Written by Oscar Holland, CNN
A one-ton bed, a two-story closet, and a 4,000-pound tub carved from a single slab of black marble – Drake’s Toronto mansion is an extravagant case study. Then, of course, there’s the NBA regular-size basketball court, recording studio, and an atmospheric indoor pool.
Now, as he offers Architectural Digest a complete look at his home, the Canadian rapper hopes to spotlight the design inspiration behind the multi-million dollar project.
The next cover of the magazine contains more than a dozen photos taken from across the 50,000 square foot property. It also features an interview with the creative force behind the custom home, designer Ferris Rafauli (pictured with Drake, above), who describes how he gave a contemporary twist to fine art architecture.
Drake’s mansion includes an NBA size basketball court. Credit: Jason Scnmidt / Architecural Digest
“In terms of form, materials and workmanship, the structure is a true 19th century limestone mansion,” said Rafauli. “But the exterior profiles are more minimal and the lines are a little cleaner. It’s not stucco, paint and fake gold. It’s not what Drake wanted, and it’s not what I do. “
Drake’s mansion – which he calls the Embassy – flows with a variety of other luxurious materials, including bronze, black granite, macassar ebony and brown agate. Decorations include sculptures by American artist KAWS, as well as a selection of Grammy Awards and an entire hallway dedicated to the shirts of sports stars.
Inside Drake’s 3,200 square foot master bedroom. Credit: Jason Scnmidt / Architecural Digest
“This is an extremely high luxury,” Drake told Architectural Digest (AD). “This message is conveyed through the size of the rooms and materials and the details of the floors and ceilings. I wanted to make sure that people can see the work that I have done over the years reflected from all points of view. “
From the ground
Drake has already given fans a glimpse of his mansion on social media, and in videos for “When to say when and Chicago Freestyle” and the new track “Toosie Slide”. But the new photo shoot offers an unprecedented look at its design, including the 3,200 square foot master bedroom, this basketball court (with its brand’s owl logo in the center circle) and an ornate yellow living room that Rafauli described it as “Modern Art Deco. “
Elsewhere, a 44-foot-tall living space called the “Great Hall” contains a custom Bösendorfer concert grand piano designed in collaboration with Rafauli and famous Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.
Drake in his Toronto home next to a custom Bösendorfer concert grand piano, designed by Ferris Rafauli and Takashi Murakami. Credit: Jason Scnmidt / Architecural Digest
“Drake’s world is all about music, so he was not going to buy any piano,” said Rafauli. “This prized possession is an authentic marriage of art, craftsmanship and quality. “
The history of the mansion dates back to 2015, when Drake purchased land on Toronto’s exclusive Park Lane Circle for $ 6.7 million. He then demolished the existing bungalow to make way for his huge high-ceilinged house. The rapper, who in 2019 had a net worth of $ 150 million according to Forbes, said that the house demonstrated its desire to “remain forever solid in the place where I was born.”
“Because I was building it in my hometown, I wanted the structure to stay firm for 100 years. I wanted it to have a monumental scale and feel, “said Drake in Architectural Digest, before adding:” It will be one of the things I leave behind, so it had to be timeless and strong. ”
Drake on the cover of the May issue of Architectural Digest. Credit: Jason Scnmidt / Architecural Digest
In addition to providing creative direction, Rafauli has designed a number of items in the house himself, including a sheepskin bench seat and an eye-catching bronze and marble chandelier. He and his famous client also acquired articles from the Italian firm Venicem and Lumifer in New York, as well as textiles such as Alexander McQueen and Jean-Paul Gaultier.
“Once you have chosen a certain style,” Rafauli told the magazine, “you can dance with that style. “