Full renovation of a 7,500-square-foot house in Greenwich, Connecticut.




Surgery Series

In residential projects, de-spec believes that architecture, interior design and decoration must reflect the client’s lifestyle. Following a radical functionalist approach, the Surgery series utilizes a strategy of personalization according to specific programs designated by the client, rather than stylistic biases on the part of the designer.

The name of the series refers to a practice employed by de-spec, in which incisions are made into the floor plan of a home to reconstruct the circulation and flow of space in a way most suited to the lifestyle of a particular user. The process entails a series of interviews and observations which provide a reading of the client’s values and needs. This reading translates into a design strategy which fundamentally sculpts the experience of lived space.

Surgery #10 (Greenwich House):

A somewhat generic home in Greenwich, Connecticut needed to be de-spec’d and personalized. As an art advisor at JM Schlank Art Advisory, homeowner Josephine Schlank envisioned a design that would accommodate her family of five, as well as an extensive collection of contemporary art. In a collaboration with architect and designer Farnaz Mansuri, the two set about a plan for renovation which organized the space around the displays of artworks, intended to be both accessible and integrated with everyday life.

Upon entering the residence, one first encounters a Jeppe Hein neon art piece stating ‘Please do not touch the artwork.’ In a home with three children, including two boys who often attempt to play hockey indoors, this tongue-in-cheek neon work sets the tone for the rest of the household. The architecture was also reconfigured to eliminate dead-ends, creating a flow between rooms and an ease of movement throughout the space. As the living room functions as a gallery with minimal furnishings, the den was designed to be the most lived-in room. Here, sculptures by Francis Upritchard adorn a Lucite coffee table and a Mickalene Thomas painting hangs above the grey linen sofa. With views of the outdoors, the kitchen and dining area also feature a painting of a jar of Nutella by artist Kevin Berlin, providing a welcoming space for the family to share meals together.