Beirut-based practice Raëd Abillama Architects have made their first contribution to New York’s vibrant architectural landscape with an 11-storey multi-residential building on West 19th Street. We’re shining a spotlight on one home in particular: the light and art-filled home of Raëd Abillama’s brother, Karim. Growing up between Beirut and Paris, Raëd and Karim were immersed in the world of art, design and architecture; a cultured upbringing that informed both of their trajectories into adulthood – becoming an architect and art collector respectively.
The siblings were inspired by the legacy of the Vipp family, who have been designing and manufacturing functional icons for the home since 1939. Karim’s residence pays homage to the Danish design company by including their famous modular kitchen.
The famous Vipp kitchen (modular V1), marrying functionality, quality and aesthetics. Artwork (left) by Wolfgang Tillmans; wall sculpture by Thomas Houseago; artwork (right) by Josh Smith.
A Family Affair: Vipp and Abillama
The Abi Chelsea represents the coming together of two design-orientated families, Vipp and the Abillamas. Raëd and Karim maintain their love of art, design and architecture by imagining a space that is uniquely them – in art, colour and idiosyncrasies. “Exquisite functionality” is the Abillama family mantra, which drew them both to Vipp in the first place. The Vipp kitchen, with its sleek shape and brushed metal exterior, embodies the brand’s undying commitment to functionality, quality and aesthetics.
Karim has carried on his family tradition of collecting fine contemporary art, with several noteworthy pieces adorning the walls of his apartment. Renowned international and local artists – Julian Schnabel, Cecily Brown, Albert Oehlen and Takako Yamaguchi, just to name a few – transform the home into an enveloping gallery space. A bubblegum-pink silicone sculpture by Los Angeles-based artist Paul McCarthy rests as a proud token of the siblings’ eye for exceptional design.
Karim’s gallery-like home features notable works from renowned international and local artists.
Large wall art (left) by Albert Oehlen; cabinet by Gio Ponti (1951); Flavigny table by Jean Prouvé.
Sculpture by Paul McCarthy
A large-scale print by Julian Schnabel forms a backdrop to a unique selection of furniture; the Fertility Form floor lamp by Rogan Gregory, emerald-green Confidential sofa by Alberto Rosselli (1972) and Three-legged Table with Two Tiers by Gerald Summers.