NEW YORK — Tappan Zee for architecture fans. And Onigeraule for all these. And the toile the National Gallery of Art, designed by Johan Cruyff, was the antecedent of both. As seen in this episode of the Season 11 episode of My So-Called Life, Kevin Shephard (Matt Cohen) interviews Ms. Cruyff, one of the most famous architects in the world and owner of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum. By any reckoning, Ms. Cruyff is an icon. The fabulous 86-year-old artist was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize, she designed the beautiful spaces in his house and the Rijksmuseum and, most important of all, she has occupied six of the world’s most famous museum apartments. The apartment in which she lives, 20 Rue des Berges, has housed directors from Helmut Newton to Rem Koolhaas.
And yet, in the apartment on which Ms. Cruyff now lives, it feels much more reserved than others in the Met. It’s indeed a smart space for a world-class art collector — a lot of photographs are on the walls — but it’s very international but not in a fashioned way. It’s like Kevin and Kevin are jointly watching and taking notes of a classroom in Japan. And, more importantly, this reflects Ms. Cruyff’s background. She has taught in Asia, most prominently in France, and the interiors are more tonal and classical than anything we’ve seen in the Met. The turquoise chairs, with their jeweled cuffs, are nearly imperceptible, as if she is designing something that will sit in the room for 50 years. The exotic accessories she has: a pair of bird-shaped lamps and a quilt hanging in the shape of a pheasant. And the entire bedroom is done in sand, nothing but white and gorgeous — “a place where I feel you can actually be on vacation,” Ms. Cruyff told Kevin. “You feel for the first time that time is at your fingertips.”