Imagine. Just as the architect charged with renovating this building in Lower Manhattan was wrapping up the final construction drawings, the structure was landmarked. “It happened over a weekend,” says Jean-Gabriel Neukomm, “but we pivoted. We retooled an entire 100-page document in three weeks. We weren’t going to lose a beat, and we still finished on time and on budget. It was mind-boggling!”
Client Yana Peel took the complication in stride and showed total trust in her team, which also included AD100 designer Francis Sultana, a longtime friend. Equanimity in the face of shifting priorities seems to come naturally to her. As the global head of arts and culture at Chanel, Peel is committed to amplifying platforms for talent, whatever the form, wherever she finds it. Before taking on her current role, she served as CEO of The Serpentine Galleries in London and was a cofounder of Outset Contemporary Art Fund, which is dedicated to pioneering new philanthropic initiatives in support of the arts. She is also a member of the international councils of London’s Tate galleries, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and American Ballet Theatre in New York
City, among many other accomplishments.
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, and educated at Montreal’s McGill University and the London School of Economics, Peel is a true citizen of the world. She stayed on in the UK, then spent seven years in Hong Kong, eventually returning to London, where she still maintains a residence. But frequent long-term stays in the US over the years hatched a long-standing desire to find a place where she and her family could hang their hats in New York City. When they moved in last year after a nearly three-year renovation process, that mission was finally accomplished.
Peel wanted something with a downtown vibe within walking distance of the Whitney and the New Museum. Good coffee and access to athletic outlets was also important. The family of four loves cycling and running along the West Side Highway, and gallery hopping in Chelsea. For this space, the brief was to create something urban, sexy, arty, and design focused, but always keeping the entire family in mind.