Ries Hayes Expands Its Offerings With This Striking Office
Thad Hayes has been in the business for decades. But Ries Hayes was only just founded in 2021 by him and coprincipal David Ries—and is already making a name for itself with apartments in New York and seaside homes along the Massachusetts coast. Thanks to a referral from an architect on a project in the latter category, the fledgling studio is now bringing its functional, timeless appeal to the commercial sector, starting with a 7,500-square-foot workplace in Manhattan for Valar Ventures. “They came to us because they didn’t want a typical office rollout,” Ries says of the venture capital company cofounders, who also share a mutual affinity for mid-century Scandinavian furniture.
For Valar Ventures, Modern Danish-Meets-Bauhaus Design
Before selecting furnishings, however, Ries and studio director Emily Meroney embarked upon a gut renovation, reorganizing the floor-through space to mimic the city grid. Fluted oak partitions such zones as reception, which feels more salon than workplace, while drywall and glass-and-steel storefront systems delineate offices, meeting and conference rooms, and a flex space referred to as the den. In keeping with a modern Danish-meets-Bauhaus aesthetic—“Given the New York location, nodding to the industrial movement felt appropriate,” Ries notes—leather joins wood and metal in the material palette: It wraps four structural columns, upholsters much of the seating, including Mario Bellini chairs and a Sergio Rodrigues sofa, and panels an entire wall in a founder’s office. Other office walls, by the way, are faced in dove-gray linen tweed, a solution that brings improved acoustics and a residential note.
But it’s probably the expert curation of the furnishings throughout that brings the project, well, home. Nearly every item is vintage, sourced from European dealers, local galleries, or, in a pinch, online. One founder’s office, for instance, centers on a table with a sculptural swirled-wood base, a rare 1960’s piece by Philip LaVerne; the other’s has a pair of blue swivel chairs Gardner Leaver designed for Steelcase in the ’70’s, while reception hosts a set of streamlined lounges Ico Parisi did for Cassina in the ’50’s. Overhead, in most spaces, Ries and Meroney hung quadrants of newly reissued, late ’60’s Danish pendant fixtures, creating rhythm and continuity. Underfoot, ’50’s Swedish and antique Persian rugs recall manifold centuries, their vibrant hues corresponding with the contemporary artworks, from the clients’ own collections, adorning walls.
“We’re not looking at trends,” Ries adds. “Our spaces are familiar yet current.” That explains an office’s very today Naoto Fukasawa chair paired with a playful, interactive room divider by the Keno brothers.
Walk Through the Valar Ventures Office in Manhattan
project sources from front
through sputnik modern: blue chairs (reception).
through carpenters workshop gallery: coffee table.
through 1stdibs: coffee table (office 1), desk, red chairs (reception), coffee table (partner office 2), sofa, coffee table (den).
arte: leather wallcovering (partner office 1).
through lobel modern: coffee table.
through doris leslie blau: rug.
through studio schalling: sofa, chairs (partner office 1), table (meeting room). through the gallery at 200 lex: floor lamp, white side table (partner office 1), sofa (meeting room).
through converso modern: desk chair (reception).
holly hunt: column leather.
b&b italia: swivel chair (office 2).
through chairish: screen.
through wyeth: sofa (partner office 2).
through almond & co.: chairs.
through nazmiyal antique rugs: rug.
through donzella: chairs (meeting room).
project sources throughout
phillip jeffries: wallcovering.
fj hakimian: swedish rugs.
carl hansen & søn: pendant fixtures.
benjamin moore & co.: paint.
patino architecture: architect of record.
fischer furniture: millwork.
jrm construction: general contractor.
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