The Moscow Minimalists

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By Dwell and Michael Dumiak
Crosby Studios just cares about the essentials.

Here comes the young designer, carrying his old chairs. For Harry Nuriev, who hails from the trading city of Stavropol in the North Caucasus and is now based in hyper-paced Moscow, staying grounded has been essential. It’s cost him some sweat and tears, but also helped forge his young studio. In just under two years, his practice, Crosby Studios—named for a flash of inspiration he had while walking along Manhattan’s Crosby Street—has completed commissions that include workspaces, cafes, and even penthouses.

The Moscow Minimalists - Photo 1 of 6 - An office Crosby Studios designed for NGRS in Moscow.

An office Crosby Studios designed for NGRS in Moscow.

"First it was the issue of how to switch out Italian chic for Scandinavian minimalism," says Nuriev, recalling earlier work with Dmitry Vorontsov, his studio partner who now handles the business and production side of the venture. Though the studio initially had a hard time convincing locals of its minimalist aesthetic, the designer has held strong to his design vision and lets clients come to meet it. "I let the history stay in the space," adds Nuriev, who often reveals a structure’s preexisting elements, then juxtaposes them with the new—as in a beauty parlor they renovated, for which they kept the structure’s original 19th-century flooring intact, filling in areas with pink patches. "The old material helps the new material to be meaningful."

The Moscow Minimalists - Photo 2 of 6 - For a beauty parlor in Moscow, the studio kept the structure’s original 19th-century flooring intact, filling in areas with pink patches. 

For a beauty parlor in Moscow, the studio kept the structure’s original 19th-century flooring intact, filling in areas with pink patches. 

The Moscow Minimalists - Photo 3 of 6 - The beauty parlor also features free-standing shelves designed by the studio. 

The beauty parlor also features free-standing shelves designed by the studio. 

The Moscow Minimalists - Photo 4 of 6 - The bathroom of the beauty parlor by Crosby Studios. 

The bathroom of the beauty parlor by Crosby Studios. 

The Moscow Minimalists - Photo 5 of 6 - The Wood Box Apartment by Crosby Studios. 

The Wood Box Apartment by Crosby Studios. 

The Moscow Minimalists - Photo 6 of 6 - The Black and White Apartment by Crosby Studios.

The Black and White Apartment by Crosby Studios.

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