Client Kevin O’Sullivan Featured in July Hamptons Cottages & Gardens

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“Plaid Meets Prada When Scottish-Born Architect Kevin O’Sullivan Designs a Home for Art-Loving Clients in Amagansett”
By Michael Lassell | Photographs by Tria Giovan

“When we met our clients,” recalls Hamptons-based architect Kevin O’Sullivan, “we had no idea that they had a spectacular collection of modern art.” And his clients had no idea that the man they were trusting to design their four-bedroom home had once been accepted to pursue painting and sculpture at the prestigious Edinburgh College of Art in his native Scotland.

O’Sullivan met his clients in 2010, when he and his husband, businessman Jim Thomas, briefly put their 10,000-square-foot Amagansett home, which O’Sullivan designed, on the market. “She came in with her husband,” the architect recalls, “completely glamorous, dressed all in Prada. We just called her the Prada Lady after that.” Two years after the men had taken the house off the market, the Prada Lady and her husband offered to buy it, but the couple had already agreed to sell the sprawling modern home to someone who knocked on the door and made an offer they couldn’t refuse. “So I said, ‘Why don’t you let me design a house for you?’” O’Sullivan recalls. He knew just the place for it, a two-acre plot right around the corner.

Working with colleagues Luke Ferran, an architect originally from Southampton, and Anastasia Ovtchinnikova, an interior designer who was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, O’Sullivan began creating a site plan for the house, slated for the top of a knoll. “I love a hilly location,” O’Sullivan says. “It makes it easier to cut up the volumes of a house and avoid that monster McMansion look.” Known for bringing the outdoors into his projects, he also considered the surrounding landscape, which includes 420 acres of adjacent reserve. “In the Hamptons, outdoor rooms are a way of life. It’s something I got very accustomed to while I was working in Asia after university.”

O’Sullivan made deft use of materials to minimize the transitions between the various volumes. “The pool deck and the floor of the adjacent interior rooms are both travertine,” he explains, noting that it’s his favorite flooring, in this case “filled for the interior and unfilled for the exterior, which makes it less slippery underfoot.”

The interior color palette also comes from nature. “The dominant hue is the gray bark of the beech trees on the property,” he says. “Picking up the colors of the native vegetation, and the liberal use of glass, makes the rooms seem much bigger than they actually are.” O’Sullivan’s brand of modernism runs deep, and was not popular while he was studying in tradition-bound Edinburgh (his parents having rerouted him from the fine arts to architecture). “I was all Zaha Hadid,” he remembers, “and the faculty were all 16th-century castles. The current Thane of Cawdor was one of my classmates. My dean suggested I find something else to do with my life.”

Undaunted, O’Sullivan landed himself a prized internship year at Michael Hopkins and Associates, one of Britain’s top practices. The first project he worked on was the now-renowned Glyndebourne Opera House. After five years at a firm in Singapore, he finally made it to New York, getting a job with Gwathmey Siegel. “I’d always wanted to live in the U.S.,” he says, and eventually made his stay a permanent one when he opened his own company in the city, in 2001. By 2008, he was working so much on Long Island that he decided to move to the East End. “When I started, we were doing apartments and townhouses in Manhattan, and clients often asked us to do their homes in the Hamptons. Now we do homes out here and clients ask us to do their apartments in town.”

Much of the furniture for this residence came with the clients, including signature 20th-century pieces like the living room’s vintage Papa Bear chairs by Hans Wegner, circa 1950, and an iconic Yves Klein cocktail table from a decade later. The kitchen features a Saarinen table and Tulip chairs; the dining room a Paul Evans–inspired wooden credenza, positioned under a wall sculpture by British art star Keith Milow. The art collection figured into the plan right from the first sketches. “When you’re designing a house that is going to showcase serious art, you need to coordinate it with the architecture, decor, and furnishings,” says O’Sullivan, who even built in certain features to accommodate specific works, like a niche in the entry hall for a Pakpoom Silaphan paper-airplane sculpture.

“Typically,” O’Sullivan adds, “my earliest schematics show furniture placement, but in this case they also show art. The interior elevation drawings indicate where to hang the important pieces, so when the art installation folks came in, they had a place to start.” On the lower level, O’Sullivan also provided the house with its own gallery, where the clients display a constantly changing selection from their impressive collection, as well as a spa, a gym, and a guest suite, adding another 2,200 square feet to the 4,300 on the main floor.

The Prada Lady’s input was cause for some “lively discussion,” O’Sullivan allows. “She brought in two yellow Pierre Paulin chairs for the library, and I hate yellow, but I have to admit that they look quite good. And she found the Jo Hammerborg brass and copper pendants for the kitchen on eBay. We had to rewire them, because they weren’t UL approved, but they’re great.” Meanwhile, O’Sullivan himself now lives in a house on Main Street in East Hampton that was built in 1770—a far cry from his of-the-moment aesthetic. “I know it sounds crazy for a modern architect, but I really enjoy it,” he says. “There are all kinds of historic details that inspire me, and I even adapt them in my work.” And that’s a lesson his university tutors would most certainly approve.

See the full article complete with photo slideshow here: http://www.cottages-gardens.com/Hamptons-Cottages-Gardens/July-2015/Amagansett-House-Tour-Architect-Kevin-OSullivan/

SAIL: Majesty At Sea — New Photography Collection By Drew Doggett

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Artist, advocate and adventure traveler DREW DOGGETT issues a new book of black and white photography Spring 2015 with SAIL: Majesty At Sea

SAIL Limited Edition available at: drewdoggett.com/collection and onekingslane.com/drewdoggett

Look for our upcoming series of Hamptons and New York book signing events: RSVP@GothamPR.com

May 2015 Is Design Month In New York [#gothampr]

French Design Connection

Join Gotham PR as we celebrate the variety of new offerings that New York Design Month has on view this May 2015.

[RSVP@GothamPR.com with specific events, ticket requests, reservations, dates & times]

You too may join the exciting architecture, design, art and urban planning events around the city with which our agency is involved including:

Thursday, May 7th 2015 6:00PM-10:00PM ORIOR NEW YORK SHOWROOM & STUDIO opens in Williamsburg with NYCxDESIGN

Friday, May 8th 2015 6:00-9:00PM BROOKLYN DESIGNS with METROPOLIS

Saturday, May 9th 2015 WANTED DESIGN at Industry City in Brooklyn Opening at 7pm

Sunday, May 10th 2015 Park Avenue Armory SPRING MASTERS open all day

Tuesday, May 12th 2015 6:30PM-9:00PM OPEN HOUSE NEW YORK SPRING BENEFIT at BRIC HOUSE in Brooklyn

Wednesday, May 13th 2015 6:30PM-8:00PM COOPER HEWITT Design Series: The Future of Design with BRUCE MAU

Wednesday, May 13th 2015 DESIGN COLLECTIVE opens at Skylight Clarkson Square in NYC

Thursday, May 14th 2015 KIPS BAY Designer Show House opens at Arthur Sachs Mansion 55 East 6th Street

Thursday, May 14th 2015 MIAMI MAISON OBJET – Open All Day in Miami Beach

Thursday, May 14th 6PM CULTURED Magazine hosts a special Maison et Objet Miami Designer Showroom event at Michael Dawkins Home in the Design District

Friday, May 15th 2015 Sight Unseen OFFSITE at HUDSON MERCANTILE all day through 5/18

Saturday, May 16th 2015 INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY FURNITURE FAIR OPENS 10:00AM at Javits Center

Saturday, May 16th 2015 FRENCH DESIGN CONNECTION exhibit opening cocktail event at SOFITEL with Valerie Goodman Gallery

Monday, May 18th 2015 6:00PM – 9:00PM BOFFO ‘GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS’ ANNUAL BENEFIT Elizabeth Street Garden

Orior New York To Open nycxdesign At New Contemporary Williamsburg Retail Showroom & Studio [rsvp@gothampr.com]

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On Thursday, May 7th starting at 6PM, Orior New York will open its retail showroom and design studio doors to invited A&D industry guests and kick-off the nycxdesign series in Williamsburg at 199 North 8th Street at Driggs Avenue in Brooklyn.

This new contemporary design showroom and studio specializes in furnishings for both residential and hospitality projects [new@oriornewyork.com].

Launching their inaugural collection of contemporary designs, ‘new’ is the moniker Orior New York uses to introduce the brand to the city.

“We’ve been working towards this launch for almost 2 years. With a successful contract business in Ireland for nearly 40 years, our aim now with ‘new’ is to connect both with young Brooklyn design enthusiasts and the New York A&D market as a whole,” says Orior New York director and designer Ciaran McGuigan.

Orior New York To Open Bespoke Showroom – May 2015

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Gotham PR is pleased to announce the new bespoke furnishings showroom

ORIOR NEW YORK to open in Brooklyn on Thursday, May 7th starting at 6PM

A&D industry guests may RSVP@GothamPR.com

Gotham PR Agency New Client Wins 2015

75 Rockefeller – New Design by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

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Gotham Public Relations continues to enjoy the most iconic project challenges and Clients in the world.

With editorial feature opportunities showcasing KPF’s newest New York designs at 75 Rockefeller, Hudson Yards and One Vanderbilt, as well as China, Dubai, London and Singapore; along with thought-leading symposia with the Municipal Arts Society, Openhousenewyork and The New York Times, we are actively engaged with the global architecture, design and development media 24/7.

Our work with Latin artists, including the legendary BOTERO, continues at Gary Nader Fine Art in New York and Miami, along with events, editorial and reviews of the brand new Latin American Art Museum, designed by Fernando Romero. Our ongoing partnerships with world-class museums El Museo Del Barrio and Bronx Museum continue to benefit the arts, culture and both emerging and established artists.

Exciting new campaigns at the Agency this business quarter include the launch of Irish legacy furnishing brand ORIOR BY DESIGN in a new Brooklyn showroom; CHRISTOPHER BOOTS of Australia brings his stunning lighting designs to North and South America and select New York showrooms; DREW DOGGETT PHOTOGRAPHY is working with the Agency and the Smithsonian to bring attention to his globe-trotting work and advocacy — and that’s just a preview to 5 more campaigns that are still *TOP SECRET*

Gotham PR continues our work with BRETT JOHNSON COLLECTION, a menswear brand that we launched in 2013, with a multi-city fashion tour and inclusion in 15 Neiman Marcus stores, nationally.

Check out all of our new work at http://www.gothampr.com & popular tumblr wearegothampr — with visual campaigns showcased at http://www.pinterest.com/gothampr

Exciting One Vanderbilt Avenue Event in New York with #OHNY and #KPF 2.19.15 [RSVP@GothamPR.com]

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Projects in Planning: One Vanderbilt Avenue

Presentation by James von Klemperer, President and Design Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Cooper Union

Frederick P. Rose Auditorium

Thursday

February 19, 2015

6:30 pm

OHNY members and media are invited to a special presentation of One Vanderbilt Avenue, a 65-story office building designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates across from Grand Central Terminal at East 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue. The project, the first in what is expected to be a reinvention of Midtown East, will transform the neighborhood, with a new pedestrian plaza on Vanderbilt between 42nd and 43rd Streets; enhanced connections to Grand Central’s platforms; and a new public transit hall.

This event co-sponsored by Cooper Union Office of Continuing Education & Public Programs.

Reservations are limited to OHNY members only. Members may reserve for themselves and one guest. Admission is free for members, $10 for guests.