Above: Designer Elizabeth Roberts, standing next to Susan Clark of Radnor.
Elizabeth Roberts, an architect and designer best known for her elegant transformations of Brooklyn brownstones, is now setting her sights on furniture in the launch of her first-ever collection. The trio of three-legged pieces—appropriately dubbed the Triad Collection—is being produced for Brooklyn-based design company Radnor, and comprises a diminutive walnut side table, an upholstered stool, and a curved desk, which Roberts says was inspired by her own desk at home.
“I knew that small-scale design was really exciting to me,” Roberts tells ELLE Decor. “I kind of found myself, as a licensed architect, doing ground-up structures and working with institutions and commercial projects, but also really drawn to the inside of buildings. It’s a very natural kind of love of mine.”
Susan Clark, who founded Radnor in 2016 after a three-year stint at the Future Perfect, says the collection stands out because of its materiality and the craft techniques behind it. The organic lines of the desk and table, for instance, were achieved by meticulously hand-matching strips of solid wood veneer to express the timber’s grain.
The launch coincides with a temporary design space co-curated by Clark and Roberts on the 42nd floor of a new luxury residential tower on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. This “experiential showroom” (opening March 9 at 180 East 88th Street) will present Triad alongside art from David Zwirner and furniture by Karl Zahn, whose wife encouraged Clark and Roberts to meet.
Clark, who staged a similar space in a David Chipperfield–designed tower in 2018, explains: “We wanted a space that felt more like a home, [that felt] comforting and gave room for a little bit more creativity in [terms of] space and art."
Triad, meanwhile, gave Roberts an opportunity to experiment with new ways of working. Though the collection is just three pieces, a chair and a rug are on the way, and the pair hopes that it will pave the way for a larger collaboration. Roberts reflects: “I’m so lucky that Susan kind of grabbed me and pulled me into this small-scale design that I love.”
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