FLAT FOR OLIVER STONE
Wednesday 02 Mar 2011
Oscar winning domicile
How could one not be somewhat intimidated working for a larger-than-life Oscar-winning director? Anyone who could envision the entire city of ancient Babylon and achieve it on screen, as Oliver Stone did in his epic film Alexander, would have high expectations. Luckily, Geoffrey Bradfield is gifted with a cinematic eye and rose to the occasion for the design of this Manhattan apartment. "Geoffrey is a man after my own heart" says Stone.
Being a movie director, the client is accustomed to having film sets constructed overnight, and struck down after filming. In a sense, he was expecting a similar schedule with this apartment.
Because so much of Bradfield's work is custom made and designed by his company, they had to explain that there were certain time frames involved. "Actually, I work best under a deadline and we pulled it off." Add to this the pressures of a West Coast-based client who was constantly travelling the world filming on location or promoting, it was no small feat. As Bradfield's associate Roric Tobin explains "We have a lot of clients who can't visualise what we're trying to do. But Oliver knew immediately. He got it."
Stone purchased the apartment whilst filming Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the sequel to the
iconic 1987 film about corporate greed. A native New Yorker who grew up on the East
River, he fell in love with this Hudson River setting. The idea was to create an environment not
unlike that of a state-room on a yacht. The views from the apartment [being a low floor] of the
river are spectacular and Bradfield wanted to take full advantage of these vistas. "I created deep
window seats in the open-plan living room and introduced subtle nautical elements [i.e. the area
rug I designed, and several of the textiles]."
For pure theatricality, four Hollywood style lamps anchor the corners of the living room. Stone
required a large table surface in this space, as he likes to spread out his editing materials whilst in
production. The dining table obviously serves a double function. The floors are deliberately
stained in a red cherry finish not unlike the decks of a yacht.
Stepping over the threshold, the interior registers immediately as the home of a movie mogul.
Bradfield requested movie posters of his roster of acclaimed films and used them liberally in the
space. The client loves colour, in particular blue and red, which were chosen to accent.
It was Billy Haines, who knew more than any other decorator about working for Hollywood's big
personalities, who said, "You can gussy-up and hide behind veils and ruffles and suedes, but
when you get down to simplicity, the truth comes out. You had better know what you are
doing." It is obvious that Bradfield can edit and set a studio stage with paramount conviction.