Downsizing isn’t the most glamorous of life passages. Like anything else, though, it can be done poorly, or it can be done well. Luckily for one New York couple of empty-nesters, Interior Design Hall of Fame members Gisue Hariri and Mojgan Hariri know a thing or two about family dynamics—after all, the sisters are now in their fourth decade of running Hariri & Hariri Architecture, having previously studied together at Cornell University. And they used that knowledge to settle the couple into a more compact home while, at the same time, expanding their horizons.
To smooth out what could have been a rough transition, it helped that the architects already knew their clients from working on the spacious prewar apartment that saw them through the school years of a son and a daughter. With the kids gone, the couple set their sights on a 2,100-square-foot replacement in a 1960’s building and got back in touch with the Hariris. “It’s beautiful how they asked us to grow and change with them,” Gisue Hariri says.
Hariri & Hariri Architecture is a New York- based multi-disciplinary architecture & design firm established in 1986 by Iranian-born Cornell-educated sisters Gisue Hariri and Mojgan Hariri. Today they are celebrated as two of the most accomplished women in American architecture & design and are described by critics as one of the most progressive and out-of-the-box firms currently working in the United States. Their projects run the gamut from luxury residential developments and hotels to bathroom accessories to single-family houses to high-concept, high-tech experiments. For the Hariri’s, design is a holistic, boundary-less enterprise ranging from master-planning and architecture to interior design, furniture, lighting, product design and jewelry.
Over 30 years of dedication to research and construction of innovative ideas, they have imbued conceptual, residential, commercial and cultural projects with their own unique brand of sensual modernism.
The firm's work ranges in scale from architecture, master plans and interiors, to product design and furniture. The work also includes research-oriented prototypes such as the Museum of the 21st Century at the National Building Museum (2003–07), Loft of the Future (1999-2000), Cine Experimental Film Center (1999), and The Digital House, which was showcased in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1999. In 2010, Hariri & Hariri's architectural rendering was included in the "Contemplating the Void" exhibit at the Guggenheim for the 50th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed museum.
In 2005, Hariri & Hariri won the Academy Award in Architecture at the American Academy of Arts and Letters Awards, and was inducted into the Design Hall of Fame sponsored by Interior Design Magazine. In 2010, Architectural Digest included Gisue Hariri and Mojgan Hariri on its list of the greatest talents in architecture and design. The firm won the American Architecture Award 2015 from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture & Design for its housing development in Salzburg, Austria called Jewels of Salzburg. Hariri and Hariri were presented with the Career Achievement Award in October 2016 at the IA-100 retreat in Silicon Valley.
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