See How Ellie Cullman Transformed the VIP Lounge at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall

·2 min read
Photo credit: Christian Harder
Photo credit: Christian Harder

Above: In the VIP lounge at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, which has been redesigned
by Cullman & Kravis, the sofa, chairs, and cocktail tables are by Roche Bobois, and the pillows are in Butterfly Parade by Christian Lacroix. The pendant is by Kelly Wearstler for Circa Lighting; the carpet is by FLOR.

Before the pandemic, how often might you have run into designer Ellie Cullman in the Hauser Patron Salon at Alice Tully Hall between movie showings? “I was there all the time,” she says. “The lounge has been used by Film at Lincoln Center since forever.” She would attend the New York Film Festival, which is held at Lincoln Center annually in the fall, and take in four movies a day.

Photo credit: Christian Harder
Photo credit: Christian Harder

Cullman is not just an insatiable cinephile but also the principal of the celebrated interior design firm Cullman & Kravis. A lifelong New Yorker, she has been on the board of Film at Lincoln Center for close to 30 years.

Photo credit: Songkai Liu / 500px
Photo credit: Songkai Liu / 500px

So when it came time to redo the salon—Cullman describes the old decor as grim, “battleship gray with four red chairs”—she jumped at the chance to transform it into a grand, multi-functional, indoor-outdoor VIP lounge and events space.

Photo credit: Christian Harder
Photo credit: Christian Harder

The Cullman & Kravis team, working in collaboration with ELLE DECOR and a host of design brands including Dedon, Roche Bobois, and Scavolini, focused its design on durability and dynamism—albeit one with a fierce black, white, silver, and copper color scheme. “Since it serves many functions, the room had to be malleable,” Cullman says. To wit: Each of the more than 20 pieces of new furniture is light enough for easy transport and sized for service elevators. The project was a personal one for Cullman, not just because of her inextricable ties to Lincoln Center but also as a symbol of New York City’s impending recovery.

Photo credit: Christian Harder
Photo credit: Christian Harder

After the return of in-person screenings at September’s successful New York Film Festival, the lounge is being put to immediate use, and now thanks to Cullman’s stylish design, intermission at Alice Tully Hall is just as dramatic as the show.

Thank you for your generous product donations:
Architectural Grille: metal grilles on bar and custom door handles; Cambria: countertop; Carlisle & Co.: wallcoverings; Circa Lighting, Dedon: outdoor furnishings; Elkay: kitchen faucet and sinks; FLOR: carpet; Julian Chichester: entryway console and mirror; Liebherr: undercounter refrigeration; Osborne & Little: fabric and wallcoverings; Oscar Mora: florals and plants; Roche Bobois: interior furnishings; Scavolini: kitchen; Sherwin-Williams: paint.

Thank you for your generous services:
Architectural Tile Restoration, Aspro Plumbing, Inc., Faithful Countertops, Litespeed Electric, Soundtone Floors, Inc., Sal’s Upholstery, Stonhard.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned



This story originally appeared in the November 2021 issue of ELLE DECOR. SUBSCRIBE

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