Leaving behind the old New York charm of a Gramercy Park town house for a new Tribeca high-rise, Metropolitan Home and Showtime deemed last year's show house partnership worth repeating. The 14,000-square-foot penthouse opened Thursday, September 10, with a roster of nearly 20 architects and designers paying tribute to the cable network's television series with unconventional rooms and outdoor spaces, as well as a schedule of events inside the venue.
The sophomore slump is about as dreaded in marketing initiatives as it is on the tube, so the team behind the show house made sure 2009 wouldn't be about recreating past success. “My goal was definitely to do something different,” explained vice president of brand development at Hachette Filipacchi Media's luxury design group, Christine Boyle, who works with Metropolitan Home and Elle Decor and served as project director for the show house. “This year we called not just on interior designers, but product designers and architects to transform the space. It's a different perspective, so you see things that are more adventurous.”
At first glance, a lineup of different talent isn't even the biggest departure for the second outing. The massive space, two penthouses in the Tribeca Summit Loft Condominiums building on Greenwich Street, has little in common with the old town house used last year.
“If a penthouse had been hand-delivered to me last year, I probably would have taken it,” said Boyle, who was keen on the new space from the beginning. “But we had the opportunity to use that entire house, and it just worked out so well. This year, when we started scouting venues, we went with the farthest thing away from the town house.”
But the venue is just a vehicle. For Metropolitan Home, the show house exists as an opportunity to let renowned designers have fun with their assigned rooms, without the restrictions or oversight that accompany similar projects.
This year's lineup of designers included Marie Aiello, studioMDA's Markus Dochantschi, and Kara Mann—and the venue's abundance of rooms allowed for more than just one take on any given series. Weeds, for example, was interpreted by three different designers and teams, finding its way into a dining room, lounge, and outdoor living area.
The event line-up is still being solidified, but Boyle wants to make sure that everyone involved gets to use the space for their own benefit. Sponsors such as Time Warner Cable have scheduled several events throughout the run, and Boyle keeps it available for designers to host their own parties, so they can show off all of their hard work. To benefit charity partner Housing Works, the show house will also be open to the public every weekend through the closing day of October 18 for a $20 admission fee.