Driving across the East End, it is easy to take its sea of immaculate homes for granted. But what does it actually take to create one of these beautifully integrated homes, from the inside out?
Interior designer Kelly Behun, landscape architect Edmund Hollander and architect James Merrell know firsthand. On Friday, August 23, the three powerhouses of style and design will pull back the curtain at the Southampton Arts Center and discuss how they merge their design aesthetics, integrate important art collections into the design scheme, and create a unified realization of the hopes and dreams of the most important member of the team: the client.
“We are thrilled to host such an esteemed panel of design experts at SAC,” Artistic Director Amy Kirwin said in a press release. “All three have made such a significant impact on the look and feel of the East End and we are looking forward to allowing the public to hear all about their collaborative process.”
Ms. Behun gained her interior design training on the job as a member of Ian Schrager Hotels’ in-house Design Studio, where she worked under architect Anda Andrei and alongside renowned designers Andree Putman and Philippe Starck.
While there, she was an integral member of the design team that created a number of their most iconic properties, including the Delano in Miami, Mondrian in Los Angeles, and Royalton, Paramount, Morgans and Hudson hotels in New York. She later opened kellybehun|STUDIO, which became known for its comprehensive and highly bespoke approach to interior design projects, and its exclusive line of furniture and home accessories.
Mr. Hollander approaches landscape architecture from a holistic standpoint. “The three ecologies essential to a timeless project,” he said, “are the architectural ecology of the buildings, the natural ecology of the vernacular landscape, and the human ecology of how the clients will inhabit the landscapes we create.”
His award-winning firm is the mastermind behind a 61,000-square-foot, green-roof memorial, as part of architect Steven Holl’s expansion of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the nation’s capital. That ongoing commission is an especially prominent feather in his cap, which includes private landscapes for titans such as theater scion Jonathan M. Tisch, real estate magnate William C. Rudin, and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.
Mr. Merrell came to architecture by way of art and the history of ideas, rather than engineering and design. Over the last 30 years, he has designed an impressive collection of decidedly architectural, vibrant and beautifully appointed residences from the firm’s home base in Sag Harbor.
The discussion, moderated by Cristina Cuomo, will begin at 12 p.m. at the Southampton venue, located at 25 Jobs Lane. Admission is $15 and $10 for Friends of SAC. For information, call 631-283-0967 or visit southamptonartscenter.org.