For as long as he can remember, Andre Mellone has been drawing. Growing up in São Paulo, he would spend afternoons doodling endless iterations of the same scene: a house, a tree, a dog, and a bird. Later, while living in Italy as an architecture student, he immersed himself
in classical orders through pencil and ink, rendering Roman ruins and Palladian villas in dynamic detail. “Sketching turns something on spiritually,” Mellone reflects during a visit to his new Manhattan apartment, where examples of those early works can be seen framed on the walls. “In order for a project to be successful, I need to draw. It gives a room soul.”
Today, that daily artistic practice forms the foundation of his own AD100 design firm, Studio Mellone. Brainstorming begins on sheets of cheap tracing paper, as Mellone imagines floor plans, furniture, and elevations. Presentations then morph into layered illustrations that blend digitally scanned sketches with spontaneous markups, added on the spot to refine a particular element. Clients thrill to his gifted artistry, among them a who’s who of the art world and fashion brands like The Row, Thom Browne, and Carolina Herrera. But for Mellone, drawing is not just a pitch. It’s a process.
The fruits of that analog approach reveal themselves fully at his two-story penthouse, set in a Shigeru Ban–designed building, where garage-style window walls pivot and rise to dramatically merge indoors and out. Rigorous yet emotive, the home offers an eloquent study in geometry, with dynamic angles, simple shapes, and the occasional curve.
“I read everything as circles, squares, triangles,” notes Mellone, who cut his historicist teeth at Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Mark Hampton, Ferguson & Shamamian, and Sawyer|Berson before launching his own studio. All around us, elegant lines form a common thread, the furnishings’ strong silhouettes having seemingly been drawn in space—as if by Harold with a purple crayon, or rather Andre with a Prismacolor pen.