The Toronto home of mega recording artist Aubrey Drake Graham is something else altogether. 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 limestone, bronze, exotic woods, and other noble materials. Every detail of the sprawling property has been meticulously conceived and executed. And there isn’t a Scarface poster in sight.
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.
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. At one end of the space, a bespoke concert grand piano by the venerable Austrian piano maker Bösendorfer designed in collaboration with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and Rafauli sits nestled within a portal defined by floor-to-ceiling panels of macassar ebony set alongside bronze screens fronting more antique beveled mirror. “Drake’s world completely revolves around music, so he wasn’t going to buy just any piano. This prized possession is an authentic marriage of artistry, craft, and quality,” Rafauli notes.
The second jewel of the great room is a monumental iteration of Lobmeyr’s iconic Metropolitan chandelier, originally designed by Hans Harald Rath for the Viennese maker to decorate the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in 1963. With more than 20,000 pieces of hand-cut Swarovski crystal, the dazzling light sculpture is the second largest installation of its kind in the world.
As always, God is in the details. The bed and bed base, which weigh roughly one ton and cost more than many people’s entire homes, is from Rafauli’s new line for Hästens, called Grand Vividus. The headboard, accented with antique mirror and channel-tufted leather, encompasses a whiskey-and-champagne bar on the reverse side. The nightstands feature mother-of-pearl inlays, and the bedding incorporates an Alexander McQueen hummingbird tapestry from The Rug Company.
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.