Apartement LT

  • Glenn Sestig
  • Titanium travertine
  • Pierre du Louvre
The Haus der Künst in Munich, the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome and Munich's Tempelhof Flughafen: these three buildings are from the inter-war period with monumental airs. Unfortunately, having been commissioned by fascists, they leave a bad taste in your mouth. But look at them objectively, from a purely architectural perspective, and what you see is elegant volumes, rigid sight lines, rhythmic colonnades and classic arches, all tightly directed.

The director here is Belgian architect Glenn Sestig. His actors are the Belgian–Venezuelan couple Luc Tuymans and Carla Arocha. Their duplex penthouse is dominated by axes of symmetry, columns, and arcades. All elements from the neo-classical architecture of the thirties. As are the materials used: pierre du Louvre, Rosso Rubino marble, and travertine. Like Albert Speer and Paul Ludwig Troost before him, Sestig used these materials in the form of monumental planes or blocks.

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For instance, the fireplace, conceived as one huge travertine wall, or the staircase, an Adolf Loos-style marble monolith edged with a sturdy satin-lacquered parapet.

Sestig’s architecture, while stern, is not dictatorial. He offsets the different tones of grey in Tuymans’ paintings with warm interior details in walnut and alabaster. These are the kind of glamorous contrasts that make this penthouse a liveable total artwork.

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