Danish-Born Designer Thomas Juul-Hansen on Designing Interiors for NYC’s Elite Buildings

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The Danish designer, Thomas Juul-Hansen, is known for his ultra-high-end work on Manhattan, New York’s famous “Billionaire Building,” One57, and his soon-to-open 50 West Street in the Financial District.

Haute Residence: You famously designed the interiors for One57, perhaps the most elite building in the city. What does the very top end of the market want now that is different from when you did One57?

Thomas Juul-Hansen: While we are still seeing a saturated market of uber-luxury inventory priced above $20 million, the steady increase in the cost of construction and land is encouraging developers to create more efficient floor plans at a higher price per square foot, allowing designers to maintain the integrity of layouts, finishes, and amenities. The impeccable design we see at One57 is still apparent in many other developments, but as the market shifts, the parameters developers are operating within continues to shift as well.

HR: Is there a New York look?

TJ: Luxury buyers, regardless of the city they are investing in, all want the same primary features, such as top-of-the-line kitchens, well-appointed interior layouts, and walk-in closets. However, New York design typically showcases clean lines and simple, functional floor plans.

Thomas Juul-Hansen

A bedroom and living area at 50 West St. in New York City's financial district offer Hudson River panoramas.

Design rules you like to break: Many of the projects we spearhead are based on specific planning strategies, so we tend to stick with a specific standard of design rules, based on the aesthetic we’re aiming to achieve.

Most interesting room to design: Bathrooms. I find that the more confined a space is, the more potential there is to create an innovative solution.

Greatest influences for your design: Nature. A lot of our work involves the use of natural materials, resulting in a variety of textures, colors, and experiences to draw from. Nature is never dated, so being inspired by it helps ensure a timeless design.

The room in your home you are happiest with: Definitely my living room. Because people typically spend most of their time in the living room, I always prioritize this space, whether for my own home or other residential projects I’m designing.

Images courtesy of Thomas Juul-Hansen / DBOX

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