Vincente Wolf, Interior Designer: “you’re living in a garden and not in an apartment building on the street.”
His signature style is known all over the world and his company has been at the top of the Manhattan design industry for over 35 years. Vincente Wolf’s most recent challenge has been Tbilisi Gardens. What New York state of interior design looks like? The Cuban-American interior designer, whose advice are featured in leading shelter and lifestyle publications worldwide, has all the answers.
- Tbilisi Gardens, according to the project developer Quadrum Global, is the first skyscraper in Tbilisi which fully complies with New York standards. Could you please define concrete criteria that makes Tbilisi Gardens the only New York standard skyscraper in Georgia?
It’s about a sense of balance, a sense of detail. It’s not just how spaces are laid out, it’s how you feel. Tbilisi Gardens is a space where everything fits in a right way. That to me is a New York Space. This project is tailored for Georgian people. If you look at the color and the elements, they are natural but outside the things that are ethnic of Georgia. That’s what I’ve tried to do, I’ve tried to create New York space for Tbilisi, which is Georgian.
There are seven types of apartments at Tbilisi Gardens.The differences are about size, how they function and what possibilities consumers have. There are countries where people like to be told what to do. I don’t think that’s the case here. We took that into account when we were creating the environment. I think it’s important to give flexibility. Georgians like that.
- What attracted you about Tbilisi Gardens?
I came to see first and I saw what was being built and I knew what I would do would take it to another place. I did not need to be convinced. Being here, meeting the people and seeing what level of construction was being done made me feel that I could do so much better. It was exciting to know that I could make a difference.
- What’s the very first step to take while starting an interior design project?
Pencil, paper and then I start. Every project has its boundaries. So, the first thing is to know what your boundaries are and then start from there. The first thing I did was to come and see the site. I talked to the sales people, I talked to the people who lived here, I saw what was being built. I also observed how Georgians dress, how they drive, do they walk a lot? All these things are starting to form a profile of the space. Once you have that, then you start to design the project. Casual, family, simple way of living - that’s good for me because what I design is simple. People love nature here and family is very important. So, I created spaces where families could gather and live well.
From a decorative point of view, the less you keep the better. I look at designing like cooking. Do you want to throw everything into a pot? That’s not always going to make the best dish. You need flavor and the rest is the background for what’s happening. You have to keep it simple.
- Tbilisi Gardens - the name itself says the project sees nature and ecology as a main priority. Quadrum Global has invested USD 2 million in the Tbilisi Gardens park. How do you see this green direction as a part of interior design?
In Tbilisi Gardens, every detail has to do with nature. The message here is that you’re living in a garden and not in an apartment building on the street. This feeling that outdoors is coming indoors is apparent in every room you enter. It’s not about creating one building, it’s about creating a puzzle where all the parts fit together and gives you one picture. This is what I call an intelligent way of thinking. This is what’s unique about the people who created Tbilisi Gardens, they look outside the box.
- Quadrum Global hiring you for Tbilisi Gardens says they’re serious about what they are doing and it’s not only about interior design. You first came to Georgia five years ago. What you saw up to now here in Tbilisi, what would you say, how will this project make a difference in the city?
Living here gives people an opportunity to live a little different then living in all the other apartment buildings in Tbilisi. Maybe people did not know it before but going forward, they will start demanding better spaces. Projects like Tbilisi Gardens are educating consumers. Having this project finished is going to make a big difference. Cheap does not always mean better, intelligent spending is important. People want to be aware of their investments.
The interesting message for developers to consider is that you have to think differently. If you do everything like everybody else does, your competition is much bigger but when you do something that is special, you’re unique and Tbilisi Gardens is unique.
- Do you plan to work with Quadrum Global on other projects in Georgia or elsewhere worldwide?
It’s a big piece of property here and there will be other buildings and we can make the next parts even better.