Piet Boon, 59, the Amsterdam-based founder of architecture and design firm Studio Piet Boon, started his career as a building contractor. Now, he designs high-profile residential and commercial projects, including 101 Wall, an office-to-condominium conversion in Manhattan’s Financial District, Pearns Point in Antigua, as well as an upcoming high-end hotel development in Amsterdam.
He’s also designed a limited edition Porsche 911 Targa S and limited edition Land Rovers.
We caught up with Mr. Boon to talk about his definition of luxury, the problems with low housing inventory, and much more.
Mansion Global: Describe your dream property.
Piet Boon: You must know, I have many dream properties in mind. One being a townhouse in West Village New York. I find the historic charm of those townhouses very appealing and the neighborhood very much reminds me of Amsterdam. It’s great to have the feel of a village in such a big city.
That way you can have best of both worlds, really.
MG: Do you have a real estate property that got away?
PB: Personally, no. With the studio, we did lose some great projects during the economic crisis.
One of which was a Delano hotel in Las Vegas. We were very excited to start and pretty much gutted when we heard that the project was canceled due to the obvious reasons.
MG: What does luxury mean to you?
PB: Luxury to me is living comfortably and enjoying time with family and friends. In our work we always aim to accommodate and facilitate that in the best possible way because in the end that’s what matters most to our clients. The perfect balance between functionality, aesthetics and individuality.
MG: What area do you think is the next hub for luxury properties?
PB: We are currently working on a project in the Caribbean called Pearns Point on Antigua. Due to the project’s unique location and exclusivity, residing there is reserved for the lucky few in this world.
Other examples are luxury properties in big cities such as New York, where gentrification is creating new hubs—101 Wall is the perfect example of this.
MG: Where are the best luxury homes in the world and why?
PB: This of course completely depends on someone’s personal preference. To me I would say that the best luxury home is where someone can live effortlessly and comfortably. Be it in the city, countryside or on the beach. I consider all of our design projects great examples of luxury homes because we designed them according to our own philosophy—101 Wall, Huys [a condo building on Park Avenue South in Manhattan], Oosten [a condominium building in Brooklyn], Pearns Point [in Antigua] and many more are for us the embodiment of luxury.
MG: What’s your favorite part of your home?
PB: Definitely the kitchen. This is where everyone starts and ends their day. It’s where you gather with family and friends, create memories and enjoy each other’s company. No wonder, when at a party, you find everyone hanging around the kitchen.
MG: What best describes the theme to your home and why?
PB: A harmonious blend of functionality, aesthetics and individuality. It caters to everything I need, looks great and represents my family.
MG: What’s the most valuable thing in your home?
PB: Because my children are at the age that they now live on their own, I have to say my wife.
Other than that, a bronze money box made by Studio Job, given to me by Job Smeets on my 50th birthday. It’s not that the object is worth an incredible amount of money, but it has a certain sentimental value.
MG: What’s the most valuable amenity to have in a home right now?
PB: Our heated veranda, where we can enjoy outdoor living even when it’s cold outside. I find an indoor-outdoor connection important. Besides that I also enjoy our wine cellar.
MG: What’s your best piece of real estate advice?
PB: Buy when the market is low.
MG: What’s going on in the news that will have the biggest impact on the luxury real estate market?
PB: Because of the scarcity of properties, people are willing to pay a lot of money for bad properties.
MG: What is the best area now for investing in luxury properties?
Amsterdam, New York, Pearns Point.
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