Stephan Weishaupt, founder of Canadian furniture brand Avenue Road, has a knack for juxtaposing emerging and established talent in ways that create a collective allure. His discerning eye takes centre stage in his latest project, Avenue Road 8A, designed in collaboration with the firm, C McKeough Unltd.
Situated above the brand’s New York showroom in Manhattan’s Flower District, it’s a concept space that feels and functions like a home — outfitted with objects from Avenue Road’s portfolio so visitors can see them in action. ‘We wanted to create a special environment that caters to people on a completely different level,’ Weishaupt says.
In addition to hosting events and installations, the by-appointment-only space provides a more personal, private mode of engaging with the objects on view, inspiring ideas for how to make them your own.
The eclectic, sophisticated spirit of 8A (named for its location, on the eighth floor) fills the 5,000 sq ft space. A dazzling kitchen, designed by Bruno Moinard for Obumex, greets visitors upon arrival. Its pink-and-black aesthetic is created by bold copper details, which contrast with brushed oak in dark and light finishes.
A fluorescent Plexiglass work by Regine Schumann
Self-taught French designer Christophe Delcourt created the space’s sprawling dining table, supported by tree branch-like legs. A Richard Serra painting, from Weishaupt’s personal collection, hangs nearby, as do pieces by German artist Regine Schumann, who forms minimal, geometric objects from fluorescent Plexiglass.
A glass door – textured on one side, smooth on the other – by Piero Lissoni for Glas Italia reveals a hallway, which leads to the bedroom and two well-appointed bathrooms. Tableware, designed by Michaël Verheyden using noble materials like marble and brass, line a shelving system in the dressing room.
The back of the space, a generous salon, holds two sofas: one, by Christophe Delcourt, features modules that connect via magnets; the other, by Yabu Pushelberg, was one of the first pieces Avenue Road opened with more than a decade ago.
As in any great New York apartment, the objects in 8A will stay put for awhile — unlike the furniture in the downstairs showroom, where pieces rotate constantly. Weishaupt opened the latter in 2012, five years after launching the company in Toronto; a showroom in Vancouver is slated for completion later this year. Weishaupt, who was born in Munich to design-loving parents, worked in marketing at BMW before starting Avenue Road.
Today, he acts as its main curator, seeking out objects characterised by top-tier craftsmanship and ingenuity in form and materials. For him, building deep, authentic relationships with clients and designers is paramount (and one of his favourite parts about the job).
‘Ten years ago, I didn’t know what this would morph into – I just wanted to show things that are beautiful and unique,’ Weishaupt says. ‘Now my vision is so much clearer. I hope this new space reflects how far we’ve come.’