We visit Malin + Goetz founders’ balanced Upper West Side apartment

Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz, the founding partners of beauty brand Malin + Goetz, are the owners of this New York apartment crafted by architecture firm Messana O’Rorke (MO’R), and featured in the studio's latest monograph, Building Blocks

Seating area in large white room
(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson)

A balanced, contemporary Upper West Side apartment designed by Messana O’Rorke (MO’R) is one of the several projects by the New York architecture firm featured in a new Rizzoli monograph entitled Building Blocks, and out this month. The space, conceived especially for luxury skincare and fragrance brand Malin + Goetz founders Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz, blends the practice's knack for modern minimalist architecture, New York history, and its owners' distinctive aesthetic and needs and the resulting apartment interior blends past and present, simplicity and refined decor. 

The apartment is located in an existing block of flats, which MO’R meticulously redesigned. Past and present meet in a new floor in a reclaimed oak herringbone pattern, restored plaster relief moulding, and preserved original windows, creating links between this fresh take and the building's heritage. Meanwhile, modernist furniture finds alongside new, bespoke pieces, such as sleek, built-in storage, highlight the owners' contemporary identity. 

Blue corner sofa

(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson)

Following the wellness-orientated Malin + Goetz ethos, the Upper West Side apartment's bathroom areas were a focal point for the design. In line with the brand's modern apothecary approach, these spaces were composed using clean, minimalist blocks of Carrara marble, a grey-tinted mirror, and bath fixtures and hardware of unlacquered brass. A slender floor-to-ceiling cabinet offers plenty of storage space. 

‘Much like the Malin + Goetz boutiques that we’ve designed, in which a single vintage display element subtly offsets the taut architectural envelope, the furnishings and interior appointments here bridge the traditional and the modern. This is a home that finds beauty and luxury in simplicity, a place at peace with both history and the here and now,' the architects said. 

Wooden table & chairs

(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson)

Architects Brian Messana and Toby O’Rorke recently celebrated their studio's 25th anniversary, which the monograph marks by taking the reader through a journey across 25 of the practice's projects – ranging from housing to commercial and conceptual work. The book includes a foreword by architect Thomas Phifer, and immaculate photography by Stephen Kent Johnson. 'Minimalism is not the solution. It is the guise under which complexity is best hidden,' the partners write. 

White marble bathroom

(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson)

Large wooden dresser next to bathroom

(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson)

White marble bathroom sink

(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson)

Gold shower with white marble walls

(Image credit: Stephen Kent Johnson)

INFORMATION

messanaororke.com (opens in new tab)

malinandgoetz.co.uk (opens in new tab)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).

With contributions from