New York Ro­co­co

AD (Italy) - - English Texts - words RO­BERT PAU­LO PRALL – pho­tos GIAN­NI FRANCHELLUCCI

ON ROCKAWAY BEA­CH, A CREA­TI­VE COUPLE HA­VE INVENTED AN APARTMENT INSPIRED BY THE TA­STE OF MA­RIE ANTOINETTE, UPDATED FOR CON­TEM­PO­RA­RY GLA­MOUR.

One sum­mer day in 2008 ar­chi­tect Benjamin No­rie­ga-Or­tiz and his hu­sband, ar­ti­st and lighting de­si­gner Ste­ven Wi­ne, tra­ve­led from their apartment in Ma­n­hat­tan to spend the wee­kend in the Roc­ka­ways. The couple fell in lo­ve wi­th the Roc­ka­ways, ju­st one hour by su­b­way from Ma­n­hat­tan, an af­for­da­ble al­ter­na­ti­ve to the Hamp­tons. In 2010 they found and purchased a 95 squa­re me­ter two-be­droom apartment over­loo­king Rockaway Bea­ch, wi­th the Atlan­tic Ocean beyond. In justt­wo mon­ths they tran­sfor­med the in­te­rior, de­ci­ding to in­dul­ge in co­lor, because their Ma­n­hat­tan du­plex is all whi­te. No­rie­ga-Or­tiz: «The con­cept of this pro­ject was clear from the ou­tset. It was de­si­gned wi­th re­la­xa­tion and en­ter­tai­ning in mind». They cho­se Ma­rie Antoinette as their ideal mu­se. «If Ma­rie Antoinette had a small apartment in Queens, New York, this is what we think she would’ve had. This is our pre­sent-day idea of the Pe­ti­te Tria­non in Ver­sail­les, a ‘small’ pla­ce to get away from for­ma­li­ty but wi­th the ele­gan­ce of a lar­ge pa­la­ce». The rooms fea­tu­re a va­rie­ty of fur­ni­tu­re sty­les and col­lec­tion of ta­xi­der­my birds, a pas­sion of Benjamin’s. «My hu­sband col­lec­ts Val­lau­ris pot­te­ry», No­rie­ga-Or­tiz adds. «We ha­ve in­dul­ged our com­mon in­te­rests gi­ve our ho­me a per­so­nal tou­ch». Green-blue Ve­ne­tian Pla­ster stud­ded wi­th Swaro­v­ski cry­stals gi­ves the living room bril­lian­ce si­mi­lar to the play of shim­me­ring sun­light on the ocean. The wall-to-wall vi­nyl car­pet is bea­ch-friend­ly, a seam­less ma­te­rial that helps to uni­fy the spa­ce and ma­kes it feel lar­ger. Mi­xing an­ti­que and vin­ta­ge fur­ni­tu­re wi­th con­tem­po­ra­ry pie­ces, they ha­ve created a ve­ry per­so­nal sea­si­de re­treat in­fu­sed wi­th gla­mor and hu­mor.

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