Renowned collector and an heiress to the Hoffmann–La Roche pharmaceutical fortune, Maja Hoffmann enlisted Designer India Mahdavi to combine two neighboring 18th-century homes into a contemporary art haven
[From Harewood House and Nostell Priory in Yorkshire to all of Mansfield Street, the Adam brothers designed some of the grandest homes in late-18th century Britain, where their elegant interpretation of neoclassicism—dubbed the “Adam style”—was synonymous with sophistication. The surviving Adam houses are among London’s most sought-after properties. Hoffmann owns two, having bought the first in 2006 and then its next-door neighbor two years later.
Iranian-born, architect and interior designer India transformed the first house into a family home for Maja Hoffmann, her partner, the film producer Stanley F. Buchthal, and their two children. The second house was turned into her work space and a place where she hosts dinners for the Tate, Serpentine Galleries, and other art institutions she supports in a vast drawing room with a gilded-copper ceiling in which the artist Rudolf Stingel has installed a spectacular series of carpets.
“This is a beautiful house with lots of people, and a beautiful house when you’re here by yourself,” says Hoffmann. “It’s vast and very vertical, but it’s also cozy, intimate, and always luminous. It’s odd to say this of a London house, but its warmth and light always make me think a little of Naples.”
From the outset, she and Hoffmann knew that the original architectural features of both houses had to be preserved to meet conservation regulations. For the same reason, the two houses needed to remain separate. They are connected by a row of mews houses that, typically for London, run behind them, and a tropical garden designed by the Belgian landscape architect Bas Smets in what was once the courtyard of Hoffmann’s first Mansfield Street house.
“There are no rules with Maja,” notes Mahdavi. “All her homes are remarkable buildings and all very different. She doesn’t like things to be repeated and is incredibly open to new ideas, which makes her homes super-personal.”] an exert from Architectural Digest