67 Gansevoort known to most NYC shoppers as Trina Turk’s retail shop in the meatpacking district has a lot more going on than high end fashion for the young and trendy. In fact, the building is owned by Anne Fairfax and Richard Sammons of Fairfax & Sammons Architecture — and you would never know they were there unless you happened to be one of their lucky clients like Liv Tyler or Sarah Jessica Parker… or you stopped by for a quick (which turned into a lovely meeting and long conversation) Q&A.
Fairfax & Sammons office on Gansevoort Street
The other day I had the privilege of meeting Anne Fairfax of Fairfax & Sammons. As I walked up the stairs to their offices, I noticed the Dash & Albert striped runner which coordinated perfectly with the deep and glossy burgundy walls and the strong black and whites on the stair railing. I was immediately drawn to the space and knew I was going to like this firm from the get-go. My only thought was: what does the office in Palm Beach look like? As a decorator you begin to notice everything (good or bad) everywhere you go and your mind tends to wander with fabric names and numbers popping in your head as if you have some sort of beautiful mind that stores endless information. I think I blurted out “Schumacher Summer Fret” (which is also on a feature wall in their office) at one point which may or may not have startled them.
Notice the Schumacher ‘Summer Fret’ on the wall!
As we sat down in a quaint conference room that was more like a library filled with books from floor to ceiling we started to discuss Fairfax & Sammons, which since its launch in 1992, had come a long way. I learned about the successes of this lovely couple, while browsing through gorgeous projects in their book ‘American Houses’ which captures 24 beautifully renovated houses and apartments located in CT, NY, VA and FL. I felt very much at home and comfortable with Anne and her assistant Karin and thought how fortunate her clients were to have been able to work with her. I found Anne to be extremely personable, knowledgeable and might I add, modest. It was clear, as we flipped through her book and browsed the various projects, that proportion, detail and space were extremely important to them. I wanted to leap into the pages and take a tour of each and every house. Since that wasn’t possible, we carried on with the details of the firm.
When did you open your firm and how did you get started:
We opened it in 1992 and started with one small project from our office on Horatio Street in Greenwich Village. It was a nice start but our second job was the project that really launched us. It was a two story Library in Greenwich Village that we were fortunate enough to get through Richard’s previous employer, famed decorator David Easton.
Library on Central Park West
What type of residential architecture do you specialize in?
We are traditional architects who believe in Regionalism. We pride ourselves on our detailed and diverse work that shows variety and precise geometry. In fact we’ve torn down houses and started from scratch because the proportions were all wrong.
Gothic Revival Restoration in Bedford, NY
Do you have specific decorators and designers that you work with and recommend to your clients:
We have over twenty decorators that we’ve worked with in the past but some of my favorites are Alex Papachristidis, Mlinaric, Henry & Zervudachi, David Easton, Diana Beattie, Leta Austin Foster and Steven Gambrel to name a few. Tom Scheerer and Sandra Nunnerley are on my wish list
Central Park West Apartment decorated by Alex Papachristidis
What is one of your favorite projects to date:
Let me tell which houses I’d move into if I could! A Georgian style villa in Litchfield, CT would be my country house and a house we did in Sneden’s Landing which is a cozy get away close to the city. (both projects can be seen in their book ‘American Houses’)
A country house in Sneden’s Landing, NY
Outside of Architecture what are some of your favorite things to do:
We like to sail and have a boat that we keep on the other side of the Hudson in NJ which is easy to get to on the PATH. Other than that, we travel A LOT. Mostly for business but we’d like to travel more for pleasure one of these days
Is there anything else you’d like to mention/want our readers and potential clients to know:
In addition to our architecture firm we started the Institute of Classical Architecture in 1992 which has become a strong force in the design world. Each year they give out rewards to Architects, Artisans, Landscape Architects, Designers and people in the industry who otherwise might not get exposure and recognition. We also started the Grand Central Academy of Art which offers classical training to serious students.
Anne Fairfax and Richard Sammons
Anne and Richard are extremely accomplished and talented architects who are able to design buildings that look and feel as though they’ve always been there. They work on projects all over the world and can offer their clients a classic, timeless and beautiful design. If you have a project and you’re searching for a highly gifted architect I recommend that you contact Fairfax & Sammons. Please visit their website for more information and pick up a copy of ‘American Houses’ to see their work up close and personal.
Before photo of their home on West 4th Street
Thanks again for meeting with me, Anne and Karin. I look forward to seeing your future projects which I know will be nothing less than beautiful!