March 11, 2021
Radnor’s New Experiential Showroom Models A Space for Living
Designed in collaboration with Elizabeth Roberts Architects, the opulent Upper East Side showroom exhibits a thoughtful curation of domestic space.
Artisans, makers, and designers alike are exhibiting aversions to contemporary urban development with its sweeping curtain walls and “open concepts.” Rather, buyers are looking to trade reductive finishes and transparent expanses for white walls and well-articulated architectural moments that provide ample space for thoughtfully designed art and objects.
Susan Clark–a purveyor of contemporary design and craft–has been contributing to this cultural shift since the 2016 founding of her company Radnor, which serves as a retailer, gallerist, and manufacturer for a collective of over 70 makers.
Radnor continues its practice of curating experiential showrooms with 180 East 88th Street, an intimate residence in an Upper East Side luxury condominium newly developed by DDG and Global Holdings. This iteration enlists the expertise of architect Elizabeth Roberts as co-curator and marks the debut of Triad, her first furniture collection under Radnor Made which includes a writing desk, side table, upholstered stool, and rugs.
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“I wanted to expand that collaborative dynamic awareness of seeing Radnor through someone else’s eyes,” says Clark of their partnership. “Elizabeth has a strong resonance and foundation in the art of craft and her work often celebrates materiality, process, and historic elements. I feel like we speak a similar language.”
Myriad designers including Julianne Ahn, Adam Rogers, and Loïc Bard contribute to a robust visual dialogue throughout the sprawling 4,000-square-foot space. The pair also collaborated with gallerist David Zwirner and senior partner Bellatrix Hubert to curate a selection of leading modern and contemporary artwork with pieces from Richard Serra, Ruth Asawa, Fred Sandbak, Suzan Frecon, and Al Taylor.
Marcus Hannibal and Louise Sigvardt of Bunn Studio designed the Beau Sofa and Armchair Set to envelop the user in comfort that is nothing short of couture. “I think people subconsciously see the details, not necessarily noticing at first hand, but over time. And I think that’s what gives good products their quality. You actually want to keep looking at it, return to it, and enjoy it in all the details,” says Hannibal.
There’s an emotional intelligence to this showroom that the industry lacks. “We live in a time when the consumer is separated from the maker or manufacturer by so much space that it is difficult to feel connected to the history and provenance of the things we bring into our worlds,” says designer Karl Zahn. His Parallax Tables explore surface through grand arcs to achieve aesthetic and structural integrity. “Our collective priorities have shifted to be more conscientious and equitable. I think design can easily fall into a category of luxury, but at its core design is a very democratic and utilitarian endeavor.”
The showroom is open by appointment beginning March 9, available Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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