When Jaf Glazer first received the call about a vacant, unfinished unit in 63 Greene Street, he immediately jumped at the off-market deal. “The idea was to take this amazing space with 18-foot-high ceilings and keep the light in the air and make it an elegant loft in one of the best buildings in Soho,” he explained. The six-story condo was already impressive enough to attract celebrities such as Zayn Malik and Bella Hadid, but Glazer signed on to become board president in order to make it even better. “The changeover of an iconic building from the developer to a board is not an easy task,” he said. “You need to focus on what’s important and impactful to the residents, and figure out how to improve what the developer hands you.”
Glazer grew up in Soho before it became the ritzy, iconic neighborhood it is today. His parents were both artists, and he attributes his interest in architecture and design to them. “I started observing materials and forms at a young age,” said Glazer. He describes the metal curves of the Guggenheim Museum building in Bilbao and the daring designs of architect Zaha Hadid with an almost rhapsodic reverence. That early education fostered an almost instinctual understanding of taste that informs every piece of design-related advice he offers his advisory firms clients.
Glazer also takes any chance he can get to visit exhibitions featuring young, emerging artists who demonstrate a more experimental type of creativity. Following them prevents him from falling into the trap of playing it safe. “When you go middle-of-the-road, you can be everything to everyone, but at the same time, you may suffer by not getting a premium for a design,” said Glazer. “People pay for extraordinary.”
Arguably the most eye-catching feature of his loft is a slab of dark-gray marble that stands in as a modern interpretation of a mantle — a built-in gas fireplace sits beneath a TV screen that fits so cleanly that you might miss it when it’s not turned on. The slab reaches from the floor and appears to move past the ceiling and into a linear recessed light. Glazer used another piece of marble as a divider in the bathroom so that the design scheme echoes throughout the apartment. The wide, white hexagonal tiles and gold fixtures create the sensation of brightness and prevent the dark wall from swallowing the room.
Technology and design which has always played a large role in various startups Glazer has invested in also helped him with design decisions. Following Eyebeam and other tech driven art initiatives he was inspired to build a huge liquid crystal glass wall dividing the master bedroom and the living room. Closing the glass doors trigger an electric contact switch which completely turns the wall opaque.
Glazer recognizes that the line between avant-garde and tacky can sometimes be a bit blurry, so he always reverts back to the elegance of more traditional styles. Glazer travels all over the world checking out a chateaux in Bordeaux, locating the most celebrated Nordic design stores in Sweden and Denmark, chatting with the fashion families in Milan, and browsing through the handmade furniture masterpieces of local artisans in Bali. His dining room table is actually a custom piece he had built in Indonesia — with fissures of gold inlay garnishing a black countertop and bulbous, light-brown legs it embodies all of the key elements of the apartment.
With Roman columns accentuating the height of the ceilings, the vibrant dynamic of dark cabinetry and sand-colored floors, and a carefully curated collection of sophisticated furnishings, the loft certainly lives up to Glazer’s expectation. It exists not only as a beautiful home but also as a testament to Glazer’s high-brow tastes and intuitive design skills.
Photography by: Jaf Glazer