Private Views: A High-Rise Panorama of Manhattan

Andi Schmied


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All of us want to see Manhattan from above, but very few can do it from their own living room. Private Views is here to satisfy our incessant curiosity about a hidden elite world that we can only observe from outside, or occasionally, from an overpriced viewing point crowded with tourists.

While posing as an apartment-hunting Hungarian billionaire, Andi Schmied accessed and documented Manhattan’s most exclusive high-rise properties. For the duration of the project, she inhabited a fictional persona: Gabriella, a mother of one whose husband is an antique dealer. Dressing as Gabriella and acting as Gabriella, she prepared for the family’s upcoming move to Manhattan by searching through listings of premium real estate agencies and requesting to view some of their most splendid properties. The book guides its readers through the sunset from Trump World Tower and dawn over Central Park from the private ballroom of the tallest residential tower on Earth, showcasing samples of the world’s most luxurious materials, such as the Calacatta Tucci marble used in bathrooms overlooking the Empire State Building.

Andi Schmied is a visual artist and architect based in Budapest, Hungary. The focus of her installations, videos and printed work is the architectural framing of social space. She uncovers unexpected human behaviors and urban anomalies—places that, for one reason or another, do not follow conventional logic, yet remain part of our cityscape. These vary from areas that have deviated far from their originally planned function (Jing Jin City), utopian architectures (Noguchi Town), or spaces of privilege (Private Views). Schmied graduated from the Bartlett School of Architecture in London and her work, among other places, has been shown in London (Daniel Blau Gallery, Schwartz Gallery, The White Building), Southampton (John Hansard Gallery), Sapporo (Salon Cojica, HUG Gallery), Beijing (Design Week), Rotterdam (International Architecture Biennale), Budapest (Trafó, Trapéz, OFF Biennale, Kunsthalle). She has been artist-in-resident at S-AIR, Sapporo (Japan), Triangle Arts, New York (U.S.), DordtYart, Dordrecht (Netherlands), Meetfactory, Prague (Czech Republic), Outpost, Norwich (UK), and MuseumQartier, Vienna (Austria).

Edited by Irena Lehkoživová, Barbora Špičáková
With contributions by Sara Emilia Bernat, f-architecture, Irena Lehkoživová, Ava Lynam, Peter Noever, Andi Schmied, Jack Self, Michael Sorkin, Samuel Stein, Barbora Špičáková, Anthony Vidler, Sharon Zukin
Graphic design: Tereza Hejmová

1st edition
228 pages, 140 color and 25 b/w illustrations
31,5 × 23,5 cm
Published by VI PER Gallery, Prague
ISBN 978-80-270-8358-9 (first edition, 2020)
ISBN 978-80-270-9125-6 (second edition, 2021)

The book has been published as part of Future Architecture Platform activities. Supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in Fine Arts and Trapéz Gallery.


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