As the November/December issue of Azure demonstrates, some of the most dynamic design work being done these days is in the field of retail and hospitality.
Case in point: the expanding and increasingly experimental world of Ace Hotel Group, which all but defined hipster chic over the past two decades but is far from relying on the tried and true. On the Lower East Side of Manhattan, for instance, one of two new brand offshoots – charmingly chill Sister City – is mellow and of the moment in equal measure, while the other – eclectically louche Maison de la Luz in New Orleans – can only be described as going for baroque. At the same time, the company is completing a pair of unexpected new builds under the Ace Hotel mantle in Canada and Japan, enlisting star architects – Toronto’s Shim-Sutcliffe and Japanese master Kengo Kuma – to realize them.
The French hotel chain Accor, meanwhile, has teamed up with designer Ora Ito to create a new hostelry model altogether: portable hotel suites – fashioned out of repurposed shipping containers – for today’s modern nomads. Also in Europe, Berlin-based atelier Gonzalez Haase outlines the concepts behind its cutting-edge concept store in a converted Lisbon warehouse, while Spain’s Francesc Rifé digs deep – literally – to carve out a magnificently minimalist restaurant amid the ruins of Valencia’s old city walls.
And in Montreal, we discuss effective restaurant design in the Age of Instagram with Guillaume Ménard and David Dworkind, two rising talents known for their eye-popping eateries.
Spotlight on Workspace
An architectural gem is resurrected as Canada’s Hotel Birks.
Rugs and Carpet Tiles
Scene-setting designs for home and office.
What’s next in the realm of hotel, restaurant and store design? Azure’s November/December edition explores some of the category’s most innovative spaces.