New York, NY
Noam Dvir and Daniel Rauchwerger
They may be architects now, but it was journalism that originally brought Noam Dvir and Daniel Rauchwerger together. The couple met and fell in love while working on the same newspaper in Tel Aviv, where Noam was architecture correspondent and Daniel on the arts desk. However, changes in the industry were afoot. ‘I wrote about architecture as though it was hard news essentially,’ explains Noam. ‘I saw the way journalism was evolving and I thought that the kind of writing that I liked was slowly fading.’ Practicing architecture seemed the obvious next step.
The pair moved to Harvard Graduate School of Design in the US, where they both got Masters degrees – Noam in urban design and Daniel in design studies.
Subsequently, they relocated to New York and were hired as a couple – or ‘a package deal’ – by OMA. However, it was immediately clear they were destined to do their own thing and the duo recently celebrated the third anniversary of their practice BoND Architecture.
They moved into their current apartment in NYC, on the parlor floor of a 1856 Chelsea townhouse, in 2020. The space proved to be something of a blank canvas, as all the original mouldings and fittings had been ripped out some 30 years earlier. ‘When we bought the apartment it was empty,’ says Rauchwerger. ‘There was no character to it. It was in very bad shape, so we had to re-do everything.’
‘When we bought the apartment it was empty. There was no character to it. It was in very bad shape, so we had to re-do everything.’
— Daniel Rauchwerger
‘Our notion was to reinvent the idea of a drawing room,’ says Noam, which they did by bringing in tra-ditional elements but within a contemporary language, such as the fireplace with a marble surround. ‘There’s an arched library, for instance, but the details are completely contemporary,’ he adds. Global events played a key role in their thinking. As they arrived the pandemic was spreading across the world and lockdowns were put in place. ‘We didn’t know if we would ever go back to the office or how soon that would be,’ says Daniel. ‘What we loved about this space was that we could create a few different corners. So, we could be in the same room but doing separate things and not always on top of each other.’
Quite deliberately there isn’t a single tone or style to their furniture choices. But USM plays a key role in the interior. The couple originally encountered the brand in Israel and have specified it for a number of projects, most notably in the interiors of Axpo Holding’s New York headquarters. ‘It goes so well with our design aesthetic, which is fresh and very contemporary, as well as colorful and playful. It’s a match,’ says Noam.
‘It goes so well with our design aesthetic, which is fresh and very contemporary, as well as colorful and playful. It’s a match’
— Noam Dvir
In their bedroom a large USM cabinet is used to store clothes and shoes. It also acts as a room divider, while a drop-down door also functions as a desk and they would often take work calls there during the pandemic. They also specified USM for their bedside tables and purchased a mobile pedestal for a work nook. But, arguably, the most intriguing piece is the custom designed USM cof-fee table in the living room which was inspired by Jacob’s Garden, a connecting structure between the National Theatre and the Philharmonic Orchestra Hall, or Heichal Hatarbut, in Tel Aviv that is fundamentally a grid with different levels.
‘We try to make every project and piece of furniture unique rather than stick to one strict style’ concludes Noam. ‘Even within the same apartment, each USM piece is distinct and contextual’