Room with a view
We were talking last week to Horst Rechelbacher, the founder of Aveda, about the $4.3m penthouse apartment he just bought at his One Fifth Avenue co-op.
“The view here is Heaven,” exclaimed Mr. Rechelbacher, referring to his wrap-around porch. “Heaven on Earth with a view.”
“It’s 360,” he continued. ” I see New York from all points of view. I’m not looking at buildings, I’m looking over them.”
Now, Mr. Rechelbacher, who already owns the apartment next door, will have the top floor all to himself.
“I’m just going to take the wall out and combine them,” he said. What will it look like? “Well, I mean. It will look cool. It’s going to look cool. I’m using pretty much all recycled furniture–antiques. And it’s going to be Jugendstil, which is Austrian. I’m going to do the apartment very Austrian.”
He will also do it very sustainable: everything will be recycled– including bamboo floors, bathroom glass, and tile. And, of course, the paint will be non-toxic.
As for that Austrian art deco furniture: “I use Josef Hoffman, he’s my favorite Jugendstil designer. He has clean, simplistic design: it’s very modern, very timeless. Doesn’t have any frills.”
Mr. Rechelbacher says he will probably have some Egon Schiele (“to match the Jugendstil”), plus photography by Richard Avedon and Horst P. Horst– whom Mr. Rechelbacher assisted with hair and makeup before founding Aveda in 1978. In 1997, Mr. Recehelbacher sold Aveda to Estee Lauder for $300 million cash. He has since founded Intelligent Nutrients.
Even with a full-floor, Fifth Ave. aerie, Mr. Rechelbacher isn’t going to be a homebody.
About twice a month he’ll stay at One Fifth Avenue–where last year Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard, plus Blyth Danner Paltrow, bought apartments. Mr. Rechelbacher spends most of his time at a 570-acre organic farm in Osceola, Wisconsin.
Might he consider selling his new and improved penthouse co-op?
“Oh, no, no, no, no,” he said. “This is my apartment. It’s my studio!” (He’s an artist on the side).
“I’ve been using it for my art and for my hotel,” he continued. ” I don’t have to rent a room now.”
- Max Abelson