Axel Vervoordt is an iconic and internationally acclaimed interior designer, furniture designer and art & antiques collector, well-known for the incredible respect and distinctive use, throughout all his work, of the Japanese movement, wabi sabi.
A Japanese phrase derived from two distinct roots – ‘wabi’ means simplicity while ‘sabi’ refers to the on-going movement of time. Wabi-sabi is therefore a philosophy that celebrates the beauty found in imperfection, an aesthetic concept that transcends conventional design movements.
Quiet and slow, it observes cracks, ageing and above all, authenticity; an attitude that iconic Belgium interior designer, Axel Vervoordt has adhered to all his life.
“I find the spirit of things much more important than the look of things – I really don’t mind if things are ugly. They have their own beauty, if only one looks hard enough.” – Axel Vervoordt
An interior designer of incredible eye and influence, Axel Vervoordt has been inspired by the essence of wabi sabi since a boy.
Believing that everything needs a deep human reason, his focus upon authenticity and history is never swayed by the decorative or purely superficial, and his interior designs and enigmatic touch have grown his name and business into a design empire.
From private clients, to thought-provoking exhibitions like 2015’s Proportio, to the interior design of his own home - a moated Belgian castle, to the bespoke wabi-sabi penthouse in New York’s infamous The Greenwich Hotel, Axel Vervoordt is undoubtedly a design giant like no other.
The three-bedroom penthouse sitting atop The Greenwich Hotel in New York is an oasis of tranquillity, understatement and humility; an incredible architectural and design feat considering its position, floating amid a city that knows little of this.
Captivating in its intelligent simplicity and architectural intent, The Greenwich Hotel's Shibui spa is no different, housed within a 250-year-old Japanese barn shipped over from Japan and put up without the use of one screw or nail.
Adhering to the essence of wabi sabi itself, the creation of this New York penthouse and hotel spa took a long, long time; but afforded it by co-owners Robert De Niro and Ira Drukier, it is self evident that each element, every design detail and architectural angle, each crack, was well worth the wait.
For more on interior design have a peek in our TRAVEL JOURNAL at our piece on fellow interior designer Ilse Crawford's work at Ett Hem, and interior design company Household's work on the Lake District's latest hotel, Another Place, The Lake.
Or for city design guides have a look at these under the radar design spots in: Lisbon, Paris, New York, Barcelona, Stockholm, Zurich and Vienna.
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