Updated: Aug 26, 2020
Inside Rapper Drake's Manor House
Measuring 50,000 square feet, with amenities such as an NBA regulation-size indoor basketball court crowned by a 21-square-foot pyramidal skylight, Drake’s astonishing domicile certainly qualifies as extravagant. But instead of vast expanses of cheap drywall and mountains of ungainly furniture upholstered with a hot glue gun, stately Drake Manor, as envisioned by Canadian architectural and interior designer Ferris Rafauli, is a marvel of old-world craftsmanship, constructed of marble, bronze, exotic woods, and other noble materials. Every detail of the sprawling property has been meticulously conceived and executed.
“Because I was building it in my hometown, I wanted the structure to stand firm for 100 years. I wanted it to have a monumental scale and feel,” Drake says of his passion project. “It will be one of the things I leave behind, so it had to be timeless and strong,” he adds.
Dubbed The Embassy, the house takes its cues from traditional Beaux Arts architecture, distilled and slightly abstracted to imbue the classic idiom with a more contemporary spirit. “In form, materials, and execution, the structure is a proper 19th-century limestone mansion. But the exterior profiles are more minimal and the lines are a bit cleaner,” says Rafauli, who heads his own namesake luxury design/build firm based in Ontario. “This isn’t stucco, paint, and fake gold. That’s not what Drake wanted, and that’s not what I do.”
Rafauli describes the crazysexycool interiors as “modern Art Deco,” again referencing a classic historical style that has been tweaked and rejuvenated to mirror the spirit of the times as well as the DNA of his high-profile client. “Once you’ve chosen a certain style, you can dance within that style,” the designer observes. Drake insists, “It’s overwhelming high luxury. That message is delivered through the size of the rooms and the materials and details of the floors and the ceilings. I wanted to make sure people can see the work I’ve put in over the years reflected from every vantage point.”
Indeed, the scale of the rooms sets the tone for the home experience from the moment one enters the vast entry hall, which is clad in solid limestone with beveled inserts of Nero Marquina marble beneath a faceted ceiling of antique mirror framed in bronze. The epic great room, which soars to 44 feet high, pumps up the volume even further.
The centerpiece of the master bath is a 4,000-pound tub of faceted black marble carved from a single block. Equally dramatic is Drake’s two-story closet, adorned with amethyst hardware, rock crystal, and seating upholstered in diamond-tufted shearling with polished nickel studs. It’s the perfect place to display the musician’s extensive wardrobe, sneaker collection, and the array of precious Hermès Birkin bags that he has been amassing for years.
Surveying the splendors of his house, Drake takes the long view: “I think the house shows that I have true faith in myself (...). I also think the house says that I will forever remain solid in the place I was born.”
Article by: Mayer Rus
Source: Architectural Digest
Architect: Ferris Rafauli
Photography: Jason Schmidt