This modern New York apartment stands out in the crowd, not just because of its height, measuring 821 feet above TriBeCa, but mostly due to its unique shape. Made of uneven cantilevered blocks, meaning that no two floors are the same, the design becomes progressively incongruous toward the top. Taken as a whole, it looks unstable, almost shaky, which is why it’s now affectionately referred to as the Jenga tower, after the block-stacking game.

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Designer Richard Mishaan on the terrace outside the New York apartment.
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The facade of 56 Leonard, a residential tower in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighbourhood designed by Herzog & de Meuron.

Richard Mishaan, the interior designer behind the home design, claims he can see the expressive concrete-and-glass structure from the conference room of his downtown studio. “It’s an extraordinary feat of engineering.” What Mishaan brought to this New York apartment with four terraces, austere interior architecture, and panoramic views was a similar kind of balancing act.

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A custom vanity and bookshelf in the master bedroom.
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The custom master bed and sofa from Mishaan’s line for Theodore Alexander are both in a Maharam mohair. The bed linens are by Matouk, the armchairs are by Holly Hunt, and the Plexiglas cocktail table is by Charly Bounan. The brass pendants are by Roll & Hill, and the Willy Rizzo floor lamp is from Flair Home Collection.

Mishaan created the interior design for this New York apartment with a young family in mind. He played to the parents’ avidity for contemporary art and glittering gemstones while providing stimulation for the children in the form of wild patterns and bright colours.

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The Ralph Rucci table and the leather on the custom bench are both from Holly Hunt, the chandelier is by Gabriel Scott, and the Hubert Le Gall sconces are from Twenty First Gallery. The flooring is cerused oak, and the mural is by Rostarr.

Because contemporary luxury architecture tends to favour spartan interior aesthetics, Mishaan could not have hoped for a blanker canvas. In the entry of the New York apartment, he sought to create a “big, beautiful welcome,” with a playful mural painted by street artist Rostarr, bunny sconces by Hubert Le Gall, and marble-inset parquet flooring that leads to the master bedroom door, which is upholstered in purple velvet and trimmed with nailheads.

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The armchairs are by Gene Summers for Holly Hunt, and the amethyst sofa, in a Maharam mohair, and side tables are by Romeo Sozzi for Promemoria. The Liaigre sofa (right) has cushions in a Jim Thompson fabric. The stools, cocktail table, and Michaelian & Kohlberg rug are all custom, and the sculpture is by Manolo Valdés.

A left turn into the contemporary living room confirms this notion. The open space concept is a medley of warm reds and browns with a golden ceiling. Mishaan deliberately selected oversize furniture for the room to avoid pieces looking too small to the 16-foot ceilings and gargantuan scale.

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The sofa, armchair, and stools are by Liaigre; the lamp and side table are by Hubert Le Gall, the custom wallcovering is by Black Crow Studios, the chandelier is by Lindsey Adelman, and the malachite rug is by Hutton Wilkinson for Patterson Flynn Martin.

Since there are no walls in this New York apartment’s public spaces, moving between vignettes is seamless. As in a Gothic cathedral, the living room acts as a kind of apse from which the chapels of the dining room, entertainment room, and kitchen all radiate.

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The custom cerused-oak table is surrounded by chairs from Mishaan’s collection for Theodore Alexander. The emerald sideboard is by Boca do Lobo.

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The dining room light fixture is a jewel unto itself and one of the home’s main attractions. Designed by the American architect and artist Johanna Grawunder, the piece is composed of two acrylic wings that hang below a laser LED, which projects an intense straight line onto the cerused-oak dining table.

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The custom island, range, and hood are by Herzog & de Meuron; the barstools are by Gabriel Scott, the cabinetry is custom, and the mosaic backsplash tile is by Ann Sacks.

With its towering wall of azure cabinetry, the kitchen area, which is right next to the dining room, gives the sense of cooking inside a sapphire.

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A David Weeks chandelier hangs above a custom tub in the master bath, where the walls and floors are sheathed in book-matched Cassiopea marble from ABC Stone.
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The sink fittings are by Sherle Wagner International, and the sconce is by Rosie Li for Roll & Hill.
Mishaan admits that this New York apartment was one of the more challeng­ing of his 26-year career as an interior designer. Balancing sophistication with family-friendly comfort and function and making sure that none of the apartment’s gorgeous views were obstructed was a lot to juggle.
Images by Elle Decor
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