Mick Jag­ger and Michael Dou­glas have par­tied here

Muscat Daily - - FEATURES -

In 1986, French-born en­trepreneur/pho­tog­ra­pher/art col­lec­tor/play­boy Jean Pigozzi was wedged in a “small apart­ment with a fab­u­lous view” in Hamp­shire House on Man­hat­tan’s Cen­tral Park South. “I’m a big man, I’m six foot, four­inches, I need big spa­ces,” he said in a re­cent phone in­ter­view. “Oth­er­wise, I get kind of claus­tro­pho­bic.

Pigozzi set about find­ing an apart­ment - tech­ni­cally a pied-à-terre, given that his pri­mary res­i­dence is in Switzer­land - and af­ter look­ing at a few apart­ments on the Up­per East Side, he walked into the Ho­tel Des Artistes build­ing on West 67 Street, right off Cen­tral Park West.

“It took me about 12 sec­onds to say, ‘This is the one I want,” he said. “The pro­por­tions of the apart­ment were so fab­u­lous.”

When Pigozzi bought the apart­ment, it was two-storey home owned by “a guy who was a painter and also, maybe, a sci­en­tist?” Pigozzi said quizzi­cally. “Also, I think he col­lected old stones. It was re­ally weird.” The man, Pigozzi added, “was not a great painter, ei­ther.”

Af­ter pur­chas­ing the apart­ment, Pigozzi asked Et­tore Sottsass, a de­signer and founder of the in­flu­en­tial Mem­phis Group, to look at the apart­ment and de­cide if he’d be willing to re­design it. At the time, Sottsass was at the height of his fame - he died in 2007, and the Metropolitan Mu­seum of Art will open a ret­ro­spec­tive of his work in July - and “he fell in love with it,” Pigozzi said.

Sottsass threw him­self into the de­sign, meet­ing with Pigozzi mul­ti­ple times in Mi­lan to work out a floor plan and a de­sign scheme. “He de­signed 100 per cent of ev­ery­thing,” Pigozzi said. “Every ta­ble, every sofa, every book shelf, every sink, every door­knob.”

When the pent­house above Pigozzi’s du­plex came up for sale a few years later, Pigozzi bought it and got Sottsass to in­te­grate the pent­house into his ex­ist­ing de­sign; most promi­nently, Sottsass added a glassy so­lar­ium with curved walls. With the ad­di­tion of the third floor, the apart­ment com­prises an in­te­rior of 5,377sq ft and an 827sq ft ter­race.

Now Pigozzi, who also has homes in the south­ern France and Los An­ge­les, is sell­ing the apart­ment for US$19mn, co-list­ing it with Roberta Gol­ubock and Mark Thomas Amadei of Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Realty and with Deb­o­rah Grub­man and David Adler of Cor­co­ran Group.

An Ex­trav­a­gant Use of Space

The first floor of the apart­ment is com­posed of a 55ft long “great room” with a 19ft high dou­ble-height ceil­ing, a 24ft wide din­ing room (also with dou­ble­height ceil­ing), a bed­room, kitchen, and bath­room. The sec­ond floor con­tains a mez­za­nine, an­other bed­room, two bath­rooms, and two walk-in clos­ets that to­gether take up more than 560sq ft.

The top floor has a master bed­room, the so­lar­ium, roof ter­race, a kitch­enette, full bath­room, and a sit­ting room that’s il­lu­mi­nated by sky­lights. Every floor is filled with Pigozzi’s mas­sive col­lec­tion of African art and is ac­ces­si­ble via an el­e­va­tor and/or an in­ter­nal stair­case. In to­tal, there are three bed­rooms, five full bath­rooms, and three half-baths.

Pigozzi hap­pily ad­mits that the apart­ment is deca­dent in its use of space. “I took out one bed­room for the enor­mous closet,” he said. “You could put that back in, eas­ily, and make it an en-suite bed­room.” The great room, he added, was where he threw leg­endary Christ­mas par­ties, which eas­ily fit “more than 120 peo­ple,” he said. “When I couldn’t do the party one year, Michael Dou­glas and Larry Gagosian and Mick Jag­ger said,’Why aren’t you do­ing the party? That’s crazy!'” (Pigozzi’s rule for en­ter­tain­ing: “My trick was to in­vite a lot of pretty girls and a lot of wait­ers and wait­resses who are models; and the food was al­ways un­pre­ten­tious.”)

A Jewel of an Apart­ment

He is giv­ing up the apart­ment, he said, be­cause his busi­ness in­creas­ingly keeps him in San Fran­cisco and Los An­ge­les, and he has fewer oc­ca­sions to be in New York. And while he oc­ca­sion­ally lends the apart­ment to his friends - “Mick Jag­ger stayed some­times,” he said - it was empty for so long that he can no longer jus­tify own­ing it. “I’m sell­ing it with big tears in my eyes,” he said. “I spent 30 happy years in it.”

Prospec­tive buy­ers, he added, can buy the house with the Sottsass in­te­rior. “If they like him, they’re get­ting a jewel, a com­plete jewel,” he said. “But if some­body wants to do some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent, I’m more than happy to take the fur­ni­ture with me and put it in my house in Los An­ge­les.”


The 55ft long great room of the US$19mn triplex The curved walls of the so­lar­ium, de­signed by Et­tore Sottsass

The rooftop sit­ting room The apart­ment is lo­cated in the Ho­tel Des Artistes, off Cen­tral Park West The din­ing room, with a dou­ble-height ceil­ing

The bath­room The apart­ment has three bed­rooms The view from the roof ter­race

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