Google brings smart-home automation to New York’s Selene residences
Interior design group Frenchcalifornia looks to Google to unite uncompromising design with smart-home technology at Norman Foster’s 63-storey residential tower in New York
In the post-pandemic world, things have shifted. Many of us have reverted back to simpler pleasures and are appreciating time spent really enjoying ourselves in the day-to-day. With this refreshing period of change, environment plays a key role, not least our apartment interior design. In a considered offering of luxury and convenience, interior design group Frenchcalifornia has collaborated with Google to feature its Nest smart-home devices in a series of showcase apartment interiors at Selene, Foster + Partners’ 63-storey residential tower in New York.
The skyscraper, completed in 2018 and rebranded in 2022, shares a street with SOM’s 21-storey Lever House and Mies van der Rohe’s 38-storey Seagram Building, and is inspired by its flanking modernist architectural landmarks. The two 1950s structures display the clean and classic New York grid-like exterior that make up many of the buildings in the city, and Selene has introduced a 21st-century feature to the family of iconic buildings. The glass façade has a gently folded structure, providing floor-to-ceiling windows to each apartment and introducing the thoughtful tone of its interior.
Delving into the space inside exposes us to a subtle story of ease of use and pleasing visuals. Frenchcalifornia has designed three fully furnished residences within the building as model apartments. The team reached out to the likes of B&B Italia, Cassina and Flos to decorate the spaces, while Gaggenau appliances are integrated into the kitchens and Foster + Partners has designed bespoke bathroom vanities. The spaces are well-lit and softly toned; windows with views, mirrors and lighting help create a feeling of openness, and artwork and intriguing textures punctuate the rooms with comfort and character.
An additional layer of Frenchcalifornia’s treatment of the spaces is the subtle integration of Google’s Nest smart-home products; the minimalist design of each home device allows them to fit into the relaxed decor, while the Nest Hub serves as a control panel. Nest Audio speakers are fitted on each of the Wi-Fi routers and, 75 per cent louder than their predecessor, clearly distribute crisp sound. The Google devices span security, entertainment and connectivity, and incorporate gesture and voice control for ease of management.
Along with the impeccable individual apartment spaces and the suggested Google Nest smart-home set-up, the Selene residences propose a holistic approach to living. A wellness space includes a pool, a gym, a spa and a yoga studio, while there are also business suites, Le Jardinier restaurant, and the Atlas Club & Library. The location, meanwhile, provides proximity to the Museum of Modern Art, amongst other New York hotspots), and the experience of daily living is at the heart of the project’s design approach. Frenchcalifornia, Google’s home devices and Foster + Partners have brought together design, architecture and convenience in these desirable contemporary homes. §