The view from the terrace is also what inspired artist Andrea Zittel, who conceived the images on these pages, which were photographed by Dean Kaufman. Zittel has been a friend of Biesenbach’s since the mid-Nineties and is perhaps best known for her sculptures and inhabitable installations that double as experiments in living. Biesenbach, she notes, “has his own personal ideology wrapped around the way he’s chosen to live.”
A big part of that, Zittel says, is his stance as a perpetual observer, and she sees the terrace as the ultimate curator’s perch. “As a curator you sort of roam around and look at everything, trying to take it in,” she says. “Klaus’s apartment feels so much like that too. It’s this base where you’re poised to go out at any minute and meet somebody on the street, and when you’re not, you’re watching someone.”
Biesenbach recently took the radical step of adding some lush plantings to the terrace—leafy thickets of bamboo and potted palms. His intent was not to prettify but to enhance his sense of the deck as a precipice in the wilderness. “I think the terrace feels a little bit like a cliff or a rock,” he says. “It feels more like nature than city. You’re very aware of the climate and the seasons.” In passing, Biesenbach mentions that he plans to make further changes to the interior, in order to make it more livable. But he’s not yet ready to commit to anything specific.
“Once I have the time, I will get furniture,” he says. “I will have chairs. I think it would be nice to have a stove. It just doesn’t seem urgent.”