He considers himself a nomad,” says Dutch interior designer Ghislaine Viñas of her client, tech guru Chris Anderson. The British new-media entrepreneur (he founded and sold Future Publishing and Imagine Media) now focuses most of his energy on the ted (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conferences—the Davos of the dot-com world. “He has been influenced by so many cultures. He really wanted that to come through.”
Anderson planned to rent the quintessential 4,000-square-foot Tribeca loft for just one year, so he gave Viñas only three months to decorate according to some very specific demands. “There are speakers and intimate gatherings, and then there are events with 300 people in here, or 6, and they need to feel at home,” says the designer, surveying the swooping mesh walls and undulating conference table.
Viñas and stylist Katherine Hammond decided to divide the space with two giant mesh walls that allow light to filter through while demarcating work and play areas. The massive conference table, designed by Viñas with Brooklyn firm Atlas Industries, is a far cry from the standard dark plank boards of old. It’s a multipurpose slab of white lacquered wood anchored by a base of metal strips that beam light from within. A white platform base heightens the drama of the screened-off lounge area, further establishing it as a separate room.
“The hardest part of a project is at the beginning, when you are trying to get inside a client’s head,” says Viñas. The landscape she has created for the many-layered world of a global entrepreneur strikes the perfect balance between work and play.
THE DINING/WORK AREA
(1) The Screens
The concept came to Viñas at an Annie Leibovitz exhibit, where scrims were used in place of walls. These were designed by Tom Hennes of THINC.
(2) The TEDsters Team
Workstations are behind the screen.
(3) The Table
At 27 feet, this strip of undulating wood, inspired by a Wendell Castle design and built by Atlas Industries, can separate into three tables.
(4) The Chairs
Assorted mid-century moderns redone in Dune’s green embossed vinyl by Five Star Upholstery.
(5) The Rug