BRINGING SOUL INTO SPACE
Cast Iron House Interiors by Brad Ford
Cast Iron House at 67 Franklin Street in New York City was built in 1881 by James White. It’s one of New York’s most notable cast iron buildings, an architectural style that immediately elicits 19th Century New York design. The building features an astonishing neoclassical façade, rising six stories over which the intricate ornamentation shifts subtly from one floor to the next.
In 2014, Japanese master architect Shigeru Ban oversaw a complete renovation of the building in which he preserved and restored these historic details whilst modernizing the interior volumes and adding two glass and steel penthouse units that offer the finest in contemporary luxury living.
Ban later said of the penthouses: “I wanted to articulate it as totally different from the existing building.” Indeed, constructed with a restrained and minimalist aesthetic using steel and glass, the penthouses seem to hover above the building itself. Both these units feature long, telescoping walls that allow the interior and exterior spaces to flow together, further adding to their sense of airy volume and light from which to enjoy views of the historic neighborhood of TriBeCa.
To dive deeper into the significance of these homes, we caught up with Brad Ford, the interior designer who finished the model apartment for this remarkable building. Ford’s visionary work perfectly compliments Shigeru Ban’s modern aesthetic and his appreciation for traditional arts and crafts.
Ford arrived in New York from his hometown of Russellville, Arkansas to begin his design career with studies at FIT. “I was pretty nervous moving from Arkansas to New York,” Ford admits. “Then I got here and literally within the first couple of hours I thought to myself: ‘Okay, this isn’t that bad. I can figure this out.’”
We’re living in a culture of instant gratification…But sacrificing time often requires sacrificing value and quality. People are realizing this and looking for something more lasting…. people have started to value experience over possessions.
Through his own studio, Brad Ford Interior Design, Ford has orchestrated countless top-tier interior projects and earned numerous professional awards for his leadership in the design community. In extension to his design practice, Ford also runs his Manhattan showroom, FAIR, and Field + Supply, an upscale modern makers fair in Stone Ridge, New York.
Ford’s aesthetic shows his commitment to both minimalism and the contemporary craft movement. We asked him how these ideas guide his design philosophy. “We’re living in a culture of instant gratification, from ordering lunch to ordering a piece of furniture, people want things ‘now’. But sacrificing time often requires sacrificing value and quality. People are realizing this and looking for something more lasting. I also believe people have started to value experience over possessions.”