Now in its fourth incarnation, the Van Alen Institute’s Auction of Art + Design Experiences is back, with truly global offerings that range from Miami (“Soak up the sun” with Terry Riley at sea and a spa) to Tokyo (hang with Metabolist Kayoko Ota or designer Go Hasegawa) to Lyon (tour the Musée des Confluences with its architect, Wolf D. Prix of Coop Himmelb(l)au).
This year’s experiences were put together by leading figures in the architecture and design world, including: photographer Iwan Baan, Barry Bergdoll (Columbia University, formerly Museum of Modern Art), Jing Liu (SO–IL), architectural historian Victoria Newhouse, design consultant Marc Norman, Alexandra Polier (DNA brand agency), and writer Mayer Rus.
See the list below and make your bids here!
Verdant Vidro: Disappear into the rainforests surrounding São Paulo with Renato Anelli and Sol Camacho to the Casa de Vidro, the former home of Brazilian modernist architect, Lina Bo Bardi (1914 – 1992). Enjoy lunch amid the tropical foliage with a menu inspired by Bo Bardi, followed by a dive into the designer’s archives, which are typically off-limits.
McKim, Piano, and Wright. Oh My! Follow architectural historian Barry Bergdoll as he shares his knowledge of gems by McKim Mead and White on Columbia University’s campus and brings you north to Renzo Piano’s new Jerome L. Greene Science Center in the gentrifying Upper Manhattan neighborhood. Top off the afternoon with a rare visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Broadacre City model.
Party with NMDA: Be the toast of Hollywood as you and seven members of your entourage are invited to dinner with architect Neil Denari at the NMDA-designed Alan-Voo House in Los Angeles, a 21st-century high-tech bungalow.
Altered States with Winka: Leave the world behind at the New York City meditation studio Inscape with its designer, Winka Dubbeldam of Archi-Tectonics, then join her for celebratory drinks – two nights at The Standard High Line included.
Peru Perspectives: Fly over Lima’s Brutalist revival university complex by the 2018 Venice Biennial curators, Grafton Architects, and speak with UTEC’s Carlos Hereen about how the structure is helping revitalize this district of the vibrant coastal capital.
Glamp Ground: Heard of glamping? Well, this is on an altogether different level. Spend the night at minimalist lifestyle guru Megan Griswold’s luxury, marble-countered yurt under the wide-open skies just outside Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Ride the Sakura Wave: From the canal-side rooftop of designer Go Hasegawa’s Tokyo office, enjoy the peak of cherry blossom season with your friends amid the city’s ancient castles and modern skyscrapers.
Meet Me in the Stacks: Browse the back of house of the New York Public Library on a private tour with a world-renowned master of archival design, Francine Houben of Mecanoo Architecten, then book it to her apartment for a meal.
Can You Handle the Heat of Kundig’s Kitchen?: Come to worship at the “gastronomical temple” of Seattle’s Mistral Kitchen, designed by architect-cowboy Tom Kundig, then visit the 12th Avenue Iron forge, leaving with a special piece selected just for you.
Photo Flâneur: See New York City anew as you prowl the streets with acclaimed architectural photographer Yueqi “Jazzy” Li on a personalized photoshoot.
Waterhouse Down: Visit Shanghai in enviable style at its hippest hotel, the Waterhouse, with its designers Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu. Bring a friend and indulge at the tapas bar in this retrofitted 1930s structure.
Lindo Lido Laps: Escape winter with famed Colombian architect Giancarlo Mazzanti while getting a personal tour of his Coliseum in Medellín. Leave physically and mentally refreshed following a dip in the Olympic swimming pool and whirl around the complex’s five gymnasia and public gardens.
Urbanists and Architects Take Flight: Soar over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and microclimates of Marin County in a seaplane with urban designer Marc Norman while learning about the challenges of building affordable housing in an increasingly unaffordable city.
Metabolist Boost: Meander through Tokyo with AMO’s Kayoko Ota while she discusses the groundswell effects of the Metabolist movement that Kenzo Tange envisioned across the fabric of this dense metropolis.
Southern Dystopia: Architect Jack C. Portman, III invites you for a night and a few sumptuous meals at the new Hotel Indigo in Atlanta as well as a tour of the futuristic additions to the cityscape by his father, John C. Portman, Jr. A studio visit with the elder Portman might even be in the cards during your visit to the Peach State Capital.
Chat and Chew: Join world-renowned architect Wolf D. Prix at the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, as you tour its fascinating exhibits on how the environment has impacted the evolution of humankind, finally situating yourselves in front of some fine French fare.
Seven Deadly Sins Escape: Expatriate just off the coast of Miami to a collection of stilted houses with K/R Architects’ Terry Riley with four of your friends. Soak up the sun – before climate change raises the tides too high – then pamper yourselves at The Standard Spa, Miami Beach for two nights.
The Genius of John Lautner and Tony Duquette: Join design editor Mayer Rus for a visit to two of famous designs by John Lautner (1911–1994), the backdrop of multiple films and star-studded Hollywood parties. Next, hit the home of designer Hutton Wilkinson, who has preserved Dawnridge, the house created by Tony Duquette (1914–1999), for a meal in this collector’s paradise.
Ivy League of Your Own: Meet lionized architect Robert A.M. Stern for a VIP preview of Yale’s new residential college, the first building of the type to arrive on campus in over six decades. Catch a glimpse of Stern’s yellow socks while he unravels the architecture’s embedded symbolism.
Parrish the Thought: Head to Long Island’s Parrish Museum with director Terrie Sultan as you tour the Herzog & de Meuron-designed campus set in the East End landscape that fostered such minds as Fairfield Porter, Jackson Pollock, and Cindy Sherman.
Wonder Dome: Hit the field of the vacant “Eighth Wonder of the World,” Houston’s Astrodome, with Rice University and WW Architects’ Sarah Whiting and architectural historian Stephen Fox as you explore the embattled history of this otherwise inaccessible midcentury modern marvel – then adjourn to Whiting’s home for a memorable meal.
Tea Time Travel in Shanghai: Meet Atelier Deshaus founder Liu Yichun for tea at Shanghai’s serene Fangta Park, which is crowned by a nine-tiered pagoda and ringed with tranquil gardens, as you discuss the architecture and natural environment of this expanding city.