Legendary Designers Massimo and Lella Vignelli's New York Duplex Is Listed at $6.5M

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By Melissa Dalton
The influential husband-and-wife team lived in the Upper East Side apartment, dubbed a "cultural hub for artists and designers," for over 30 years.

The 3,900-square-foot, two-floor duplex is housed in a 1907 Italian Renaissance style building originally designed by Charles A. Platt. It boasts almost 20-foot ceilings in the living room with a towering leaded glass window, numerous fireplaces, and 600 linear feet of bookshelves. Massimo and Lella Vignelli bought the three-bedroom, three-and-half-bath home in 1978 and lived there until they passed, he in 2012 and she in 2016. It's now on the market for $6,500,000 and serves as a testament to the couple's influential design practice. 

Almost all of the furniture and decorative items in the apartment were designed by the couple.

Almost all of the furniture and decorative items in the apartment were designed by the couple.

Their offices were side-by-side: his in the living room and hers adjacent, making for easy collaboration.

Their offices were side-by-side: his in the living room and hers adjacent, making for easy collaboration.

Lella Vignelli's office is lined with bookshelves. She designed the desk with legs fashioned by sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro. The couple were known to host many cultural luminaries in the apartment, including Pomodoro and philosopher Umberto Eco.

Lella Vignelli's office is lined with bookshelves. She designed the desk with legs fashioned by sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro. The couple were known to host many cultural luminaries in the apartment, including Pomodoro and philosopher Umberto Eco.

A dining room that was converted to a library

A dining room that was converted to a library

A close-up of the dining room with large-scale art

A close-up of the dining room with large-scale art

The eat-in kitchen with butcher block counters 

The eat-in kitchen with butcher block counters 

Each of the three bedrooms has an ensuite bathroom.

Each of the three bedrooms has an ensuite bathroom.

An upstairs gallery overlooks the living room.

An upstairs gallery overlooks the living room.

The Italian-born couple, both trained in architecture, moved to New York in 1965. They set up Vignelli Associates and practiced in a range of disciplines over the ensuing decades, including architecture, graphic design, product design, corporate brand identity, and interior design. Noteworthy commissions include Bloomingdale's (the big brown bag and logo), the Stendig calendar, and a 1972 map of the New York Subway. According to the documentary titled Design is One, the couple's motto was, "If you can't find it, design it."

Gabriele Devlin and Lee Summers of Sotheby's International Realty hold the listing.

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