In the center of New York City, the only place left to go is up, and the view from Murray Moss’ corner unit on the 29th floor of the famous Olympic Tower is incredible. The apartment is currently for sale, and with it comes not only a chance to live in what some would consider the nucleus of the world, but also to inherit design elements from Moss that fit the space to perfection.
Completed by Aristotle Onassis in 1976, the Fifth Avenue address has been known for attracting big-name residents, including Hélène Rochas, the Gucci family and more. “It was very special with some great, interesting people, because the building takes on the skin of its people, you know, the character of the people,” says Moss. “Something like the perfume on someone’s skin, it changes the scent according to who’s wearing it; it’s an alchemy. And a building is just an inanimate thing that takes on the characteristic of the people that are living inside of it.”
Through the apartment’s epic floor-to-ceiling windows it’s easy to see this phenomenon occurring over and over to create the surrounding cityscape. Almost every room offers views of landmarks like Central Park and Rockefeller Center. “It’s really like living in Paris and living by the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe,” says Moss. When renovating and decorating the apartment, the view dictated.
Moss describes a line on the living room windows as a railing on the edge of a cliff. “It’s exactly at the right height, because in other buildings they’re somehow in the middle or sometimes at sightline, but this is exactly the height of a garden railing, which doesn’t really interrupt the view,” he says. Naturally, the living room couches hit the windows at the exact height of this line, leaving the view unobstructed. Visually pleasing touches like this continue throughout the space, and Moss views certain elements of the decor as inherent parts of the apartment, an advantage for potential buyers looking to preserve a little bit of what Moss curated.
“There are certain things that we did for the space,” says Moss. “Other things are independent of the space that just happen to be here. But I would gladly leave certain things that I intended [to be part of it]. That I think articulate, pick up where the architect left off, and accentuate what that intent was.” This also includes shelving that was created in 1960 by German industrial designer and personal friend of Moss’ Dieter Rams and can be seen on display at the MoMa.
Moss’ eponymous SoHo outpost was a renowned destination for high-end design until it closed in 2012, when Moss founded a design consultancy service called Moss Bureau with partner Franklin Getchell.
Click through the gallery for a look inside this gorgeous apartment.