Sasha Bikoff’s creative launching pad is more plotline than mood board. “I’m driven by narrative,” shares the New York-based designer. “I love the drama and storytelling behind design and tend to approach all my projects like going on a journey.”
This particular journey began the first time Bikoff entered the apartment her clients had purchased in the then-newly constructed, Zaha Hadid-designed building overlooking the High Line. The Iraqi-British architect’s signature curves and unconventional, contemporary flourishes were fueled the designer’s theatrical approach. “It’s a very eccentric, out-there building unlike anything else in Manhattan,” she says. “The immediate story that came to mind was that we were in outer space, and I began to imagine what kinds of shapes and textures might exist if we lived on Mars, in the future.”
The homeowners—who are “very fashion-forward, bold and risk-taking people,” notes Bikoff—proved a perfect match for her flights of fancy. The wife, according to the designer, loves to make a statement “from her shoes to her interiors,” and her husband likewise “sees the joy and beauty that goes along with making a splash.” Both enthusiastically embraced a space odyssey vision, giving her full leeway in responding to Hadid’s otherworldly architecture. “This was the best kind of project—a blank slate in a beautiful, new building with no construction worries,” notes Bikoff. “I was able to fast-forward to the fun stuff.”
Fun stuff commences in the foyer, where the designer evoked a sense of sky with blue metallic wallpaper that shimmers toward silver, “as if you’re entering Earth’s atmosphere and looking down,” she explains. Leading off the entry, the classic gray and silver palette of the open living-dining area lends “an icy cold, man-on-the moon effect,” grounded by an enormous Disco Dots carpet (inspired by Pierre Cardin and other titans of Space Age style) from Bikoff’s rug collection. Furniture throughout is collectible design, from Francesco Binfaré’s lunar landscape-like On the Rocks sofa to the Campana Brothers’ rope Vermelha chairs.
Galactic tropes continue in the dining zone as well, with its charred-edge table and oxblood red velvet chairs, or “puffy marshmallow UFOs,” as the designer puts it. In the as-delivered kitchen, she ornamented Hadid’s molten cabinetry concept with a constellation-like fixture over the island, extending a sense of sculptural simplicity to the adjacent breakfast nook. There, a circular table surrounded by translucent resin chairs mirrors an enormous window. “It is such a unique architectural element, so we wanted to keep the space airy and not detract from the views,” Bikoff recalls. Adding an earthly element to the milieu, a rug composed of overlapping hides provides a cozy underlay.
Arguably, the designer’s out-of-this-world narrative reaches its fever pitch in the private spaces, where bold details are made soothing thanks to her precise attention to contour, texture and scale. The primary bedroom is a galaxy unto itself, with a deep-toned wallpaper “that really does look like you’re on Mars—maybe even Mars on fire,” she says. Bronze-and-walnut side nightstands topped with smoked quartz lamps and a high-gloss caramel ceiling treatment keep the planetary bedroom vibe cozy—like you’re sleeping in a swanky Martian cave, Bikoff posits.
Enveloped in a glossy gumball lacquer, the guest room is admittedly her favorite. “It reminds me of a futuristic J. Lo in her pink Juicy Couture sweatsuit,” says the designer, pointing to the fuzzy bed (“the cutest monster ever,” she quips), dressed in perfectly rumpled silk sheets. A host of playful lighting fixtures reflect off the rock candy walls and crackled mirror nightstands, underscoring the peacefully prismatic spirit that distinguishes the residence in full.
Hadid passed away unexpectedly during the construction of the iconic building, making the opportunity to add her own storyline to the architect’s oeuvre even more meaningful for Bikoff. “Zaha has been such a huge inspiration to me. She created an elegance and lightness that are contemporary without being cold,” says the designer. “I felt a real connection to that, and it made this project so exciting.”