When Sonja Bata, the matriarch of the Bata Shoe empire, purchased the top floor of the One Bedford condominiums, it was a 2,600 sq. ft. raw space that needed a complete fit-up. Instead of the expected traditional layout with a multitude of rooms defined by walls and connected by corridors, our client wanted an open but defined space that took advantage of the incredible panoramic views from the 32nd floor. She also wanted to showcase her artifacts, art and vintage modern furniture collected from 50 years of working and traveling around the world.
Trained as an architect in her native Switzerland, Mrs. Bata understood that this project would need an atypical approach to the design. Understanding that this home would read like an autobiography of Bata’s life, the intent was to create a flowing, minimal space that took advantage of the sweeping views of the city, and gave Bata’s treasured belongings an opportunity to tell a story. An open plan with mediating elements instead of walls, such as custom cabinets and a large tapestry mounted on a floating panel, allows for dramatic views between rooms and through openings in the cabinets to the large floor to ceiling windows beyond. White walls and whitened oak floors throughout help to unify the space and focus attention on the art, while the richness of walnut brings warmth and character to the otherwise light material palette.