Amid the glistening skyscrapers of downtown New York sits one structure that stands apart for its organic façade, a stack of hewn bluestone slabs that takes structural cues from its neighbors but bucks traditional materials. Now, 12 Warren Townhouse North, designed, developed, constructed and managed by DDG, has an equally unique interior. DDG enlisted Carlos Junqueira, founder of the beloved Tribeca gallery of Brazilian design, Espasso, to outfit the triplex unit. Junqueira worked in tandem with designer Cristiana Mascarenhas of InPlus Inc. to devise a rich, yet livable interior that showcases the best of contemporary and midcentury Brazilian design. “We wanted to select pieces that made the townhouse feel warm and could also translate the importance of Brazilian design internationally,” explains Junqueira, who cites the “comfort, creativity, uniqueness, warmth, and cultural and historical design relevance” as reasons for the country’s mark on the design world.
“NYC is a place that has an appeal for people to get together, although people don’t host as much as in other cities,” Carlos Junqueira muses. “We wanted to make sure the space felt warm enough for the residents to feel like hosting at their new home.” In the living room, a deep Carlos Motta sofa invites relaxation, while pieces like Motta’s Koguma floor lamp, a vintage Joaquim Tenreiro side table, and a cascading light fixture add visual interest. Caio Reisewitz’s Maranguara flanks the right wall.
“The grandiosity of the space was a perfect setting to generously host the Espasso pieces,” says Cristiana Mascarenhas. “It was a blank canvas ready to be filled with great design.” Here, under the undulating curve of the staircase, Mascarenhas placed two shapely vintage Jorge Zalszupin armchairs with a geometric coffee table by Claudia Moreira Salles.
“We wanted the clean lines in the architecture and the roughness of the concrete enhanced by the furniture we chose to complement the space,” Mascarenhas explains. In the dining room, Caio Reisewitz’s Guanabara III, overlooking Giuseppe Scapinelli chairs around a Claudia Moreira Salles table, underscores the design’s ties to nature.
The kitchen’s modern appliances are tempered by warm wood finishes.
“Brazilian modern and contemporary design has a joyful, young, and confident characteristic to it,” says Mascarenhas. “It always feels fresh and sophisticated.” In the apartment’s office, Mascarenhas and Junqueira juxtaposed Caio Reisewitz’s deep-red Boituva with Sergio Rodrigues’s limited edition Mole armchair, Oscar Niemeyer’s ON desk, and Lina Bo Bardi’s chair for a true ode to Brazilian design greats.
The townhouse boasts an outdoor terrace, where armchairs by Carlos Motta are paired with plenty of greenery.