The Italian Architect and Designer Invites Us Into His Minimal-But-Commodious London Abode
Claudio Silvestrin lives as he preaches: his East London apartment, visited by filmmaker Matthew Donaldson for our In Residence series, is a minimalist masterpiece, free of any physical clutter but filled instead with light, shadow and sculptural forms. The arcitect’s reductive, contemplative, near-ecclesiastical spaces can be found across the globe. He has designed beautiful residences from Moscow to Majorca, and currently on his drawing board is a Miami home for Kanye West. Silvestrin’s signatures are employed in his own home to full effect: the vertical is emphasized in columns of material that lend the double height living space an air of classical structure; the horizontal is emphasized by a parapet that extends the length of the living space. Monolithic forms that reference the ageless minimalism of Stone Henge and The Parthenon are everywhere, while his use of materials such as stone and wood bring raw and harmonious results. Groceries and even an extensive library of philosophy are hidden behind paneled doors. Only the occasional Wegner chair or Calder mobile breaks through the interior’s clean planes. “This is a space to reflect in,” says Silvestrin—one where guests quickly shed the hubbub of the London streets below and in which, he confesses, they always seem to linger a little longer than intended.
A Fascination with Scale and Materiality Informs the Star Designer’s Home
With Salone de Mobile in Milan kicking off this week and bringing together design world VIPs, we visit the London home of one of its favorite sons, Marc Newson, in today’s second installment of our “In Residence” series, helmed by Matthew Donaldson. A space-age aesthetic dominates at casa Newson, an unlikely look for a period building but one entirely reflective of the superstar designer’s streamlined visual language. The futuristic interior gives way to mock-Victorian details such as a wood-paneled library, one of several flourishes authored by Newson’s wife, fashion stylist Charlotte Stockdale. In Australian-born Newson’s most celebrated work—cabins for Qantas Airways and the Ford O21C concept car, for example—his finely honed eye for materiality reigns supreme; here that is reflected in the marble that lines his bathroom, the massive wall of river rocks from Nova Scotia (a “big deal” to achieve, he confesses) and the composite linen that forms his giant dining table. His passion for metal is betrayed by a small display of unusual knives in the library: “I trained as a jeweler and a silversmith,” he explains. “I love the way metal is worked, and certain techniques and processes are best illustrated in objects like knives, which are, essentially, tools. They display an incredible level of ingenuity and skill.” After Taschen’s recent publication of his complete catalog of designs, Marc Newson. Works, Newson’s next projects will be a private jet interior for a member of the Qatar royal family and a fountain pen for Hermès. “What holds my attention is variety,” says the consummate aesthete.
Vincent Haycock Casts Three Brothers From Compton for the London Producer’s Stirring New Release
“Everything in the video is their real life,” says director Vincent Haycock of the Mays boys, who he cast for this magic realist visual accompaniment to London composer and producer Raffertie’s new track “Build Me Up,” after meeting the youngest brother Demantre while location scouting in South Central, Los Angeles. “Every cast member is their friend, son, or cousin, and all the locations are their houses and neighborhood,” explains the filmmaker, whose previous work includes videos for Florence and the Machine, Spiritualized and Calvin Harris. “Most of the scenes were based on what they wanted to do as opposed to me giving them too much direction. The only thing I made up was the idea of death—all the brothers are alive and well.” The occasional special effect adds a surreal, poetic element to Haycock’s fictionalized rendition of the Mays’ intense lives in the video produced by Somesuch & Co, rendering a portrait of the cyclical nature of life while forming a narrative mirror of the looping, primal track, taken from Raffertie’s album due out on Ninja Tune later this year. “One of the aspects I liked most was the idea of turning the breaks in the song’s structure into natural pauses for the voice-overs,” he says. “A musical element was still required here though so I composed some extra music derived from the choral backing vocals.” Next up for Haycock is a video for Rihanna—“It will be a complete 180 degree turn from this project,” he reveals—while Raffertie will release the Build Me Up EP on May 20.
You have a background in musical composition—when you are composing, do you ever have visuals in mind?
Raffertie: Music is very visual for me. Often there are many images that go around my mind when listening to or making music. It happens the other way around as well, when I look at things, and witness events, ideas spring to mind that tend to be musical in nature.
What music videos or visual/musical collaborations have most inspired you in the past and why?
R: Zatorski and Zatorski and Philip Glass in The Last 3600 Seconds of a Wasp. The film documents the last hour of the life of a wasp, which fell onto its back and was unable to right itself. Set to Glass’ Metamorphosis, the combination of what I was seeing augmented by this music caused such a visceral reaction in me.
Have any screen soundtracks left their mark on you of late?
R: I feel that film music has become quite homogeneous, but two soundtracks have stood out recently. The first was the original music composed for Tyrannosaur by Chris Baldwin and Dan Baker. The film is one of the most depressing, harrowing and horrific films I have seen for a while and the music illustrates that exceptionally with its unusual pallet of sounds. The second is the soundtrack of recent British TV series Utopia, which was written by Cristobal Tapia de Veer. Like the imagery of the show, it feels almost hyperreal. Moving from quirky to dark and from abstract to serene, the soundtrack is a timbral adventure.