‘Hamilton’ set designer builds artsy oasis off Broadway

Though David Korins is best known as the set-design mastermind behind high-octane Broadway productions like “Hamilton,” “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Beetlejuice: The Musical,” his Upper West Side apartment near Lincoln Center is a haven away from the hustle and bustle of Theater Row.

“I love its proximity to the parks, and it’s convenient to both my office and the Theater District while still being a bit removed from the busiest parts of the city,” the award-winning designer, 43, tells The Post.

In 2017 — two years after “Hamilton” and “Evan Hansen” debuted — Korins paid $2 million for the 1,950-square-foot, three-bedroom penthouse, property records show.

'Hamilton' set designer builds artsy oasis off Broadway
His bedroom contains a wooden Oscar sculpture painted gold from the set he designed for the awards show earlier this year.Brian Zak/NY Post

Its other occupants are his two daughters, who visit on weekends. Part of its appeal, Korins says, is “the sweeping north-, west- and south-facing views of Manhattan and tons of natural light.”

For Korins, who spends long days creating memorable experiences for live audiences, coming home to an airy retreat with a relaxed vibe was the goal. “I sculpt spaces and create environments for people all day long,” Korins says. “So in my own apartment, I wanted a pared-down, comfy space — never austere — with items that were very special to me emotionally.”

He bought most furnishings from ABC Carpet & Home and Restoration Hardware, but the edgy art collection is a mix of his own work — Korins recently started painting — and that of friends and others he admires.

His blue-hued living room holds pop art-style melted-looking ice cream works by Elena Bulatova on the coffee table and a work beside the couch he calls “The Balls.”

“When I bought ‘The Balls,’ they came with no dimensions or scale,” says Korins, who thought they were tabletop-sized. “When I saw the sizes of them, I instantly returned the largest one and then struggled to find an interesting way to use the other two!”

Blue-casted fingers and palms appear to reach out from the wall alongside another hand-themed work by LA-based artist Matt Lipps.

Originally from Attleboro, Massachusetts, Korins has spent the past 20 years — since his days at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he studied theater design — creating spaces for opera, film, commercial outposts, traveling exhibitions and even concert tours for Kanye West and Andrea Bocelli.

And while he prefers not to mix work and home, traces of his Broadway hits and other accomplishments dot the apartment. In addition to several Tonys, there’s a gold Emmy statue for Fox’s “Grease: Live!” (2016) and a snow globe he designed for the “Hamilton” gift shop.

'Hamilton' set designer builds artsy oasis off Broadway
Korins’ console canopies a collection of candelabras.Brian Zak/NY Post

Another standout is the display surrounding a custom glass table in the foyer. Underneath the console is a cluster of candelabras; above it is a whimsical carved arch made of foam. The latter piece, modeled after Korins’ Emmy-nominated set design for the 91st Academy Awards earlier this year, was acquired and shipped from a scene shop in California. Also salvaged from this year’s Oscars and on display is a wooden statuette with gold fins used during the telecast.

Despite having no formal training, the divorcé recently began experimenting with oils on canvas. “My home has never felt like an art gallery — more like a working studio where I happen to store the work on the walls,” says Korins, who also plays the guitar. “It’s such a wonderful change of pace to be able to take off my collaborator hat and just be an artist on my own accord.”

'Hamilton' set designer builds artsy oasis off Broadway
The 800-pound elephant in the room hangs right above the bed.Brian Zak/NY Post

His large-scale painting of an elephant foot hangs in the master bedroom. Part of a series that captures “hunted” animals and items, the work took him more than 80-plus hours of meticulous work to complete and was based on a photograph taken at a zoo. Another piece in the “hunted” series, a close-up of Benjamin Franklin’s eyes on the $100 bill, hangs above a sideboard topped with other candelabras.

'Hamilton' set designer builds artsy oasis off Broadway
Korins painted Benjamin Franklin’s eyes as they appear on the $100 bill.Brian Zak/NY Post

Despite his efforts to keep home an oasis, Korins has also been known to hunker down at the dining room table — under a depiction of train tracks by Bob Dylan — for the occasional work session.

“When the weather is just right, I’m able to open up both balcony doors and the cross breeze makes it feel like a private treehouse,” says Korins, who posts behind-the-scenes shots on Instagram @DavidKorins. “It’s transporting for a place in the city.”

The escapist nature of the home is perhaps another reason smart-home technology is nowhere to be found — other than dimmers on every light, which he says is a must. “You always want to have control over the intensity of light,” he adds.

He’ll need a calm retreat: Korins — who currently has four shows running on Broadway (the limited-time-only “Great Society” is the latest to premiere) — just announced his next project: “Mrs. Doubtfire,” coming to Broadway in March 2020.

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