Archive for August, 2013

The Power of Space Layout: Maximizing a Great View


I design many residential spaces in NYC and the one thing they have had in common was spectacular city views. Living in an urban landscape like New York City, a fantastic view is a desired point on a wish list of an apartment or home buyer. This view does not come at a minimal cost but for those who are fortunate enough to afford such a luxury,  this becomes an essential part of any space design or re-design.  I consider the view as a piece of Art, that should be easily admired from any angle. This desired outcome can come with some challenges. How do I maximize a spectacular city, or river view so that from every angle in the space, every seat and every area the Client can fully bask in the beauty of their own personalized  city view with a prime Vantage Point.

The definition of Vantage Point is: “A position that affords a broad overall view or perspective, as of a place or situation.” (

This is where the ability to  see the “big picture” is utilized. I must survey every corner and seat in the space and determine what would be the best space layout for each room. What is the best view from every seat in the house . I must then determine the placement of the sofa, chairs and dining area furniture, bed and office layout. Lighting and object placement . I want my Client to be accessible to their views at any moment, to feel that harmony with the outside world and their personal view   and bring some of the beauty and even serenity inside the home.

By photographing every vantage point in the house it is easier to understand and create the layout with the most maximized views. I like photographing my projects at every stage, this  is crucial to the development of the space from construction site into a home.

There is also another challenge to creating the ideal “vantage point”, not having objects,  chandeliers, or  lighting obstruct or interrupt the view. Everything must work in Harmony to unify the space. Lighting should not be too obtrusive as to   cover up the  beautiful view. Objects or sculptures should be placed in positions where there is space for them to be admired but also not obstructing the view.

After an appropriate layout is designed and the furniture is placed in that layout now I have to sit in every seat and really get comfortable to see for myself how my Client’s will live and relax and entertain and enjoy living in their home. I should be able to see a wonderful cityscape from every direction, every chair and sofa and bed. When this works, I can be pleased that my Client will really have a Home, a place to live comfortably and functionally and enjoy their city views, always having the “best seat in the house”.

Take a tour of our website and see some fantastic views:


The Science of “NOW” …

GREYGROUND Landscape -Crop

Everything in Modern Society, in advertising, marketing, and media is about the “NOW”. In 2001, when I started my firm here in New York City, I chose the name ORA studio because ORA means “ NOW, of the moment” in Italian   and because I am in the field of  Architecture and Design, I wanted to represent Design in the sense of  “now” pertaining to  Modernity and  a Contemporary sensibility.

Fast forward to 2013 and it seems absolutely everything from hair salon to dental office is called “ORA …. ” How did the “the NOW” , really come to the forefront of  society’s attention?  In this uber technological age of speedy acquisitions and immediate information, have we lost our patience, lost the sense of anticipation as a good thing ?

In Design, I subscribe to the philosophy of looking to the past to create for the future. I was raised in a small town in Puglia steeped in Medieval Architecture and History which shaped my aspiration and dreams to become an Architect and Designer. I also fell in love with the work of Antoni Gaudi, Frank Lloyd Wright and Oscar Niemeyer, and Mies Van Der Rohe who boldly went to the future to create their  mark on Design History.

In Architecture and Design I always think of the client’s NOW, what are their needs for their space  and  for  their lifestyle at the present time. What is important to live in that space right now and how as the Designer I can facilitate that. By explaining my vision clearly to my Client, they can see the development of their Project in real time and have a clear idea of what it will be like at the finish of the Project.

I design with the “of the moment” attitude… What is contemporary, appropriate and functional for my Client’s needs at the present time.

In the Age of NOW, Good Design is  always “of the moment” ….

Take the Tour of our Website NOW  and learn about ORA studio :


and Watch our recently produced video “A Testimonial from a Happy Client” :