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Looking good is no longer enough. To stand out in today’s experience-led luxury market, design now needs to make its users feel good.

Its 181 luxury apartments, state-of-the-art amenities and proximity to New York’s High Line have meant that Lantern House has been gratifyingly well documented, both online and in print media. Yet, more than just a new development of luxury apartments, our latest project feels indicative of two broader trends, that are not only shaping the world of architecture and interior design – but are also influencing how we interpret “luxury” today. Firstly, comfort is critical in a world where the boundaries between life, work and play are increasingly blurred. Secondly, where once “wellness” was a tick-box exercise in adding a treatment room or simple “spa”, now we expect our physical and mental wellbeing to be a consideration – everywhere. Put simply: the best luxury interior design comes down to how it makes people feel – not just what it looks like. In response to these very macro trends, we created Experience-Centric Design: a forward-thinking strategic design process that acknowledges the high-speed nature of modern luxury within spaces that start – not simply finish – with the user in mind. But what does this actually mean, in practice? At the beginning of every project, we ask ourselves a series of key questions that relate to its end-user – just as if they were a character in a story: “Would they sit in this chair”, “What cocktail would they drink at the bar?”, “How would they like to feel when they walk through the door of their home?” and “How might the person actively invest in their wellbeing on a daily basis? In answering these types of questions, we tap into the inhabitant’s mind-set, so that each project becomes a human-centred design story – rather than a purely aesthetic one. With its seamless integration of a lobby, library, spa and wellness centre (complete with infra-red sauna and Equinox Gym), a co-working lounge, a garden dotted with maple and magnolia trees, as well as luxury residences, Lantern House has been designed to meet the emotional – as well as the practical – needs of all those who live there. So, here’s 3 important ways Experience-Centric Design helped bring Lantern House to life for its residents, guests and the surrounding community.

Sync design with your surroundings

An awareness of the physical and emotional experience of the user flows throughout every space, guided by the city outside. The carefully-considered design also helps to bring the outside in, building the connection to the world beyond. By day, the lounge is uplifted by natural light from the courtyard; the double-height suspended yoga and meditation room looks out over the 75-foot long pool and skyline, making it a place for contemplation as well as exercise. Throughout the development, the High Line acts as an artery, uniting Lantern House with the surrounding West Chelsea area. This synchronization of Lantern House community with the city outside, lends it a sense of energy and activity, so it always feels fresh and dynamic – a place that comes with a distinct sense of culture, rather than just another residence.

Design interiors with transformation in mind

Blurring the lines between residential and hospitality with a members club-like feel, each space transforms seamlessly throughout the day, adjusting to the needs of its users. The co-working space meets our modern-day need to feel comfortable and collaborative during professional hours; the sense of comfort and warmth remains as night falls, but the lighting and mood changes to create a space that’s ideal for entertaining friends and creating a sense of community.

Create textural layers

Burnished bronze handles make up touchpoints throughout the kitchen – custom-made in ribbed wood; chevron-patterned oak flooring lends the space warmth – so needed on a freezing Manhattan day. So too, the bathroom plays out through contrasting stone and timber, with textured glass inside the showers. Within the one to four-bedroom apartments and penthouses, layers of texture are built up to lend the experience depth, comfort and richness. So yes, Lantern House is a play where people will want to live. Yet, but tapping into its inhabitants’ emotions, adding a new sense of experience, we think it’s somewhere they’ll want to work, workout – and play, too. Created in collaboration with Heatherwick Studio and Related Companies, Lantern House is located on Located at 515 W. 18th St, with apartments priced from $1.7 million. www.lanternhouse.com

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CS Talks 2020: Lantern House

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