Same As Before,” has become a compelling calling card that is drawing new talent to 55TEC.

 

“For the artist, the choice of recording studio is crucial,” Li You notes. “They need a place that inspires their performances and makes them feel like they can do their best work.”

 

 

Photos courtesy WSDG.

FROM JIMI HENDRIX’S ELECTRIC LADY STUDIOS IN NEW YORK CITY TO GRAMMY-WINNING PRODUCER PAUL EPSWORTH’S THE CHURCH STUDIOS IN LONDON, THE ARTIST-DRIVEN RECORDING STUDIO IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF POPULAR MUSIC.

 

Vibrant spaces designed with the artist in mind, studios like these have become commonplace in North America and Europe where the shared appetite for popular music has created something of an arm’s race, as each studio tries to pack in the latest technology and attract the best artistic talent.

 

A name that may soon be added to this list is Beijing’s 55TEC, a brand new studio that is currently dominating the Chinese pop charts with a string of chart-topping hits, and is turning China’s recording industry into a global competitor. 55TEC, designed by the world renowned acoustic design firm Walters-Storyk Design Group (WSDG), is answering China’s appetite for pop, an appetite that has been pushed into overdrive by its growing young population and recent economic strides into cosmopolitan status.

 

A New York-based firm, WSDG has built its reputation on sterling room design in recording studios and live performances spaces across the world. “WSDG knows how to make a world class studio,” explains Li You, head engineer and owner of 55TEC.

 

“Our clients have been very pleased with the look, sound quality, and vibe of our live and control rooms. This is all due to WSDG’s design work.”

 

The studio has boasted almost 30 charting singles in its first 18 months of operation and is showing no sign of slowing down. Its latest triumph is a song by action movie superstar Jackie Chan, which has currently spent 18-weeks at #1 on the Chinese pop charts. Chan’s hit song, “Nothing Is The Same As Before,” has become a compelling calling card that is drawing new talent to 55TEC.

 

“For the artist, the choice of recording studio is crucial,” Li You notes. “They need a place that inspires their performances and makes them feel like they can do their best work.”

 

Photos courtesy WSDG.

Luxury real estate agency’s architecturally-stunning Los Feliz redesign hosts a series of performances by the world’s top musical prodigies and winemakers. 

Mercer Vine, a leader in Los Angeles luxury real estate, is partnering with K17 Music, a nonprofit that supports musical excellence with intimate classical performances by prodigious artists set in Los Angeles’ architecturally stunning estates.
Founded in 2015 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Nathan Frankel and internationally-renowned concert cellist Evgeny Tonkha, K17 began in Frankel’s former home, the Oak Pass main house and guest house in the Beverly Hills canyon, which was designed by architect Noah Walker, principal of Los Angeles-based Walker Workshop Design Build. The guest house was custom built to showcase music in an 80-seat concert hall. Upon selling the house last year, Frankel began exploring new and varied estates to host a new series of K17 fundraising performances. Mercer Vine was a natural partner.

“We are humbled to be a part of this exclusive concert series with K17,” said Justin Mandile, senior partner of Mercer Vine. “Nathan’s work with talented musicians is awe-inspiring. To combine our love for architecture and art with Nathan’s inspiration to elevate incredible talent and culture creates a feeling that can’t be described.”
This first intimate concert took place at 2515 Glendower Ave in Los Angeles on Oct. 22. Originally built in 1936, this newly redesigned home is beautifully nestled in the lush and historic Los Feliz hills. At more than 5,000 square feet, the 5-bedroom, 5.5-half bathroom home features high-end finishes throughout. Accordion-style doors open to the lush yard and large pool deck, with an infinity pool and spa that illuminate as a mirror image of the sky. To top it off, the $5,495,000 property boasts incredibly iconic views of the Downtown LA skyline and rolling hills.

“This partnership goes beyond having a concert in a home. It’s a way to explore the intersections of architecture, music, wine and thought to expand the mind and feed the soul,” Frankel said. “I decided to partner with Justin and Mercer Vine because our visions and goals align synergistically, encompassing custom-built architecture with blue-chip art pieces, and musical prodigies with an incredible talent. Through this partnership, K17 can grow into a musical masterpiece surrounded by prized Los Angeles architecture represented by Mercer Vine, a perfect match for both Los Angeles-based companies.”
Guests who attended the 2515 Glendower concert immersed themselves in an architecturally rich space, with blue-chip art pieces, light bites and wine, and classical music by duo Georg Winkler and Hubert Kellerer, Austrian artists who play the clarinet and accordion respectively.

As a leader in the luxury real estate industry, Mercer Vine has distinguished itself in its approach to creative marketing through imaginative branding and a closeness to the arts. Working alongside Frankel, the Mercer Vine creative team has an exclusive partnership and will host future concerts in architecturally stunning homes.
A video of the performance from Oct. 22 can be scene here. The next concert in the series, which was a completely sold out show, took place on Dec. 2.
The space is reserved for up to 80 guests, and can be purchased through single tickets or an annual membership. For more information or to buy tickets, visit k17music.com.

Photos courtesy of Alfred Yson

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