THE GRADE TEAM | Thomas Hickey and Edward Yedid first met when Hickey was teaching a class at Parsons School of Design that Yedid was attending; together, they later founded their architecture and design firm, GRADE. The firm’s roster brims with high-end projects completed close to home and in far-flung places, and it even has its own sleek furniture line, made from materials such as leather, high-gloss lacquer and polished nickel.
Even before they founded the firm, Hickey worked as the in-house architect for Donna Karan, spearheading her much noticed retail boutique architecture and design worldwide.
“Our reputation is defined by spatial clarity and cutting-edge style, whether we’re working on buildings, restaurants, townhouses, apartments, retail space or furniture,” says Hickey.
After the design team of this sought-after SoHo architecture and design firm had already delivered on a perfect beach house interior for a couple in Miami, they were asked to start from scratch and rethink the pair’s space in a high-rise – their main residence – in the heart of pulsing Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Not only is the iconic city home to Brazil’s financial center, a stunning skyscape, and an arts and entertainment hub, but it’s also one of the most populated metropolises in the world. The task at hand, then, was to create a refuge from that fast pace, as well as make the most of the available footprint, capitalize on the view, and in a city as stylish as Sao Paulo, glam things up a bit.
SPECIAL REQUESTS | “Here, the husband-and-wife homeowners wanted a spacious, open-plan layout with a good amount of natural light, city views and soothing tones within a busy environment,” notes Yedid. “Given the downtown location, our goal was to create something different from a typical home in the area by incorporating an industrial-chic vibe with a feeling of calm.”
The team, whose home base is on Varick Street in SoHo, used the beauty of glass and concrete elements throughout the 6,430-square-foot residence, exposing the concrete ceilings to frame and open up the space over the living and dining rooms. In the master suite, they chose fabrics, such as chenille and suede, and inviting upholstered beds for a softer contrast.
“The furnishings are an eclectic mix of design styles and decades sourced across the globe, including antique chairs and dining room chandeliers, and we personally curated a collection of contemporary art to complement the home’s modern features,” notes Hickey.
“The owners wanted this loft-like space to feel very unique and stylish, with both the sensibility of New York and worldly taste,” adds Yedid. “They wanted it to feel rich in a more metropolitan way, which was vastly different from the beach house in Miami, and we have an innate desire for clean, timeless solutions. We always begin with a strong, holistic vision and an understanding of traditional values combined with modern needs.
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