SOUTHERN BELLE: PARTS AND LABOR DESIGNS THE GREY RESTAURANT IN SAVANNAH, GA

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Parts and Labor Design and Felder & Associates transformed a 1938 Greyhound Lines bus terminal in Savannah, Georgia, into a restaurant, the Grey. Photography by Emily Andrews.

Annie Block | April 02, 2015

It was 1929 when Greyhound Lines rolled into existence, making the racing dog the company logo and art moderne the style of the stations. One of them was built in 1938 in Savannah, Georgia, by architect George D. Brown. Now, thanks to a preservation-conversion effort undertaken by Parts and Labor Design, handling the interior, and Felder & Associates, for the streamlined facade, this landmark has become the Grey, where people come for dinner instead of buses. Parts and Labor principals Andrew Cohen and Jeremy Levitt divided the two-story, 5,500-square-foot space into four zones: the oak-paneled bar in front and main dining in back, plus a pair of private dining rooms—in one of which the women bus drivers previously took their showers. The brick walls and the terrazzo flooring, detailed in stainless steel, have been restored, and a tasteful furniture-scape mixes vintage and custom pieces. Outside, new versions of the blue and white Vitralite glass panels used in ’38 were installed.

2014 BOY WINNER: HOTEL ADAPTIVE REUSE

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Category: Hotel Adaptive Reuse. Project: Fontevraud l’Hôtel. Firm: Jouin Manku. Location: Fontevraud-l’Abbaye, France. Photography by Nicolas Mathéus.

Judy Fayard | January 31, 2015

Founded in 1100 by an eccentric monk who sought to create an “ideal city,” France’s Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud was a double monastery, with communities of men and women often led by abbesses belonging to the Bourbon royal family. The complex eventually comprised a church—with its tombstone effigy of Richard the Lionheart—and four priories. After the French Revolution, the abbey became a notorious prison. By the time Interior Design Hall of Fame member Patrick Jouin and his partner, Sanjit Manku, found themselves touring, the property had evolved into a cultural and community center. One priory contained a modest hotel, but the regional authority envisioned something more august.
Jouin and Manku’s interior pays homage to the ingenuity of the monks, who crafted clever devices such as mirrors deployed to multiply candlelight. This “monk tech,” as the designers describe it, veers toward interactive screens and multifunctional furnishings.
The 54 guest rooms range from suites, with mezzanines, to doubles tucked under sloping roofs. Most dramatic among the hotel’s features is the iBar in the vaulted chapel. Private events take place in the onetime refectory, where a communal table runs down the middle, and storage racks, for folding chairs, stand against the walls, like choir stalls.
Project Team: Bénédicte Bonnefoi; Elodie Martin; Henri Gagnaire.

2014 BOY WINNER: FOREIGN HOTEL

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Category: Foreign Hotel. Project: Le Méridien Zhengzhou. Firm: Neri & Hu Design and Research Office. Location: China. Photography by Pedro Pegenaute.

Craig Kellogg | January 30, 2015

The capital of Henan province, approximately halfway between Shanghai and Beijing, has a rich imperial history. Conscious of creating a landmark to honor that legacy, Interior Design Hall of Fame members Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu thought of this hotel as a repository ofreferences to Henan’s natural characteristics and cultural achievements. “The archive seemed the one metaphor that could carry through all aspects of our design, from building to interior to finish to artwork,” Neri explains.
On a more literal level, the 25-story tower stacks cantilevered boxes with fronts in glass tinted shades of green and sides in polymer-coated aluminum perforated in a pattern that recalls local wild roses, writ large. Once inside, having passed beneath a pair of floating canopies that rest on bronze poles, guests encounter a skylit central atrium with polished sandstone walls, horizontally striped like the sedimentary rock in nearby Buddhist caves, and a magical profusion of glass pendant fixtures.
Above the five-story public podium, 350 guest rooms offer a contrast of dark against light. Wainscoting is stained oak, while subway-tiled bathrooms also feature glass etched to repeat the exterior’s rose pattern.
Project Team: Alex Mok; Lina Hsieh Lee; Louise Ma; Jacqueline Min; Peter Eland; Christina Luk; Victor Ung; Eva Wieland; Zara Wang; Andrew Roman; Windy Zhang; Ni Duan; Meng Gong; Amy Hu; Begonia Sebastian; Anne Mu; Erika Lanselle; Debby Haepers; Cai Chun Yan; Dagmar Niecke; Nelly Yang; Briar Hickling; Dirk Weiblen; Wang Xiang; Jadesupa Pittasporn; Sophia Wang; Chi Chiu; Joseph Lee; Singeyong Pham; Shelley Gabriel; Arnau Baril; Talitha Liu; Christine Neri; Siwei Park; Evelyn Chiu; Poeng Litien; Zhou Hao; Brian Lo; Zhao Yun; Jean-Philippe Bonzon; Chen Xiaowen; Nicholas Faradet; Li Ximi.

INNOVATIONS UNDERFOOT: 5 TRENDS IN FLOORING

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‘The Lake’ series of lenticular rugs by London studio Raw Edges for Persian rug company Golran

Ali Morris | February 25, 2015
Combining time-honored patterns and craft techniques with new technology, flooring brands are offering customers a greater quality and choice than ever before. We take a look at the innovations taking place beneath our feet:
1. New aggregates: Synonymous with midcentury interiors, terrazzo surfaces are back in a big way with a renewed focus on their sustainable slant. Designed by Max Lamb and produced by London branddzek, ‘Marmoreal’ is an engineered marble that combines fragments of red Rosso Verona, yellow Giallo Mori, green Verde Alpi and white Bianco Verona set within strong polyester resin binders. Whereas traditional terrazzo is made up of much finer pieces of marble, Marmoreal’s aggregates are large and rough cut, creating a bold but beautiful surface that is stronger, less porous and more durable than natural marbles. dzek founder Brent Dzekciorius tells us, “All of the marble utilised in Marmoreal is from quarries in the factory’s surrounding area and is a byproduct/waste material of dimension quarrying.”
2. Ceramic wood: Advancements in technology mean that ceramic and vinyl tiles can no longer be distinguished from their real wood counterparts. Soft and warm to the touch, these new sophisticated fakes are also more durable and easier to maintain than wood – they can even be used to tile wet rooms and shower cubicles. In order to innovate in an increasingly competitive market, Italian brand Lea Ceramiche is printing its ceramic wood planks with geometric herringbone patterns that resemble intricate wood inlay or marquetry. Featuring four graphics in warm and cool tones, the hard-wearing ‘Type-32 Slimtech’ tiles are designed by Milan-based designer and illustrator Diego Grandi.
3. Traditions reinterpreted: Ancient rug-making techniques are being reinterpreted for contemporary interiors through the use of new colors, abstracted patterns and contemporary production techniques. ‘The Lake’ series of lenticular rugs by London studio Raw Edges for Persian rug companyGolran feature enlarged and cropped sections of the patterns found on traditional kilim rugs. Inspired by the work of Israeli lenticular artist Yaacov Agam and made by craftsmen in Nepal, the rugs feature varying pile heights that cause them to appear more or less colorful depending on the angle they are viewed from.
4. Kaleidoscopic Color: New improved weaving and printing technology has increased manufacturers’ ability to create carpets in an almost limitless spectrum of colors and precisely printed patterns. In turn this has given way to a spate of rugs and carpet designs that feature seamless color gradients made possible by the new technology. As a perfect example of this, Danish flooring brandFletco have introduced a line of digitally printed carpet tiles that feature an optical gradient. Designed bySebastian Wrong, the new collection makes use of Fletco’s new printing technology that offers up a palette over 65,000 colors as well as a unique laser cutting technique.
5. Jigsaw: In order to make carpet tiles more enticing manufacturers are creating customizable systems whereby customers can create their own flooring designs using a set of carpet tile components. Exemplifying the trend is the newly launched ‘Elements’ collection by Werner Aisslinger for German brand Vorwerk. Comprising of six brightly-colored geometric shapes – four end elements and two rectangular connecting elements –  the tiles can be joined together to form infinite variations. At a width of one meter and with an open-ended length the system can be used to create area rugs or unconventional carpet runners for walkways

THE CURTAIN RISES: JOUIN MANKU REDESIGNS DINING AT PLAZA ATHÉNÉE HOTEL

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Additional crystals, suspended on steel wire, embellish original chandeliers. Photography by Eric Laignel.

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The hotel’s 1913 facade. Photography by Eric Laignel.

Seth Sherwood | February 19, 2015

Sometimes the simplest statements are the most radical. Super-chef Alain Ducasse shocked the dining world when he announced he’d be revamping his marquee gastronomic temple—Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, holder of two Michelin stars—by jettisoning all meat from the menu. Instead, he would offer a stripped-down haute cuisine composed entirely of seafood, grains, and vegetables. To oversee an equally stunning overhaul of the soaring colonnaded dining room, the centerpiece of the century-old Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris, Ducasse brought back Interior Design Hall of fame member Patrick Jouin, who has created and re-created the restaurant and the hotel’s Le bar: three iterations since 1999.

Jouin now works in partnership with architect Sanjit Manku, and this time their firm, Jouin Manku, was given total freedom to renovate—and innovate. They were furthermore given the opportunity to work simultaneously on both spaces, which share the front of the hotel’s ground level on the Avenue Matignon, the capital’s toniest shopping street. With the inclusion of futuristic forms, both spaces morphed into places unlike any others on earth. Most important was to evoke a sense of wonder. As Jouin puts it, “You are taken into a world of beauty, poetry, and surprise.”

“With the inclusion of futuristic forms, both spaces morphed into places unlike any others on earth.”

The bar certainly does just that. Jouin Manku employed a dramatic intervention to captivate guests on arrival: a mass of blue fabric swirling beneath the ceiling vault. “It’s a troubled, stormy sky, a bit romantic and dark,” Jouin says. A suite of shiny or glowing elements enhances the night-sky ambience. LEDs shine from the top of the podium provided for the house DJ. Mirror-polished stainless steel wraps the base of the bar proper—topped with a counter in clear resin encasing ethereal wisps of white. To give a surface behind the bar a silvery, lunar texture, Jouin Manku coated carbon-fiber panels with stainless steel, a technique borrowed from the nuclear industry. Shimmering against the boiserie elsewhere, the floor lamps’ diffusers, disks of solid glass, suggest full moons.

Optical effects continue in the restaurant, where the overall look is brighter but no less intriguing. Grouped on the carpet just inside the entrance, three mysterious crescents of mirror-polished stainless—the product of 3,500 hours of largely manual labor—turn out to encircle three tables, giving them a little privacy. Like fun-house mirrors or fish-eye lenses, the shiny convex surfaces reflect, magnify, elongate, and bend surrounding objects, particularly the dazzling chandeliers. While they’re original to the space, they’re now engulfed in clouds of crystals hanging on fine wire. “The idea is to disorient slightly,” Jouin explains.

A moment of confusion will certainly be experienced by patrons accustomed to the regency influences that the hotel’s management, the Dorchester Collection, had required for the restaurant’s previous incarnations. Relieved of that constraint, Jouin Manku immediately ditched the ruffled white tablecloths, the rounded high-backed armchairs, and the screens embroidered with vegetablemotifs—all of which seemed heavy and anachronistic, regency being a style popular nearly a century before the art nouveau Plaza Athénée was constructed. “Getting rid of this bogus past,” showcasing a France that’s more contemporary, became a top priority, Jouin says. “Less sugar, less fat.”

“I love the idea of movement. Dance and music are both big inspirations. Fluidity. Flow. Your eye floats freely.”

And less color. The soothing winter-forest palette—white, cream, beige, pale gray, with no complicated patterns—puts guests at ease. “You don’t feel crushed by the decor,” Jouin continues. Chairs with sled bases glide quietly on the carpet. He and Manku insisted that the dining tables’ round tops of raw french oak be used without cloths. “Everybody told us you can’t do that in a gastronomic restaurant. There were all these codes, this ultra-refinement,” Manku recalls. Oak appears again as a canopy arcing over a banquette. The shape has maritime overtones suggesting both a ship’s hull and a wave.

Indeed, scarcely a straight line or sharp corner interrupts the expanse of gently rounded forms. “I love the idea of movement,” Jouin enthuses. “Dance and music are both big inspirations. Fluidity. Flow. Your eye floats freely and wanders unguided.” Eyes are inevitably drawn to an arched mirror set into the wall at the far end of the room, when, come nightfall, the glass becomes transparent, revealing shelves behind. They’re lined with a museum-worthy array of vintage cutlery, glassware, serving dishes, and other gastronomic relics drawn from the hotel archives and from Ducasse’s collection. The Cristofle silver-plated knives, forks, and spoons and the Cristallerie Saint-Louis champagne coupes on display evoke earlier eras of French craftsmanship and serve to keep the history of the restaurant alive, even as it moves so confidently into the future.

Project Team: Anna Leymergie; Andy Migevant; Bruno Pimpanini; Luciano Bon; Tania Cohen: Jouin Manku. Ory & Associés: Architect of Record. Philippe Almon: Lighting Consultant. ETS Lallier: Woodwork. Matinox: Metalwork. Corler: Drapery Workshop. Fabrication D3: Resin Workshop. Laine Delau: General Contractor.

2014 BOY WINNER: HEALTHCARE

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Category: Health Care. Project: Saint John of God Hopsital. Firm: Rai Pinto Studio With Llongueras Clotet Architects. Location: Barcelona, Spain. Photography by Victòria Gil.

Georgina McWhirter | January 30, 2015

When board members of this maternity and pediatric hospital realized that their sterile, all-white ER needed some cheerful, child-friendly interventions, they organized a competition. Judging was blind, but the winner turned out to be a designer who had previously collaborated on the hospital’s boardroom. This time,Rai Pinto turned to graphics appealing enough to infuse pluck in pint-size patients. Frozen and Barbie themes were out. “Nothing cloyingly infantile. It had to be attractive to the adults that work there every day, too,” Pinto says. He eventually settled on a menagerie motif combining three elements in different variations: life-size but abstracted animal shapes, patterns created by stripes or circles, and a color palette of purple, pink, red, orange, and yellow.Shuffled and reshuffled, in 2-D and 3-D, these elements made for seemingly limitless permutations—over 100 animals appear throughout the 40,000 square feet. A tiger, rendered in lacquered plywood slats, slinks along a wall. Jellyfish murals in vinyl adhesive sport dangling tentacles in rope.
The prognosis? Very good. The scheme is scheduled to go hospital-wide.
Project Team: Dani Rubio Arauna; Maritza Ramos Lasso; Nerea Borrell Cedó.

FLORA AND FAUNA DOMINATE AT DECO OFF

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Harlequin’s Amazilla collection showing curtains in viscose-linen Nalina.

Judy Fayard | January 29, 2015

Temperatures hovered around freezing, but indoors nature was in luxuriant bloom for the 6th edition ofParis Deco Off. The annual five-day open-house event, scheduled to coincide with Maison&Objet’s January fair, is held in the showrooms of some 100 French and international luxury design and decoration brands. All along the streets of the city’s double-barreled Decotown—clustered around the rue du Mail on the Right Bank and Saint-Germain-des-Prés on the Left—new fabrics, wall coverings and accessories were ablaze with trees, leaves, fronds, flowers, feathers, butterflies and birds in bright pastels and hot tropical colors.


Harlequin
’s Amazilia collection—named for a genus of hummingbirds native to Peru and Ecuador—ranges from delicate multicolored birds in flight to oversized and stylized flowering vines. Manuel Canovas finds inspiration in tales of 17th-century India, then takes a hot-air balloon trip to ancient Serendip for a brilliantly colored parrots-and-peonies print inspired by an 18th-century hand-painted silk. Lorca books a passage to India with the Chandor collection, in bold velvet stripes and large-scale stylized and embroidered paisleys, while Osborne & Little’s Pasha collection of Turkish-inspired delights includes the bold floral Tulipan, whose butterflies have ocelot-spotted wings.


Rubelli
stays close to home in Venice, birthplace of the original firm (1835) and of Lorenzo Rubelli (1847), who took it over in 1889. The new 2015 Venezia collection is anchored by a black-and-white wall covering view of the Grand Canal adapted from an early 18th-century etching, along with a cotton-blend Toile de Venise and a sheer Voile de Venise, both printed with details of early 18th-century Venetian engravings. (A percentage of Venezia collection sales will go to the restoration fund of the American organization Save Venice.)


Dedar
’s eclectic new collection plays with tribal motifs, tie-dye effects, chambray weaves and some discreet metallic sheen; the jacquard Short Cuts resembles tangled ribbon remnants, the elegant Alaya pattern is African-inspired, and the vividly multicolored, digitally printed, cotton and linen Margaritas is a delightful riff on American Abstract Expressionism.


Scion
’s prints by designer Hannah Bowen, derived from lino-cuts, give a handmade look to stylized trees, leaves, hedgehogs, squirrels and hares. And at Elitis, handcrafted wall coverings in natural plant materials include tree bark, bamboo, palm fiber and a surprising patchwork of vegetable-dyed papier maché.

TRENDS AND HIGHLIGHTS AT HEIMTEXTIL 2015

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Albano 9214C by Mumbai, India-based G.M Syntex is a large-format embroidery design on viscose-linen blend.

Craig Kellogg | January 27, 2015
Attracting no less than 2,759 exhibitors, Germany’s massive 2015 Heimtextil fair earlier this month offered a glimpse of the latest in residential fabrics and contract textiles for hospitality. Manufacturers from around the globe—but especially India, Turkey and China—converged in Germany this winter to nearly fill the city’s labyrinthine Messe Frankfurt convention center.
The show was a place to meet global suppliers with innovative products—and to discover brand names unfamiliar in the U.S. market. Say you wanted to invest in an enormous digital printer for your textiles factory. A visit to the fair’s trend hall presented you with the latest hardware from all of the major tech companies. And gone are the days when computer-generated prints were only possible on sleazy synthetics. Now, patterns can be digitally printed on everything from luxury fibers to the lowliest of quilting cottons. Computers have revolutionized old-fashioned tapestry weaves and embroidery, which are now available in custom patterns manufactured at impressive scale.
A standout was Mumbai-based G.M. Syntex. Alongside a full range of the company’s traditional fabrics were a surprising number of chic experimental patterns and textures highlighting embroidery and digital printing. Embroideries were vibrantly colored and boldly geometric, sometimes featuring fringed elements. A mid-century chair’s glazed silk upholstery was abstract, digitally printed without an obvious repeat. The result was patinated and mysterious, appearing nearly hand-painted.
Style trends included florals as well as African designs, which had an earthy, modern look in shades of brown sparked with unexpected colorful accents. Exquisite woven linens and trims were shown by Belgian manufacturer Deltracon. Technical standouts included chic geometrics and animal prints on flowing cork fabrics that Portuguese manufacturer Sedacor was marketing as renewable Ecoleather. The cork veneer had been bonded to a woven backing that promised durability and sustainability.
Also notable among the finished goods were chunky woven acrylic throws from Alpha Corporation. And, finally, 20-inch toss pillows covered in butterflies, from the British wallcoverings manufacturer Graham & Brown, part of a new line of cotton cushions featuring motifs derived from nature

HAMPTONS BEACH CABIN BY HARRY BATES AND PAUL MASI

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Craig Kellogg | December 22, 2014 |

Building in the Hamptons has required Harry Bates and Paul Masi to brave a variety of quagmires. But a 600-square-foot beach cabin in Amagansett, New York, deserves special mention for difficulty in inverse proportion to size. That’s because the ¼-acre lot, an investment property left vacant for decades, was ultimately declared to be in a protected wetland, and the owners had to undertake extensive negotiations to make even the smallest building possible.

“They fought that to the state supreme court,” Masi says. Ultimately, a legal judgment allowed Bates Masi + Architects to construct on a footprint of 15 by 20 feet. Even more challenging, the structure had to be more than 6 feet above-grade but not more than 25 feet tall.
To hide the septic system and handle rainwater runoff, the front yard was filled with sand and planted with beach grass. This man-made dune now serves, architecturally, as a plinth. Visitors cross it on a gravel path edged with blackened steel.
The cedar-clad part of the ex­terior splays as it rises, providing a little extra interior space for a central light well, while the glass walls visually enlarge the two tiny bedrooms. To maximize room heights, the floors and ceilings are exceptionally lean—built without integral ductwork. Two separate heat pumps are mounted flush on the ceilings, offering an object lesson in building modestly and eco­logically for luxury living.