Virtual tour of a cloud castle in Manhattan
Stand: 11:20 a.m.
The British designer Lee Broom has created a cinematic dream home in downtown New York. But the pandemic has locked him out of his own home.
Es is perfect. The large mirror surfaces, which optically double the living room, survived the crane journey over six floors without a scratch, the house bar is full, the lamb-white sofas specially designed for the apartment have been stain-free for eleven months. Not because Lee Broom is so neat, but because the penthouse in Tribeca’s White Street has been waiting for the British designer to finally move in for almost a year. But he is sitting in front of a screen in London and gives a virtual tour through an apartment that must have seemed unreal to him by now. “Hopefully in spring,” he says when asked when he will move in.
Lee Broom, 45, is a furniture designer best known for his lights. He loves simple geometric shapes with a twist. One model that is used in almost every room in his New York apartment is “Crescent”, a spherical lamp halved in the middle – the two halves slightly offset against each other. Since the USA is the largest market for his “Lee Broom” brand, he and his business and life partner Charles Rudgard spend a lot of time in the States. The two-storey penthouse apartment in the narrow former warehouse from the 19th century was initially intended as a showroom, now it is to become a second home. “She was already full of private things,” says Broom. “Art, vintage furniture and all the finds from my London warehouse.” The renovations were still in full swing when Broom had to leave on one of the last flights before the New York lockdown in late March. “I took care of the rest of the work via WhatsApp,” he says with a laugh.
Broom, whose career began as a child actor, has a theatrical feel. He staged the launch of the “Musico” chair in September 2020 as a music video. His apartment has a Hollywood flair. If Sharon Stone were a living room, it would probably look exactly like this one here in New York: lamb white and rounded (three-seater across the corner), travertine beige, sharply grooved (coffee table and dummy fireplace) with pitch black accents (“Carousel” chandelier and various marble objects). His “Hoop Chair” in front of the window is an eye-catcher. Beyoncé ennobled the hanging chair as a prop in her film “Black is King” last year. “She bought it from me after filming,” says Broom. “I felt very honored.”
A short lift ride leads to the actual penthouse – a sixth floor on top of the historic building, with terraces at the front and rear. More New York is hardly possible: In the south you can see the One World Trade Center and the brutalist Long Lines Tower, which Broome inspired to design the new side tables. The Empire State Building can be seen from the bedroom.
Forty years ago you could have waved to Keith Haring from the cast-iron living room balcony. He ran an art space on White Street above the Mudd Club, a legendary punk rock establishment. At that time, TriBeCa was still considered shabby and exciting. It is now Manhattan’s most glamorous district.
Fifteen years ago, Lee Broom bought a Haring-painted leather jacket. “I like Keith Haring as an artist and what he stood for in this New York era.” Broom hung the jacket in his study. At least half a square meter of punk is moving back into White Street.
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