Destination / In Residence

At home with Alexandra Agoston and Chris Colls

Just us two. Model Alexandra Agoston and photographer Chris Colls show us inside their sunlit home.

“I’m really inspired by architecture. One of my favorite pieces is our marble dining table by architect and industrial designer Angelo Mangiarotti.” – Chris Colls

In an old painter’s workroom in New York’s SoHo neighbourhood, photographer Chris Colls and model Alexandra Agoston have found a home and more. It is a place of freedom, individuality, collaboration and love. A place to cook and catch up on the world, to sketch, look through books, watch movies and entertain friends, but most of all, a place for Colls and Agoston to be together.

“Everything was left in its original condition, which is really hard to find in SoHo,” says Agoston of the loft they acquired four months ago. A flood of natural light spills across freshly painted walls and floors in the open-plan living space, while the dining room, with its raw plywood walls, vintage marble table and leather Le Corbusier chairs, offers something quite different. “The space was very raw and allowed us the freedom to make it our own,” says Agoston. As she recalls, the first month was spent cleaning, painting and building a space for a bedroom. “We wanted a creative, free environment that we could live in but also change into a studio to shoot really easily.”

“When I’m with Chris I feel like I’m home, everything that we have collected is just an extension of that.” – Alexandra Agoston

With a refined sense of style and a shared compulsion to create, Colls and Agoston have cultivated a space that plays to a modernist sensibility while maintaining a unique personal touch. “We have a mix of personal work: Chris’s photography, my drawings, and some sculptures we made,” says Agoston of the art they have displayed throughout the loft. “We also have some lithographs by Josef Albers, and a vintage mobile.”

But when it comes to choosing favourites, Colls points to a line drawing on canvas by Agoston, a gift for his birthday. Another favourite piece is the marble dining table by architect and industrial designer Angelo Mangiarotti. And there is also the collection of painted apple boxes from Colls’ studio used to create different shapes and to make into side tables or chairs when the occasion calls.

A shared love of photography sees books stacked in piles and lining shelves – Newton, Avedon, Penn among them. “[We] love building a collection and finding first editions,” says Colls.

And when it comes to entertaining, in true New York style, the couple host drinks on the fire escape followed by a home-cooked meal or “lots of good NY take-out”, a dance session to 80s music and, if you’re among their “closest creative family of friends”, you may find yourself the subject of an impromptu photo shoot.

For the lion’s share of the time, though, the newly reimagined space with its old New York charm serves as the perfect extension of the home Colls and Agoston have found in each other.

“Our loft was an old painter’s studio. Everything was left in original condition, which is really hard to find in SoHo. The space was very raw and allowed us the freedom to make it
our own.” – Alexandra Agoston