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Ali Tayar / Parallel Design

I recently visited architect Ali Tayar’s exquisite apartment and offices to go behind the scenes and find out what inspires the details and construction techniques in his work. I’ve known Ali for over twenty years and since the minute we met I’ve always been in awe of the complexity behind his architecture, furniture and product designs. On the surface, the connections and production techniques look simple, but the curved forms and perforated metal and wood that compose much of his work are the results of masterful planning and machine-made materials and finishes engineered with major impact!

Ali was born in Istanbul and began his architecture career at the University of Stuttgart followed by a Masters in Architecture at M.I.T. When he was eighteen years old and visited the Museum of Modern Art for the first time, standing in the sculpture garden he looked up at the Rockefeller Apartments across the street and thought, “That’s where I want to live.” The stunning views and curving brick facade of this building designed by Harrison & Fouilhoux in 1937 to many architects is one of the most beautiful residential buildings in New York.

The Rockefeller Apartments built in 1937

Luckily for Tayar, his dream came true when he was able to buy one of the apartments and begin a year long transformation of the space, restoring every detail to it’s original state. While doing this, he created a museum of his own, furnishing the apartment and injecting his design sensibility into every piece of furniture, light fixture and accessory. The fireplace was one of the only pieces that was not original so he cast an aluminum Brancusi inspired mantelpiece that looks as if it was always there. When Tayar begins a design or furniture project his focus “is on the manufacturing process and the link between the structural concept and production.” He considers all of the furniture, objects and light fixtures he’s designed “little structures and larger projects have become more object-like relating the smaller scale studies.” Following are the images of Tayar’s apartment, furniture and details.

Strathisla foyer console made of carbon fiber and mahogany
Carbon fiber and mahogany Strathisla Console in the foyer
Perforated aluminum supports and mahogany and maple combine to form Anna’s Shelving
Detail of Anna’s Shelving with a collection of cast aluminum fittings and wood prototypes
Tayyar’s Bridge Table with vintage chairs and seats covered in Maharam Gio Ponti fabric. The table is a cube that has been carved away to create legs in laminated plywood.
The dining room with Tayar’s Maryana Table and Rasamny Chairs faces the MOMA sculpture garden.
Cast aluminum and white oak ice bucket for Omnia Hotel project
Kitchen with wood and yellow laminate and custom pulls by Ali Tayar
Detail of kitchen cabinetry and Tayar designed pulls
Tayar designed the laminated MDF bed and nightstands
Hawkeye system nightstand in cast aluminum, laminated plywood and mahogany veneer with solid mahogany doors
Nick’s Trivet Table in mahogany with glass top and Rasamny Chair
Detail of Rasamny Chair in laminated oak and aluminum

Tayar’s office looks like a design laboratory with fittings, models and furniture prototypes that have been built for clients projects as well as a MOMA installation “Workspheres”.

Ali Tayar/Parallel Design offices
Drawings and prototypes by Ali Tayar

Thank you Ali for sharing your apartment and studio and continuing to inspire me and others with your architecture and design work!
For more information on Ali Tayar / Parallel Design go to www.alitayar.com

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