Inside Charlap Hyman & Herrero’s Omnivorous Approach to Architecture

December 3rd, 2018


In this vein one can enter the heart of Charlap Hyman and Herrero’s practice, which runs on an empathetic ear and a wealth of research. Each project, each client, is treated as a script with its own sense of space and time. An encyclopedic, obsessive mood-boarding process congeals into a set of watercolors, renderings and other modeling methods, which are then presented and, pending approval, made real. “Over the course of months, we really get to know our clients,” Herrero explains. “We want to be involved in every aspect of the space,” Charlap Hyman chimes in. “The best kind of project would be one in which we’ve designed the building, the landscape, new furniture, found the antiques, commissioned artists to do the fabrics or the work on the walls.”

Nina Johnson can attest to the duo’s perspicacity when parsing a long-term vision. On the recommendation of Cooper Hewitt’s Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, the Miami-based gallerist hired the principals to turn a four-building compound in Little Haiti into a gallery with international reach. “One of the things that I think is really great about working with both of them is that Andre has a more calculated, logical, architectural view of things and Adam is more whimsical, historical and romantic,” Johnson says. “The balance of this works really well— particularly for an art gallery. They know how to design a contemporary space without making it feel completely cold and void of character.”

Conceived from day one as a multi-stepped procedure, the compound’s latest addition, two remaining buildings, will be unveiled during Art Basel Miami Beach with a trio of new exhibitions, including a show curated by Charlap Hyman. “I couldn’t think of a more appropriate person to activate the space,” Johnson says of the show, which will include her artists Ann Craven and Katie Stout as well as work by Nicola L. and Anne Libby.

Johnson is not the duo’s only art client. The firm launched with a commercial commission by Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn followed shortly thereafter by a call from Tina Kim. Katie Stout remembers assisting Charlap Hyman in these early days— fluffing pillows to make the space a little more polished. “They have an attention to detail I had never seen before at that scale,” Stout says of their process. “I’ve always found the sheer amount of research that goes into each project so impressive. It’s truly insane.” At the moment Stout was at work on a wicker cabinet with a lamp coming out of each side like horns—a custom piece for a private home.

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