Ryan Korban takes us inside 40 Bleecker, his first residential building – SURFACE



Blending a touch of yesteryear with a youthful touch, the celebrity-favorite interior designer lends his singular eye to NoHo’s 40 Bleecker, a sleek multi-unit building that appears to be his most ambitious endeavor to date.


July 29, 2021

The lobby of 40 Bleecker, which includes sofas covered with statuary marble. All the photographs of Evan Joseph

One glance inside the newly completed 40 Bleecker and one may be shocked to learn that its ultra-refined interiors are the product of a designer in his mid-thirties. Details like the dove-gray terrazzo floor, sofas covered in statuary marble, and suede-paneled walls in soft color palettes radiate more of Uptown chic than the downtown edge, but they feel perfectly at home. comfortable in the elegantly curved brick building designed by Rawlings Architects and developed by Broad Street Development.

Ryan Korban, who ran the interiors of 40 Bleecker, carved a niche for himself by imagining lavish retail signs for big fashion brands like Brandon Maxwell, Aquazzura and Balenciaga, not to mention private residences for James Franco. and Kanye West. Although his company is indeed younger, the celebrity-favorite interior designer seems to have struck a chord among high-profile clientele and discerning aesthetes, amassing a string of ambitious and larger-scale commissions that continue to grow. ‘raising its idiosyncratic “romantic brutalism” is approaching to new heights.

(FROM THE LEFT) The brick building of NoHo. An Eric Schmitt chandelier in the lobby.

Of course, 40 Bleecker is his most ambitious, important and successful order to date. Located at the crossroads of Bleecker and Lafayette in Manhattan’s bustling NoHo neighborhood, the 61-unit apartment building recently announced that 80% of its units have been sold, which is no small feat given the exodus. suspected New Yorkers to slower, more spacious places like Palm Beach or Westchester during the pandemic. Perhaps the building’s runaway success stems from its world-class amenities, which include a 58-foot-long indoor pool, exercise room with a stretching studio, 24-hour white-glove concierge service 24, underground parking spaces and a land of 5,600 square meters. Courtyard garden walk by renowned landscape architects Hollander Design.

Korban also credits his very detailed approach and branding expertise which he has honed by collaborating with fashion brands. “When you design for retail, your goal is to make each product category feel special, for example, by making ready-to-wear just as important as perfume,” explains he does. Area. “It really translated into 40 Bleeckers, especially with spatial elements that homeowners interface with on a daily basis, like medicine cabinets.” He gives us more information on 40 Bleecker below.

Ryan korban

Now that 40 Bleecker is behind you, how do you feel?

Really great. It’s amazing to do a three-year project, especially coming out of Covid. Much of my work before that was in fashion, which is faster. There have been so many steps to it, but it is such an enjoyable process to reflect on and see how much can be accomplished over such a long period of time.

How did working on this project help you grow as a designer?

When you finish a house or a store, sometimes you feel so overwhelmed and want to move on to something new. With a project like this, you design on paper and in materiality, and you can’t really go back. You can’t start switching units once they start to come together. Developments are unique in that you are building people’s homes without furnishing them – you are actually building something that they will react to and want to buy. You also need to design something that you will like in five years. You have to force yourself to love her again.

Working on a project of this magnitude requires great forethought.

Foresight, yes, but also research and discussion. We had a really big team, which was exciting as we had to figure out what this market might want in the future and what makes sense in this neighborhood.

Furniture from the Korban collection with EJ Victor in a model unit

Much of your work feels like you’re in upscale neighborhoods, so how did NoHo shape the look and feel of the building?

I have done large-scale work downtown, but with an urban sensibility. When I first sat down with Douglas Elliman, they explained to me how the building was “downtown meets top of town”. Basically you have a downtown clientele looking for something a little different. You also have downtown transplants who want to move downtown because they find downtown too slow. They still have an upscale sensibility and can walk up Park Avenue to Bergdorfs. It was in the spirit of my brand and my aesthetic, so it was a smart partnership.

Given your history with fashion brands, what retail design strategies have you used for 40 Bleecker?

When designing for retail, your goal is to make each product category feel special, for example, by making ready-to-wear just as important as perfume. This really translated into 40 Bleeckers, especially with spatial elements that homeowners interface with on a daily basis, like medicine cabinets.

What is your favorite detail throughout the project?

The swimming pool. It was the biggest challenge, and I like to solve problems with the design. It’s on the lower level and is meant to offer the ultimate in luxury, so I wanted to feel like I wasn’t in a basement. There’s a lot of pressure because amenities in New York City help make a building, and few buildings nearby have amenities like 40 Bleecker.

The 58-foot-long underground pool

The exercise room and the stretching studio

How did you achieve this feeling of luxury with the swimming pool?

I ran into a similar issue while renovating the Balenciaga women’s store on Mercer, as it was once Woo Lae Oak which had a huge underground cave. I’ve always loved the British Museum’s glass ceiling and wanted to create something similar, essentially a fake softbox that mimics bright sunlight. My lighting designer Bill Schwinghammer and I first tried it out there and it worked well, so we translated it for the pool by creating a ceiling that makes you feel like you’re on a rooftop. , not in the basement.

Was that the biggest challenge?

One of them! The biggest challenge was really to define the concept and the materials of the units. The key to being successful in a large development is to create something different enough to stand out while attracting a wide range of people. You often see overly conceptual or cutting edge developments still on the market. My goal was to create one that looked as good with contemporary furniture as it did with vintage or Mid-Century furniture. It strikes a balance.

How did this approach influence your selection of materials? You mentioned in the past that you select the materials first and then develop the project from there.

Totally. We selected our key materials that go with an array of styles, and then asked ourselves, “What can we do with these materials that can make it a little different?” For example, we started with the marble sofas in the lobby and translated them into statuary marble hoods in the units. It’s not a big ‘wow’ moment, but it’s enough time to give a broker or potential buyer enough time to remember one detail that stands out.

The study in a model unit

Cantilever islands in the kitchen of a model unit

In your opinion, what sets 40 Bleecker apart?

It’s sleeker than the other buildings, which is fun because at first we were all wondering if my design was too sleek or not. In the end, I scaled it down while still getting a cool, youthful fantasy that marked the neighborhood. It’s light and clean without feeling too heavy or overwhelming.

Being too stylish doesn’t sound like the worst comment!

When you showcase designs to people who have sold billions of dollars in real estate and the project doesn’t sell well, you are blaming the elegance. This is the only reason I took it as a review! In the end, this year-long process of designing on paper comes full circle. Sales have been crazy even during the pandemic. They are still getting the exact projected dollar per square foot and sold one of the penthouses on a night out on FaceTime.

I’ve heard that 80 percent of the building has already been sold.

People are used to seeing 100% pre-build sold out, but it was a much different time. Being 80% sold during lockdown is crazy. This is one of those projects where everything has gone really well, and everyone who works on it is the best at what they do.

What are you most proud of?

Sales, to be honest. I have always believed that it is possible to create a beautiful space for people, but creating monetary value for a business through good design makes me most proud. That’s why I like to design stores. The idea that good design contributes to building the success of a business is its real strength.

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