Architect Hani Rashid, a New York City-based co-founder and design partner of Asymptote Architecture, has designed cultural institutions, office and commercial spaces and residential towers.
Among those residential towers are Velo Towers in South Korea, 166 Perry Street in New York and Missoni Baia along Biscayne Bay in Miami, which recently broke ground.
We caught up with Mr. Rashid to discuss the importance of a property having a connection to nature, why space and light matter and more.
Mansion Global: Do you have a real estate property that got away?
Hani Rashid: Every property or project we design or take part in feels like it got away. We put a lot of our heart and soul and personal thinking into our work and not being able to “move in” ourselves is always a frustration that goes with the territory I suppose.
MG: What does luxury mean to you?
HR: A seamless, friction-free experience is, for me, the key to luxury. In other words luxury transcends objects and taste and is rather tied indelibly to one’s experience. Luxury can be found in a wide range, from the most simple and minimal to the most extreme and extravagant, as long as it produces for you a state of harmony and perfection.
MG: What area do you think is the next hub for luxury properties?
HR: The next hub is (as its always been) those places where one is just far enough away from everything while being near the center of it all. This equation can be applied globally from Brooklyn, New York, to the foothills in Tibet. It’s really this mix that transcends distances but instead replaces that with a state of being. I also think Edgewater in Miami is so interesting. It’s a place at that nexus these days.
MG: What’s the biggest surprise in the luxury real estate market now?
HR: They are not really surprises, but I think a return to simplicity, environmental consciousness, the possibility of giving something back to the community, a move away from “ownership and property” to community, etcetera, are all very important vectors.
MG: Where are the best luxury homes in the world and why?
HR: They are, as I mentioned earlier, at the center while away from everything, this paradoxical situation is where the best luxury homes seem to be and I could list many cities, islands, mountains and lakes where these homes are today. As we move into the future, we will see an even greater fusion of luxury homes and properties in unexpected urban situations as cities are increasingly places where people need to be and need to be away from simultaneously.
MG: What’s your favorite part of your home?
HR: We have a space that is neither kitchen nor living area nor office nor meeting and dining space, but somehow acts as all of the above. I love that interstitial domesticity that that moment in our home has. It’s where we all gather together randomly and often.
MG: What best describes the theme to your home and why?
HR: We have a minimal maximal space. That is to say much of the “stuff” that people tend to accumulate in a home we discard while filling our home with light, art and places of “domestic flux.” Our home is a constant evolving life experiment, so never dull or predictable but somehow always comfortable and centering.
MG: What’s the most valuable thing in your home?
HR: Space and light!
MG: What’s the most valuable amenity to have in a home right now?
HR: Along with open, elegant spatiality and light, I would say a seamless transition to nature in some form or another. An awareness of nature, its beauty and its metaphysics has always been valuable in all cultures throughout history and that previous amenity is more valuable today than ever.
MG: What’s your best piece of real estate advice?
HR: There are many buildings to choose from but only few that truly tapped architecture. For me it’s about the pedigree and stature of buildings that are architecture and not about simply property and valuation. Architecture, design and quality should be one’s criteria not just the stats one sees on paper.
MG: What’s going on in the news that will have the biggest impact on the luxury real estate market?
HR: Political uncertainty has its fall out but so too climate change and an obvious shift in what are the future “wealth drivers” and nations.
MG: What is the best area now for investing in luxury properties?
HR: Urban properties are the way to go, I would steer clear of golf courses, lakes and gated communities personally.
MG: If you had a choice of living in a new development or a prime resale property, which would you choose and why?
HR: That distinction is meaningless to me. What is key is quality architecture above all. What I would avoid in resale is simply buying a property because it has a celebrity history or some “story” that goes with it. That only provides fodder for dinner conversation and has zero to do with ones real need for “real estate” which is a delicate combination of comfort, dignity, elegance, functionality. beauty and resonance with one’s state of being. All that cannot be discounted if one truly wants to find something of real value for one’s self.
MG: What area currently has the best resale value?
HR: Places that are really well designed, built with high quality materials and real thought with architecture deep in their DNA.