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CONTENTS JUNE 2021
VOLUME 92 NUMBER 6
ON THE COVER For the Citi Wealth Hub, a financial advisory center in Singapore, Ministry of Design conceived a “banking conservatory” of four private meeting pods amid live tropical plants. Photography: Khoogj.
features 102 OUT OF THE BOX by Georgina McWhirter
Various Associates—a Chinese design firm whose star is on the rise—subverts staid department-store conventions for J1M5 Boutique in the eastern port city of Qingdao. 110 BLUE AND GREEN by Raul Barreneche
Casona Sforza, a boutique hotel in Puerto Escondido by Taller de Arquitectura X, treads lightly on the Pacific coastline and supports Indigenous Mexican artisans. 118 HANDS ON by Edie Cohen
RMW Architecture & Interiors stitches together a headquarters for robotic medical specialist Intuitive Surgical in California’s Silicon Valley.
126 CABIN FEVER by Peter Webster
From rural retreats and wilderness camps to forest hideaways, small structures that blend seamlessly into the natural landscape are a hot trend in hospitality design.
136 FIT FOR A KING by Ian Phillips
In the Alsace region, Jouin Manku’s addition to Hôtel Les Haras, part of a centuries-old complex for Louis VIX, treats visitors like royalty. 144 LUSH WITH CASH by Rebecca Dalzell
Ministry of Design merges banking and biophilia at a Citibank wealth-management center in downtown Singapore.
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CONTENTS JUNE 2021
VOLUME 92 NUMBER 6
walkthrough 57 VERNACULAR SPECTACULAR by Matt Shaw
healthcare giants 69 ONWARD AND UPWARD by Mike Zimmerman
departments 21 HEADLINERS 27 DESIGNWIRE by Annie Block 50 BLIPS by Annie Block 54 PINUPS by Wilson Barlow 63 CREATIVE VOICES Sisters in Strength by Edie Cohen
A series of portraits by Rebecca Moses celebrates the fortitude of New York’s female nurses during the pandemic. 83 MARKET by Rebecca Thienes, Georgina McWhirter, and Nicholas Tamarin 97 CENTERFOLD Skeleton Crew by Nicholas Tamarin
Maya Lin’s spectral installation in a New York park is an environmental message for the future. 152 BOOKS by Stanley Abercrombie 154 CONTACTS
COURTESY OF LAYER
159 INTERVENTION by Wilson Barlow
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e d i t o r ’s welcome It may be a new personal trend, or perhaps just a fluke, but here I go again talking shop from the get-go. I simply can’t contain myself regarding every compelling bit that’s irredeemably for us in the trade. Insert drum roll here. The first batch of 2020 Giants data is in on the efforts of a very exceptional group of colleagues. We are delighted to be the first to report last year’s deeds—and just as important, future projections—from our mighty Healthcare Giants (and thanks to our own exceptional colleagues at ThinkLab who carried out all the research). The big news? It’s plainly about growth. According to an earlier analysis, 2020 was thought to be a retrenchment period, irrespective of the pandemic. Lo and behold, the Giants posted a great increase in fees instead. 2021 promises to stay up there. We have high expectations for the rest of the Giants (one can only hope), but Covid did turn our world upside down, so it’s anticipated some effects will leave us wanting. Let’s stay tuned as we rebuild. Yet, what better way to start our eminent June design record? Particularly because, once again, we came through with a pool of talent for the ages. Taller de Arquitectura X goes local, and sustainable, with a jaw-dropping beachfront hotel beauty made even more special by enlisting the help of Yucatán artisans. A wealth-management center gets gorgeous and green —as in biophilia —in Singapore thanks to Ministry of Design. And healthcare goes robotic (and less invasive) at a new Silicon Valley headquarters executed by RMW’s deft hand. From sustainability to technology and everything in between, design is shaping our tomorrow, and my team and I are honored to continue sharing all these advancements with you. xoxo
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Various Associates “Out of the Box,” page 102 co-founder, lead designer: Qianyi Lin. co-founder, lead designer: Dongzi Yang. firm site: Shenzhen, China. firm size: Four architects and designers. honors: Interior Design Best of Year Award; FX International Design Award; WIN Award. on the road: Lin and Yang are energetic world travelers. culture values: The couple shares a deep love and appreciation of the arts. various-associates.com
“We focus on enhancing spaces and developing material details using bespoke approaches to give unique visual expressions to each project” JUNE.21
RMW Architecture & Interiors “Hands On,” page 118 principal: Steve Worthington, AIA. firm sites: San Francisco; San Jose and Sacramento, California. firm size: 88 architects and designers. current projects: 751 Gateway Boulevard office building in San Francisco and Railyards Block 12 mixed-use building in Sacramento. honors: AIA Silicon Valley Award; WoodWorks Wood Design Award; Tilt-up Concrete Association Achievement Award. self: Worthington is a plein air watercolorist. staff: During the pandemic, he hosted virtual art classes for RMW employees and their families. rmw.com
Ministry of Design
h e a d l i n e rs
“Lush With Cash,” page 144 founder: Colin Seah. firm sites: Singapore; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Beijing. firm size: 23 architects and designers. current projects: The Standard, Singapore hotel; Marriott Luxury Collection Hotel in Pattaya, Thailand; MEI entertainment venue in Beijing. honors: President’s Design Award Singapore; Gold Key Awards. travel: When vacationing, Seah likes to stay at a “normal” hotel in a standard room to avoid fussing over design details. travel companion: His wife, Joy Chan Seah, is MOD’s director of business development. modonline.com
“Blue and Green,” page 110 founder, director:
Alberto Kalach. firm site:
Mexico City. firm size:
15 designers and architects. current projects:
Residences, public infrastructure, and hospitality concepts, all in Mexico. honors: Premiación Obra del Año award. studies: Kalach earned his architecture degrees from Universidad Iberoamericana and Cornell University. books: His Biblioteca Vasconcelos project in Mexico City is the largest public library in Latin America. kalach.com
Maya Lin Studio “Skeleton Crew,” page 97 founder: Maya Lin. firm site: New York. firm size: Four architects and designers. current project: A sculpture for Penn Medicine Pavilion in Philadelphia. honors: Presidential Medal of Freedom; National Medal of Arts. actual: Lin was a 21-year-old senior at Yale University when she submitted the winning design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. virtual: Since 2009, she’s been working on What Is Missing, a digital memorial documenting ecological loss. mayalinstudio.com
BOTTOM, FROM LEFT: ROBERTINO NIKOLIC; JESSE FROHMAN
Taller de Arquitectura X
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Jouin Manku “Fit for a King,” page 136 founder: Patrick Jouin. founder: Sanjit Manku. firm site: Paris. firm size: 40 architects and designers. current projects: Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Air France Lounge; Mont parnasse Station in Paris; a penthouse in London. honors: Interior Design Best of Year Awards; NYCxDesign Awards.
zen: Jouin enjoys the solitude of mowing his lawn at his house outside Paris. zoom: Manku likes to drive fast in his Porsche 911. patrickjouin.com
it’s in to be out
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still going strong Bruce Beasley was a 22-year-old undergrad at UC, Berkeley when he hit the big-time: His scrap-iron sculpture Tree House was featured in “The Art of Assemblage,” a 1961 group show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. (The next year, MoMA acquired his Chorus, making Beasley the youngest artist in the museum’s permanent collection.) Over the decades, he continued to break new ground, conceiving arrangements in such mediums as stainless steel, granite, and cast acrylic—the process he used for the latter adapted by the U.S. Navy for deep-sea exploration—from simple shapes that celebrate form and the complexity of human emotion. “Nature remains the ideal guide and the great resource,” Beasley has said. On the eve of his 82nd birthday, he partners with nature and unveils work in yet another medium for “Bruce Beasley: Sixty Year Retrospective, 1960-2020,” at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey. Outside, eight of his largescale works dot the institution’s 42 acres. Inside are his latest collages on canvas, a first for the sculptor, along with his Tree House that started it all.
KEN EK/COURTESY OF BRUCE BEASLEY
Arpeggio III, a 12-foot-tall bronze from 2005, is by Bruce Beasley, whose 60-year retrospective is at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey, through January 9. It’s the California-based artist’s first solo museum exhibition on the East Coast. JUNE.21
Benjamin Hubert has his finger on the pulse of industrial design. This year, the founder of Layer, a multidisciplinary studio of engineers, artists, experience experts, researchers, and branding specialists who create items that will help define the way we live, work, travel, and communicate, delivered a keynote at SXSW, won an award for his Beosound Balance speakers for Bang & Olufsen, and is launching an outdoor furniture collection with Allermuir. Of particular
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interest is Layer’s recent work with well ness start-up Never Go Alone, founded by entrepreneur and socialite Nga Nguyen— dubbed “fashion’s patient zero”—after contracting and recuperating from COVID. Hubert and Nguyen developed a suite of handsome products—a face mask, handsanitizer bottle, and sanitizing-wipes case, all reusable and/or refillable—designed to empower users to take ownership over their health and safety, with packaging that’s driven by observed human beha viors and environmental concern. Never Go Alone launches globally in July. COURTESY OF LAYER
From top: Edition 01: Sandstone, the inaugural collection for health and wellness start-up Never Go Alone designed by Layer, includes a 75ml handsanitizer bottle and a sanitizingwipes case, both refillable and made from injection-molded recycled plastic. The reusable face mask consists of an outer layer in breathable, lightweight knit fabric bonded to an Ultrasuede mid layer that mirrors the curves of the face, an inner layer of advanced technical Superfine knit that incorporates antibacterial fibers for increased protection, and a replaceable custom PM2.5 filter that slips into an internal pocket; when not in use, the mask folds flat and can be stored in a travel pouch.
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sit-ups and serenity
Clockwise from center: Dimmable LED strips run across the studio floor and ceiling at Mind Body Project, a New York fitness center by Bright Architecture that combines HIIT with meditation. The lounge has wallpaper by Wallpaper Projects, built-in hammock
just opened after a year delay due to the pandemic, is a 3,300-squarefoot holistic wellness experience, a reflection of the cathartic and intense programming. “Materials and elements are unexpected yet intentional, to softly engage the mind and body,” says architect Nathan Bright, who has designed over 80 fitness projects across the country, 10 of them completely new concepts his firm helped bring to market. At MBP, Euro pean oak, porcelain tile, and dreamy wall decor form the envelope. In the studio, dimmable lights run between yoga mats embedded in the floor. After class, which begins with guided breathwork, ascends into yoga, HIIT, and TRX, and culminates in meditation, guests can extend their sense of om and ah in the lounge’s hammock.
seating, and a Cedar & Moss pendant. Yoga mats embedded into the oak-plank floor by Madera can be removed for cleaning, while the arched niches store custom meditation cushions by Stitchroom. Sconces are by Rich Brilliant Willing.
FROM LEFT: NIKITA DOLGACHEV; CLAIRE ESPARROS (3)
It may be exactly what New Yorkers need these days, a work out that combines HIIT with transcendental meditation, serving their physical and mental needs. It’s the brainchild of Chris Stockel, who himself battled anxiety for years and found that TM brought peace of mind. Fittingly, Stockel connected with Bright Architecture, the firm that would translate his idea into reality, while exercising at another gym. The resulting Mind Body Project, which
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dream weaver It is a big year for Kay Sekimachi. In September, the fiber artist, whose pieces are in the permanent collections of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, turns 95. Before that, “Kay Sekimachi: Geometries” bows at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, her first solo exhibition in the city she’s called home since 1930. A first-generation child of Japanese immigrants who was forcibly resettled in internment camps during World War II, Sekimachi’s art incorporates origami, rice paper, and chopsticks, but what initially put her on the map in the 1960’s were her complex three-dimensional nylonmonofilament hangings. Her more recent pieces—she still actively weaves in her Berkeley studio—are small-scale minimalist weavings created in homage to the paintings of Paul Klee and Agnes Martin. A selection of 53 of her works have been chosen for the exhibition, which launches the reopening of BAMPFA to the public since the pandemic shutdown last year.
RIGHT AND BOTTOM: LEE FATHEREE (3)
Clockwise from top: Fiber art by Kay Sekimachi, shown card-weaving in her studio in 1974, is at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive from May 28 to October 24. Takarabako VI and Takarabako VII, her linen, acrylic paint, and boning pieces from 1999. Kiri IV, 1993, in Kiriwood paper, silk tissue, and chop stick. 100 Views of Mt. Fuji, 1981, in linen and transfer dye. Amiyose III, 1965/2004, in nylon monofilament.
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What a difference a year makes. It was September 2019 when the Studio Museum in Harlem mounted “Chloë Bass: Wayfinding,” an outdoor instal lation in St. Nicholas Park of two dozen frosted stainless-steel plaques and billboards em blazoned with statements like There are times when I have agreed with you only in order to cast relief, taking physical navigation as a meta phor for philosophical wandering. Today, the world reeling from the pandemic and racial, social, and environmental injustices, the exhibi tion is even more relevant in its iteration at Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, where it’s on view outside the museum through October 31. Bass, a Yale- and Brooklyn College–educated multiform conceptual artist whose work “is not seeking to invent, but to reveal,” added new signs for this presentation, including I want to believe that bodies can be different without being threatening, as well as a sitespecific audio piece narrated by her.
Illustrations by Patra Jongjitirat Pictured: Studio Zung. Photography by Jenna Bascom
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p i n ups text by Wilson Barlow
coming in hot The Swedish tiled fireplace known as kakelugnar inspired a made-to-order stoneware piece by Martin Brudnizki and Nicholas Jeanes
Ropley occasional table in ceramic glazed in hand-applied Raspberry and Light Blue faience by And Objects.
collide and divide Traditional Mexican weaving techniques intersect with CNC milling to yield a partition slotted together without screws or glue
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p i n ups 54
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COURTESY OF HUFFT
vernacular spectacular firms: föda; hufft site: bentonville, arkansas In the stairwell at private social and fitness club BlakeSt., a Paola Pivi’s Blue Bear presides over wire-scraped white oak floor planks and Object Interface pendant fixtures that accommodate live plants. JUNE.21
INTERIOR DESIGN JUNE.21
A recent urban renaissance in Bentonville, Arkansas, has made its downtown a destination for seekers of culture, cuisine, and community. Now, wellness can be added to the list. Recognizing an opportunity to create a gathering place that connects healthy lifestyles with the local spirit of hospitality, Ropeswing Hospitality Group has turned the site of an historic farmhouse into BlakeSt., a 22,000-square-foot private club named after Bentonville sheriff Thomas Taylor Blake, who built the house in the 1880’s, that features both social and fitness venues, including carbon-free dining, in a craft-inspired building by regional firm Hufft, with interior design by FÖDA of Austin, Texas. Hufft rebuilt the farmhouse to include many of its original details, such as trim profiles and porch columns. Members enter the club through the house, and then a glass bridge leads them to the modern
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addition. Although two stories and 20,500 square feet, its massing has been broken up to maintain a residential scale, with a gabled roof resembling those found on the homes in the surrounding neighborhood. “We looked at the precedents of the region before the advent of master crafts,” architect and Hufft principal Brad Kingsley explains. “We wanted to reference the housing typologies of the Ozarks, which could inform the redevelopment of Bentonville, while building on the social histories and local traditions.” BlakeSt. offers a range of amenities; the team describes it like a hotel without rooms. Shared spaces—dining room, library, terrace bar, which opens to the outdoor pool area—are connected in an open plan, while a grand stair leads to the second floor’s more private massage rooms, exercise studios, gym, and lounges. (Steam and locker rooms are on the ground floor.) The analogy for the project was that of a veil. “There is a soft line between public social and private wellness spaces, between revealed and concealed,” FÖDA founder and creative director Jett Butler says. “The idea was see, be seen, then get a reprieve.”
COURTESY OF HUFFT
Clockwise from above: Bassam Fellows stools line the terrace bar, which opens to the pool. Nichetto Studio’s lounge chair faces a Jasper Morrison sofa and the MDF wain scoting running beneath the club lounge’s watercolor series by George Dombek. In the sound lounge, an 11-foot-long Vladimir Kagan sofa stands on a Hella Jongerius rug and the black-walnut credenza stores some 300 records. The club consists of a rebuilt farmhouse on the left adjoining a 20,500-square-foot addition, all capped by a sheet-metal roof.
COURTESY OF HUFFT
Details connect with and are inspired by midwestern architectural traditions and rural communities like the Amish. Furnishings, paint colors, and objects were selected to evoke a sense of place and the craftsman spirit. Flooring throughout is rustic wire-scraped white oak. Wainscoting with digitally routed grooves update the farmhouse’s ornate carved paneling. Hufft’s brawny oak table in the library, where books on health and wellness fill the floor-toceiling built-ins, spans 11 feet in length. Elsewhere, furniture and artwork mix handmade and contemporary, local and global. In the stairwell, an enormous blue bear that appears to be climbing the wall is by Italian artist Paola Pivi, while the club lounge’s gallery of barn paintings is by Arkansas watercolorist George Dombek. Similarly, in the high-fidelity sound lounge, members can kick back on a sinuous Vladimir Kagan sofa while listening to music from the club’s 300-record vinyl collection, curated by Waterloo Records in Austin and Block Street Records in Bentonville. —Matt Shaw Clockwise from top: Mario Ruiz benches join custom white oak–fronted storage in a locker room. Hufft’s custom library table is made of the same wood. Ozark fieldstone surrounds the 33-yard pool. Kenesha Sneed’s Swimmer painting and verdant views energize the cork-floored gym.
FROM FRONT OBJECT INTERFACE: PENDANT FIXTURES (STAIRWELL). BASSAM FELLOWS: WOOD STOOLS (BAR). ALLIED MAKER: SCONCE. GRAND RAPIDS CHAIR CO.: TABLES. TON: STOOLS (BAR), CHAIRS (LIBRARY). DE LA ESPADA: ARMCHAIRS (CLUB LOUNGE). CAMIRA: ARMCHAIR FABRIC. ANTHOM DESIGN HOUSE: SOFA. MATER: BLACK OVAL COFFEE TABLE. MOSES NADEL: OTTOMAN. RH MODERN: CONSOLE. MAHARAM: RUGS (LOUNGES). HOLLY HUNT: SOFA (SOUND LOUNGE). DESIGNTEX: CURTAIN FABRIC. SITSKIE: CREDENZA. REJUVENATION: FLOOR LAMP. VOUTSA: CEILING FABRIC. AXOLIGHT: CEILING FIXTURE. MOSA: FLOOR TILE (LOCKER ROOM). GANDIABLASCO: BENCHES. BERT FRANK: TABLE LAMPS (LIBRARY). CLOWARD H20: POOL (POOL AREA). TEAK WAREHOUSE: CHAISE LONGUES, BENCHES. FRANKFORD UMBRELLAS: UMBRELLAS. ZANDUR: FLOORING (GYM). THROUGHOUT PID FLOORING: FLOOR PLANKS. BENJAMIN MOORE & CO.; SHERWIN-WILLIAMS COMPANY: PAINT. PETERSEN ALUMINUM CORPORATION: ROOF. RENFRO DES IGN GROUP: LIGHTING CONSULTANT. 40NORTH: LANDSCAPING CONSULTANT. PMA ENGINEERING: STRUCTURAL ENGINEER. HP ENGINEERING: MEP. ECOLOGICAL DESIGN GROUP: CIVIL ENGINEER. HOLLYWOOD WOODWORK: WOODWORK. FLINTCO: GENERAL CONTRACTOR.
COURTESY OF HUFFT
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INTERIOR DESIGN JUNE.21
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sisters in strength A series of portraits by Rebecca Moses celebrates New York’s female nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic
COURTNEY DOUGLAS PHOTOGRAPHY
Rebecca Moses is a woman of many parts: a consummate New Yorker; for 20 years, a resident of a remote Italian village; a fashion designer; and an artist delighting in women and in depicting her subjects as delightful. So it makes sense that her latest endeavor, “Thank You Mount Sinai Nurses”—a traveling exhibition comprising 46 portraits of female members of the multicampus New York hospital’s various nursing teams—is characterized by extraordinary diversity and inclusiveness of vison. Moses paints the women in their own garb, with no PPE, masks, or scrubs in sight. During the winter, enlarged facsimiles of the colorful images were shown at the hospital’s Guggenheim Pavilion in an installation designed pro bono by George Ranalli Architect. Moses’s career has prepared her for such far-reaching enterprises. From the age of 14, she knew she wanted to be in the world of fashion. Graduating from FIT, she immediately went to work for Pierre Cardin’s coats and suits license. Three years later, she “got the crazy idea to start my own business.” With her ready-to-wear label, Moses experienced all the heartache, glamour, and drama of the womens wear scene. As luck would have it, she met a man, Giacomo Festa Bianchet, first in Italy and again in Hong Kong. But for l’amore to work, the couple needed to live in the same country. Without speaking a word of Italian, Moses moved to Quarona (population circa 5,000) and married Bianchet. They went on to have two sons, while she continued to sketch nonstop. Ultimately her drawings found their way to head of mega fashion group Genny, Donatella Girombelli, who hired the artist. For five years, Moses designed everything from eyeglasses to gowns. She then went on to re-launch her label with a cashmere collection, transform the venerable Florentine stationary company Pineider into a lifestyle brand, and consult for numerous Italian businesses. Her illustrations graced the pages of Vogue Italia, Vogue Japan, and Marie Claire Italia. The artist and fashion designer in her New York studio.
c r e at i v e voices
When Moses’s husband died in 2010, Vogue Italia’s esteemed editor Franca Sozzani encouraged her to return to New York and concentrate on art. Which brings us to her books; exhibitions at New York’s Ralph Pucci International, Traffic NYC, and Milan’s Nilufar galleries; and a 2020 collaboration with the Fragrance Foundation, a suite of seven evocative portraits each inspired by a particular perfume. Along with celebrating women, Moses embraces diversity herself. “I have such an eclectic family,” she notes. “I’m Jewish. My boys were raised Jewish and spent their childhoods in Italy. My partner is Black. And my niece is part Chinese.” She tells us more.
I brought in Linda Levy, president of the Fragrance Foundation, who reached out to provide 5,000 gifts to the nurses. Why only women? Men are nurses, too. RM: I love men, but I don’t draw them. But, I’m indebted to Mount Sinai through a man: My father’s life was saved there by a liver transplant. How did you select the 46 nurses? RM: The hospital was in charge of that, diversifying among its various departments: oncology, gynecology, obstetrics, radiology. How did the process work? RM: The nurses sent me photos of themselves in normal clothes. I did a different print as a background for each painting so, when assembled, they would read as a collage. All the portraits are 9 by 12 inches, in acrylic, gouache, and pen on paper. Where and how will the exhibit be displayed permanently? RM: Mount Sinai has to determine where—maybe the nursing school. There is no maquette. That’s the beauty of it: We can put these people together any way we choose. What’s next? RM: I’d like to get all the “Stay Home Sister” portraits, 412 of them, into a museum to show the power and outreach of women during this epic time—and the power of the paintbrush and sharing on a global scale. I don’t want to sell them. I want them to be part of history. —Edie Cohen
c r e at i v e voices
FROM TOP LEFT: THOMAS IANNACCONE; COURTESY OF REBECCA MOSES (3)
How did “Thank You Mount Sinai Nurses” evolve? Rebecca Moses: Through the power of social media and the paintbrush! During the COVID-19 lockdown, I started a project on Instagram called “Stay Home Sisters,” in which I asked women to share their stories and photographs and I’d do a portrait of them. The response was remarkable in terms of diversity. There was no particular age group, profession, or class. Letters came in from 23 countries, and these women started corresponding with each other. One letter I got was from a woman named Anne Valentino, who wanted to honor her sister, Linda Valentino, who is vice president of nursing and patient care services for women and children at Mount Sinai Health System and chief nursing officer at Mount Sinai West in New York. Linda shared what she was witnessing professionally. For example, she saw 26 people die in one day. She also told me that the World Health Organization had designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, and I said I’d love to do something special for it. Through our pages of correspondence,
Opposite, from top: Moses in Ralph Pucci International’s New York studio with a mannequin head she designed. The desk in her New York studio. Linda Valentino, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, Vice President of Nursing and Patient Care Services for Women’s and Children’s Services at the Mount Sinai Health System, and Chief Nursing Officer of Mount Sinai West. Shelley Burrowes, RN, Mount Sinai Beth Israel. Clockwise from top left: The artist’s paints. Monica Tse, MSN, BSN, RN-C, Mount Sinai Medical Center. Handpainted bags on Moses’s studio wall. Adaly Acosta, RN, Mount Sinai Morningside. Vanessa Joseph, RN, BSN, Women’s Services, Mount Sinai Hospital. Vinetta Cherian, RN Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital. Syreeta Clement, RNCMNN, MA, IBCLC Women’s Services. A stack of Moses’s works on paper.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: COURTESY OF REBECCA MOSES (7); COURTNEY DOUGLAS PHOTOGRAPHY
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upward and onward JUNE.21
h e a lt h c a r e giants
No one could have predicted what madness 2020 would bring—and on everincreasing levels as the year went on. So we have been naturally curious to see what our Interior Design business trends data show from this crazy stretch. We’ll be taking in-depth looks at information from all our Giant groups as the year goes on, but first up are the top 40 Healthcare Giants. This is of primary interest, of course, as the healthcare industry was the first and hardest hit by the pandemic. How would this disaster affect a sector that had already predicted a pre-pandemic downturn in 2020? First, what no one expected: The Healthcare Giants brought in $790 million in total 2020 fees. That crushes the $607 million tally from 2019, especially when the Healthcare Giants had previously forecasted a drop to $481 million in 2020, a recession-tinged prediction that makes sense if you go back in time before the pandemic was a gleam in our eyes and experts weren’t so optimistic about the 2020 economy. So, forecasts busted, fee levels exploded, and the healthcare design business had a year like no other during a year like no other. How does that happen? One area accounted for nearly 50 percent, or $367 million, of that figure: acute-care hospitals. The virus spurred a lot of action, so many projects were accelerated in 2020 because of pandemic necessity or government stimulus. “There was a ton of activity that was more pandemic-related and generated a lot of billable hours,” AECOM principal Christine Hester Devens explains. Behind acute care, outpatient procedure/surgery centers and health clinics (urgent care/walk-in) were the biggest segments, with their combined fees totaling $187 million. (The remaining money came in from sectors that experienced projects being delayed, put on hold, or canceled because of the pandemic, including medical/dental offices and mental health, assisted living, senior living, and outpatient facilities.) Other markers were way up in 2020, too. Furniture, fixture, and construction rolled in at $18.3 billion, double the 2020 forecast of $9.6 billion. Fees per staffer also rose, to $131,000, and the Healthcare Giants worked 4,950 total design jobs, up from 3,188 in 2019. Could this year be considered a fluke? Possibly. All the Healthcare Giants’s predictions for 2021 involve some pullback from 2020 levels. Overall fees are expected to fall 20 percent to $686 million, but that’s still a very healthy tally; same with FF&C and jobs, both anticipated to decrease slightly to $15.3 billion and 4,600, respectively. Although the Healthcare Giants do not anticipate that the current year will see much change in the proportion of project types relative to one another, the overall income from each category may scale back. Acute-care hospital and outpatient procedure/surgery-center projects, the top two earning segments, are forecasted to bring in 17% and 27% less in design fees, respectively. Informal surveying suggests that 2021 numbers will reflect the projects that went on hold or were cancelled in 2020; some projects, however, are still on hold, waiting for material costs to come down, or have had substantial budget cuts. And since many large projects were accelerated in 2020, there may be fewer of them in 2021. “Our approach in today’s economic climate is to combine what we know about good design practices with the best benchmarking, pre-occupancy, and post-occupancy data we have,” Flad Architects director of sustainability Kimberly Reddin says. But there is much optimism going forward. Namely, normalcy will continue to be restored as the year progresses and more people are vaccinated. Business-wise, the Healthcare Giants project growth in telehealth facility projects, possibly as much as $1 million. They also expect to see more projects in most segments, with most of them predicting assisted/senior living, outpatient procedure/surgery centers, and mental health facilities having the highest growth rates in the next two years. To boot, 95 percent of these firms foresee overall U.S. growth, with more than half of them expecting it in all regions, with the Southwest, Northeast, and Southeast experiencing the most. In terms of design business, 2020 may go down in history as a surprising outlier. But given the disaster of the pandemic and the overall impact it had on society and the economy, one can see it as a lucky windfall for the Healthcare Giants. —Mike Zimmerman
“The healthcare design business had a year like no other”
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h e a lt h c a r e giants WORK INSTALLED
FIRM headquarters / website
1 HOK St. Louis / hok.com
$2368.0 26.7 296
2 PERKINS+WILL Chicago / perkinswill.com
3 HDR Omaha, NE / hdrinc.com
4 CANNONDESIGN New York / cannondesign.com
5 PAGE Washington / pagethink.com
6 AECOM Los Angeles / aecom.com
7 HKS Dallas / hksinc.com
$43.3 6.0 NR 152
8 FLAD ARCHITECTS Madison, WI / flad.com
$2003.0 11.1 247
NR 18.0 210
9 PERKINS EASTMAN New York / perkinseastman.com
10 NBBJ Seattle / nbbj.com
11 SMITHGROUP Detroit / smithgroup.com
12 GENSLER San Francisco / gensler.com
13 STANTEC Edmonton, AB / stantec.com
14 HMC ARCHITECTS Ontario, CA / hmcarchitects.com
15 HGA Minneapolis / hga.com
16 EWINGCOLE Philadelphia / ewingcole.com
17 ZGF ARCHITECTS Portland, OR / zgf.com
18 LEO A DALY Omaha, NE / leoadaly.com
19 NK ARCHITECTS Morristown, NJ / nkarchitects.com
$1055.6 2.7 NR
20 SHEPLEY BULFINCH Boston / shepleybulfinch.com
$210.4 0.6 55
21 CALLISONRTKL Baltimore / callisonrtkl.com
$36.9 7.2 241
22 CO ARCHITECTS Los Angeles / coarchitects.com
$0.8 0.0 115
23 NELSON WORLDWIDE Minneapolis / nelsonworldwide.com
NR 0.8 382
24 STUDIOSIX5 Austin, TX / studiosix5.com
$190.0 5.7 51
25 WARE MALCOMB Irvine, CA / waremalcomb.com
$172.5 2.8 233
26 HED Southfield, MI / hed.design
$89.0 0.6 195
27 EYP Albany, NY / eypae.com
$1255.6 2.5 158
28 LITTLE Charlotte, NC / littleonline.com
$45.7 1.5 198
29 GOLD MANTIS Suzhou, CN / goldmantis.com
$89.8 16.3 1651
30 LAWRENCE GROUP St. Louis / thelawrencegroup.com
$71.3 0.4 78
31 ARRAY ARCHITECTS Conshohocken, PA / array-architects.com
$368.0 2.8 14
32 ARCHITECTURE, INCORPORATED Reston, VA / archinc.com
$38.4 0.2 12
33 HORD COPLAN MACHT Baltimore / hcm2.com
34 THW DESIGN Atlanta / thw.com
$312.6 2.3 17
35 GALLUN SNOW Denver / gallunsnow.com
$351.6 1.0 NR
36 LS3P Charleston, SC / ls3p.com
$325.1 3.4 122
37 FAULKNER DESIGN GROUP Dallas / faulknerdesign.com
38 RLF ARCHITECTS Orlando, FL / rlfaei.com
39 CHIPMAN DESIGN ARCHITECTURE Des Plaines, IL / chipman-design.com
40 CUNINGHAM GROUP ARCHITECTURE Minneapolis / cuningham.com
$43.7 1.2 199
*NR - not reported new to 2020 ranking
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“Big projects are more likely to add services and things that build up fees, even though it’s still the same project” —Eric Meub, HDR
HDR  designed offices for a confidential biopharmaceutical company in Foster City, California.
h e a lt h c a r e giants 74
“I look forward to walking through the doors of a pediatric project we did entirely virtually—a real accomplishment for our industry and a lot of our designers individually and a huge silver lining for the past year.” —Aimee Burmaster Hicks, Page “What we traditionally know and consider as architecture and design is starting to morph into other things, and I’m seeing that play out through acquisitions.” —Margi Kaminski, Cannon Design “The coronavirus pandemic is proof that nothing exists in a silo; everything is inextricably linked. We must embrace a holistic approach that addresses environmental, economic, and social issues while upholding our commitment to empathetic, human-centered design.” —Rebecca Milne, Perkins Eastman
“It’s how you bring design from a research environment or maybe an academic setting into a healthcare environment.” —Randy Schmitgen, Flad Architects JUNE.21
fee by healthcare project type acute-care hospital
area global growth potential (next 2 years)
N O RT H E A ST
outpatient procedure/surgery center
mental health facility
S O U T H E A ST
- AT L A N T I C
M I D W E ST
health & wellness/fitness center N O RT
H W E ST
H W E ST
M E X I CO
h e a lt h c a r e giants
L/SOUT H AME
D L E E A ST
Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida, is by CannonDesign .
Perkins+Will (1) CannonDesign (2) ZGF Architects (3)
most admired healthcare firms
OCT 4–6, 2021
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hospital (15%) assisted/senior living (5%)
rehabilitation facility (38%)
rehabilitation facility (8%)
outpatient procedure/surgery center (70%) mental health facility (68%) medical/dental office (41%) health clinics (56%) health & wellness/fitness center (45%) skilled nursing facility/hospice (31%) private sector (41%) public sector (33%) other (67%)
no change hospital (35%) assisted/senior living (20%) rehabilitation facility (48%) outpatient procedure/surgery center (18%) mental health facility (22%) medical/dental office (33%) health clinics (26%) health & wellness/fitness center (28%) skilled-nursing facility/hospice (46%) private sector (36%)
During the next two years, does your firm expect to see more or fewer project activities in these healthcare segments?
assisted/senior living (65%)
public sector (44%) other (0%)
outpatient procedure/surgery center (5%) mental health facility (2%) medical/dental office (10%) health clinics (10%) health & wellness/fitness center (5%) skilled nursing facility/hospice (10%) private sector (13%) public sector (13%) other (0%)
n/a hospital (8%) assisted/senior living (10%) rehabilitation facility (8%) outpatient procedure/surgery center (8%) mental health facility (8%) medical/dental office (15%) health clinics (8%) health & wellness/fitness center (22%) skilled-nursing facility/hospice (13%) private sector (10%) public sector (10%) other (33%)
h e a lt h c a r e giants
healthcare project categories
new construction (50%)
refresh previously completed projects (5%) 78
Flad Architects  designed an innovation development center for a confidential client.
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METHODOLOGY The first installment of the two-part annual business survey of Interior Design Giants comprises the 100 largest firms ranked by interior design fees for the 12-month period ending December 31, 2020. The 100 Rising Giants ranking will be published in July. Interior design fees include those attributed to: 1. All types of interiors work, including commercial and residential. 2. All aspects of a firm’s interior design practice, from strategic planning and programming to design and project management. 3. Fees paid to a firm for work performed by employees and independent contractors who are “full-time staff equivalent.” Interior design fees do not include revenues paid to a firm and remitted to subcontractors who are not considered fulltime staff equivalent. For example, certain firms attract work that is subcontracted to a local firm. The originating firm may collect all the fees and retain a management or generation fee, paying the remainder to the performing firm. The amounts paid to the latter are not included in fees of the collecting firm when determining its ranking. Ties are broken by dollar value of products installed, square footage of projects installed, and staff size respectively. Where applicable, all percentages are based on responding Giants, not their total number.
Don’t forget your walls when designing your space.
All research is conducted by ThinkLab, the research division of SANDOW.
©2021 B+N Industries, Inc.
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special bath/spa section
market edited by Rebecca Thienes text by Georgina McWhirter and Nicholas Tamarin
gleam and glint Talk about precious metals. From Viadurini, an e-commerce company for luxury furniture made in Italy by master artisans, arrives the golden Sofia countertop basin. Its unusual triangle shape provides multiple positioning possibilities with measurements of 15 by 22 by 25 inches and a height of 5. The sink is handmade in ceramic immersed in a glossy metallic-gold finish that’s silky smooth to the touch. Custom options are also available. viadurinimilano.com
product Rise. standout The founders of Zaven, a multidisciplinary studio, began with a rectangular surround in bio-based solid surfacing, then integrated a deep basin in a contrasting circle or oval. zucchettikos.it
Peter Wirz for Laufen
product Laufen Pro. standout The Vetica Group managing director’s decades-long collaboration on a comprehensive bathroom suite includes a 59-inch tub of Marbond, a hygienic cast mineral composite coated in ultra-thin acrylic. laufen.com
Giovanni Barbieri of Giovanni Barbieri
product Squar[e]. standout Fostering a sense of move ment, nine different tiles from the acclaimed stone and tile designer segue from flat squares to 3-D irregular shapes in wet-pressed, hand-painted clay. Through Arto. arto.com
Autumn Adeigbo for Kazi
product Blossom Pinks Handle Tray. standout For her namesake collection with the homewares brand made in Rwanda, Uganda, and Ghana, the fashion entrepreneur and Parsons grad devised a 16-inch-diameter tray handwoven of raffia and sweet grass. kazigoods.com
PRODUCT 1: DELFINO SISTO LEGNANI; PORTRAIT 1: MARCO CAPPELLETTI
Enrica Cavarzan and Marco Zavagno for Kos
m a r k e t scape
Jean-Michel Wilmotte for Ceadesign
PORTRAIT 7, 8: AARON GRANT; DANIEL ROBERTS
Justina Blakeney of Jungalow
Jessica Davis of Nest Studio
product Lutezia. standout Drawn from the Wilmotte & Associés Architectes founder’s tapware for his Lutetia, Paris hotel project, the bath fittings’ rounded lines reinterpret early 20th–century hydraulic valves.
product Soleil. standout The doyenne of bohemian contemporary puts her own twist on a traditional suzani quilt with her cotton shower curtain depicting sun medallions that beam with positivity.
product Tortoise 02. standout The self-described design geek’s petite knobs (around 2 inches) mimic the art deco motifs of her brand’s larger pulls, and are available in un lacquered brass, verdigris, or polished nickel. neststudiocollection.com
Karin Jeske of Tesselle
product Arroyo. standout The tile company founder, who trained as a textile designer, con verted her photograph of a leafy riverbed into a precise half-drop repeat, then transferred that to 8-inch-square cement tiles. tesselle.com
“A period of adversity created an opportunity for creativity”
stuck on you Inspired by Venetian stucco, the Dekton Craftizen line by Cosentino— which nabbed Best of Show at the 2021 Best of KBIS Awards—is the first large-format stucco-look material boasting industryleading durability, since it’s rendered in Dekton, a hardy quartz, porcelain, and glass composite. There are five colors, all of which have a rich, troweled-plaster texture. Nacre is a pale golden beige with a silky finish; an elegant and understated charcoal, Micron offers depth to any palette; Albarium comes in a soft white reminiscent of marble dust; Umber is a timeless terra-cotta red; and Argentium takes cues from the moon with its silver-gray tone and resembles traditional lime stucco.
COURTESY OF COSENTINO
m a r k e t collection bath/spa
“Our mission is the constant quest for uniqueness”
dash it all Based in the Italian municipality of Fiorano Modenese since 1969, Ceramica Colli di Sassuolo lies in the heart of the Emilia-Romagna region, known as a world leader in ceramics. The brand’s Shanghai line centers on 2-by-8-inch white-body wall tiles in three gloss glazes: White, Blue, and reddish-brown Terra. The regular rhythm of the rectangular shapes, which can be stacked or arrayed in a herringbone pattern, can then be disrupted any which way by the star of the show: ½-by-8-inch pencil tiles in five modernist hues, White, Vanilla, Coral, Terra, or Blue. Slot one pencil between multiple field tiles, group in pairs or trios, or orient them horizontally or vertically, the choice is yours. colli.it
m a r k e t collection bath/spa
New Felt Colors Plucked From Nature
Spinneybeck I FilzFelt is a Knoll brand.
Introducing new 100% Wool Design Felt colors developed by Danish designer Nina Bruun. Our refreshed and expanded color line includes a whopping 96 hues ranging from earthy neutrals to sunny shades. filzfelt.com/new-colors
m a r k e t collection bath/spa
let history sink in
“The world of the bathroom goes back to the dawn of time. The relationship to the body and hygiene—from Roman baths to Oriental hammams—takes various forms depending on the culture,” Patrick Norguet says. Today there is Valet, which combines French flair with Middle Eastern craftsmanship via the first collaboration between the Gallic veteran of Yves Saint-Laurent and Louis Vuitton and the United Arab Emirates surface masters at RAK Ceramics. Composed of functional fixtures in matte and glossy finishes, the series’s nomen clature derives from “the veritable valets that hand us the objects of our daily well-being,” Norguet notes. “Think decorative forms with slender profiles for the basins, top-notch stylistic research for the tubs, and elongated lines for toilets.” rakceramics.com
“Sometimes it’s not necessary to reinvent everything”
Spinneybeck I FilzFelt is a Knoll brand.
Divide Without Disconnecting Braided wool felt strips come together to make Plectere by Dutch designer Petra Vonk. These space dividers come in custom sizes and 96 colors to divide space with all the flexibility and natural texture you’ll ever need. filzfelt.com/plectere
the new classics These key upgrades future-proof any spa bath
1. Robert A.M. Stern Architects’ Central Park West sink fittings in brass in Polished Chrome finish by Kallista. kallista.com 2. Organic Square cabinet pull in White Bronze Light finish by Rocky Mountain Hardware. rockymountainhardware.com 3. HV1 basin faucet and mixer in Copper finish by Vola, through Hastings Tile & Bath. hastingstilebath.com 4. Cadet toilet with hand-wave touchless flush technology by American Standard. americanstandard-us.com 5. Linear SteamHead flush-mount anodized-aluminum steam shower with aroma tray for essential oils by Mr. Steam. mrsteam.com 6. Denes Petoe’s A Touch of Brass mesh-mounted mosaic tile in Calacatta Gold marble and matte brass by Terra Bella. terrabellamarble.com 7. Serenity Light, Sound, Rainhead 82-jet shower in brass electroplated
in Satin Nickel with Bluetooth-enabled audio system and color-changing LEDs by Thermasol. thermasol.com 8. Savoy Insho Lines ceramic tile in Blue by Ann Sacks. annsacks.com 6 5
T H I S
N E O
This is neo. D-Neo is a bathroom revolution: great design at an attractive price. The complete bathroom series by Belgian designer Bertrand Lejoly inspires joy through its vast selection of unique washbasins, high-quality furniture, and matching bathtub in the perfect size. With its limitless, style-adaptable options, D-Neo meets the needs of daily life - for everyone. wwww.duravit.us and pro.duravit.us
A flush of pink and a dose of natural timber make for a cosseting bathroom
1. Colovers wall tile in porcelain in Pearl
and Bronze by Ceramiche Supergres. supergres.com 2. BeOne tub in White acrylic by Bain Ultra. bainultra.com 3. Nathie Katzoff’s Octo tub in sapele
mahogany and hand-forged steel by NK Woodworking & Design. nkwoodworking.com 4. Terre Bricco 3-D tile in porcelain in Cotto by Italgraniti. italgranitigroup.com 5. David Rockwell’s Inciso hands-free motion-sensor faucet in brass in Finox Brushed Nickel by Gessi. gessi.com 6. Open 2021 shower enclosure in glass and Matte Black aluminum by Samo. samo.it 7. Aegean Turkish bath towel in cotton in Rose by Revival. revivalrugs.com 1
m a r k e t bath/spa
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c enter fold
“Being more accustomed to making permanent large-scale works out of earth and grass, I knew a different approach had to be taken — to create something transient and temporal”
THIRTEEN ARCHITECTS, DESIGNERS, ARBORISTS, LOGGERS, FORESTERS, AND ENGINEERS LED BY MAYA LIN STUDIO FOUNDER MAYA LIN
7,000 SQUARE FEET
FROM TOP: COURTESY OF MAYA LIN AND PACE GALLERY; ANDY ROMER/COURTESY OF MAYA LIN AND MADISON SQUARE PARK CONSERVANCY (3); COURTESY OF MAYA LIN AND PACE GALLERY
EIGHT feet buried underground
48 FEET TALL
Maya Lin’s spectral installation in a New York park is an environmental message for the future
1. For its annual public art program, the nonprofit Madison Square Park Conservancy in New York commissioned Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest, her site-specific commentary on ecological issues, which involved trucking in cedar trees to the 6-acre park from New Jersey’s Pine Barrens, where they’ve been severely damaged by extreme weather events related to climate change. 2. The Atlantic white cedars, once the dominant species along the Atlantic seaboard and now reduced to under 10 percent of their original habitat, were lifted into place using a crane after being razed, to make way for new plantings and their regeneration, since the trees need access to open light to repopulate. 3. After ensuring they were beetle-free, the trees were placed into deep holes dug by a mini excavator.
1 1. Accessed via a QR code on a smart phone, visitors can play a soundscape, composed by Lin in collabora tion with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, that weaves together the calls and songs of native animal species once common in Manhattan. 2. Ghost Forest builds on the practice of Lin, an architect and artist who ad dresses loss and climate change in her work and hand picked each tree in the installation. 3. The project, which originated when Lin saw an actual ghost forest— the term for a vast tract of once-verdant woodland that has died off—outside her Colorado studio, is in Madison Square Park through November 14 and will culminate with the planting of 1,000 native trees and shrubs throughout the city’s five boroughs, including Van Cort landt Park in the Bronx and Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
c enter fold 3 FROM LEFT: ANDY ROMER/COURTESY OF MAYA LIN AND MADISON SQUARE PARK CONSERVANCY (2); COURTESY OF MAYA LIN STUDIO AND MADISON SQUARE PARK CONSERVANCY
e tin en em Cl 62 29
View the entire collection at www.formica.com
Follow the light
Various Associates—a Chinese design firm whose star is on the rise—subverts staid department-store conventions for J1M5 Boutique in the eastern port city of Qingdao
out of the box text: georgina mcwhirter photography: shao feng
Two years ago, Various Associates scooped up the fashion retail prize at Interior Design’s Best of Year Awards for SND, a department store in Chongqing, China. Its austere symmetry, dominated by a pyramidal superstructure that appeared beamed down by some alien life form—or perhaps carved by ancient gods—was a smash hit with the public. It also caught the eye of the owner of J1M5 Boutique, a high-end, multibrand womens wear store, who tapped VA to design an outpost in a shopping mall in Qingdao, on China’s east coast. Qianyi Lin and Dongzi Yang—partners in work and life—both hail from China but went abroad for school. They met in 2009 at the University of the Arts London, where Lin studied interior design and Yang architecture, and both went on to the Royal College of Art for master’s degrees before returning to China, where Yang worked for renowned architect Liu Jiakun, and Lin for her father. In 2017, the couple—both then just 28 years old—founded their own multidisciplinary firm in Shenzhen, Lin’s hometown, giving it the egalitarian name Various Associates, an allusion to the collaborative nature of design. “We didn’t want a studio that was famous for just one architect,” Lin explains. J1M5 was formerly named Jimu in pinyin, meaning building blocks. With that idea in mind, Lin began researching the history of the department store
Previous spread: For J1M5 Boutique, a womens wear store in Qingdao, China, Various Associates installed custom movable closets that glide on ceiling tracks and can be arranged in multiple configurations.
Top, from left: Almost 8 feet tall beneath a 10-foot ceiling, the multifunctional closets can be used as clothing racks, mannequin displays, stock storage, or fitting rooms. Digital screens backdrop windowlike wall niches for displaying accessories. The lightweight closets, fabricated in a factory off-site, are veneered in stained boxwood trimmed with polished aluminum. Bottom: The 16 movable closets blend visually with two original structural columns finished in the same style. JUNE.21
“The goal was to create a spatial construction as movable and flexible as a suitcase”
buyer, someone who traveled the globe with a suitcase bringing back goods to sell (the term “trunk show” hints at such voyaging). That led her to think about luggage: Suitcases and trunks open, store things, and move easily; many contemporary variants even rotate. VA decided to build the same functions into the interior architecture of the new J1M5 store. There were already two huge structural columns in the 2,860-square-foot second-floor space. What if they added…16 more? Ordinarily that would be considered less than ideal. Designers usually remove columns, not wanting to block flow or sightlines. “It was a unique choice for a department store,” Yang admits. But these columns—actually lightweight floor-to-ceiling closets—are mobile: Guided on a custom 31-by-72-foot grid of overhead tracks, they can be pushed around at will, changing the floor plan entirely. Each closet also rotates 360 degrees horizontally. “The goal was to create a retail space that’s as movable and flexible as a suitcase,” Lin says. “In this way we tied the history of the traveling buyer to the store.” Possible configurations include moving the units en masse to one side of the boutique to provide open space for large events or positioning them to create different catwalk routes for fashion shows. The quadripartite modules themselves operate in different modes: Open, they become shoppable clothing racks or mannequin display podiums; stepped into, they function as fitting rooms; closed, they provide concealed storage—a back-of-house stock room is no longer necessary—while slots in their sidewalls accept clothing rails, adding hanging space between columns. “We broke the conventional display-oriented retail mode,” Yang acknowledges, “creating an entirely new system.” VA selected a sallow “green-around-the-gills” gray stain for the custom wood-veneered closets and chose puce terrazzo for flooring. The colors are deliberately complex and slightly “off.” “Nothing too pure,” Lin emphasizes. It’s all very 2020’s-does1990’s, reminiscent of the earlier era’s normcore minimalism (think Prada in its heyday). With sartorial trends typically cycling around every 30 years, it’s a scheme that’s just right for a cutting-edge fashion boutique. Embedded in one wall, four large accessory-display niches provide a splash of unexpected vivacity. Backed by a digital screen playing an ever-changing stream of images, each alcove adds a jolt of audiovisual excitement, acting like a window in a setting Top: The closets can be pushed to one side to create an open space for store events. Bottom: With their doors open, the structures become clothing racks, between which fashion runways can be installed. Opposite: In the guest lounge, mirrored glass on the coffee table and angled walls reflects the custom ceiling grid, which integrates track, lighting, and fire-safety systems. 106
that has none. Further panache emerges in the guest lounge, where mirrored walls immerse customers in a sense of infinite space. It’s a savvy strategy that gets shoppers’ spouses and friends out of the way by giving them a place to sit on cashmere-upholstered lounge chairs and play with their phones. Lin reasoned that a photo op for mirror selfies would be just the thing to engage their attention. “Anything you do you see reflected in the mirrors,” Lin notes. “It makes people more conscious of what they’re doing and take better care of their surroundings.” Posing for selfies, they are likely to look more elegant than sprawled out scrolling through TikTok, and since the coffee table is mirrored too, they’re made aware of any mess put on it, reflected or even doubled, fun-house style. The multiplicity of reflections demands a certain level of decorum—Michel Foucault’s theory of self-surveillance writ large. The boutique wouldn’t be a 2021 design without a pandemic coda, of course. In true contemporary style, the project was designed entirely virtually since VA could not visit the site. In fact, due to ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions, the couple has not walked through the completed project. Like so much of life today, the experience happened via Zoom.
PROJECT TEAM BO HUANG; MEIYU JIANG: VARIOUS ASSOCIATES.
Top, from left: The flooring throughout the store is terrazzo. Mirrored-glass surrounds wrap the accessory alcoves. Rods can be inserted between closets for even more hanging space. Bottom: In a nod to luxe fashion, lounge chairs are upholstered in cashmere.
blue and green Casona Sforza, a boutique hotel in Puerto Escondido by Taller de Arquitectura X, treads lightly on the Pacific coastline and supports Indigenous Mexican artisans text: raul barreneche photography: alex krotkov
Even before opening its doors to guests this winter, Casona Sforza was already onto its second act. The 11-suite beachfront hotel in Puerto Escondido, on Mexico’s Pacific coast, was originally com missioned by Ezequiel Ayarza Sforza as a private beach house. But midway through conceiving the project with Mexico City architect and Taller de Arquitectura X founder Alberto Kalach, Ayarza Sforza switched gears. His casa became the ecoluxe Casona bearing his name. “It just made more sense as a hotel than a house,” the Argentina-born entrepreneur begins. “It’s such a special place—I realized it should be shared with others.” It’s not the first time Ayarza Sforza has had a change of heart like that. He transformed what was originally meant to be a vacation home on a remote Caribbean beach near Tulum into a small boutique property known as Casa Bautista. That experience served Ayarza Sforza well in learning 112
about service and the hospitality trade. “I always wanted to have a hotel,” he enthuses. An hour flight from Mexico City, the site of Casona Sforza is equally tranquil, located on a stretch of coastline known for small inns catering to surfers drawn to Puerto Escondido’s world-class rip curls rather than large resorts. “It’s very authentic, with a lot of culture and history, a place where you really feel the presence of Oaxaca,” Ayarza Sforza says of the Mexican state, known for its rich artisanal and culinary traditions. He and Kalach master-planned the property to keep much of the 1-acre site intact: They cleared less than 30 percent of the natural landscape of mangroves, oaks, and cypress. “We sited the buildings to cause the least amount of intrusion and to take advantage of the views, ocean breezes, and offshore winds,” notes Kalach, pointing out that the rooms remain comfortably cool without much or any mechanical air-conditioning.
Previous spread: At Casona Sforza, an 11-key boutique hotel in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, by Taller de Arquitectura X, a long terrace and the brick barrel-vaulted roofs of guest suites intersect the salt-chlorinated pool’s concentric circular forms. Left: The property’s public spaces, at right, are completely open to the elements, while guest suites, behind, feature clerestories and louvered doors in Macuili and oak for privacy. Right, from top: In the double-height lounge, wood-and-rattan armchairs and a daybed, all custom, gather beneath palm-frond pendant fixtures handwoven in Jalisco. An upper-level suite’s terrace, outfitted with a rope hammock made by Yucatán artisans and another custom daybed, looks out to the Pacific Ocean.
Top: The restaurant showcases offerings from hotel owner Ezequiel Ayarza Sforza’s philanthropic organization, Pueblo del Sol, which helps support Indigenous Oaxacan com munities—from ceramic dinnerware to homegrown coffee, greens, and honey. Center: A suite bedroom showcases the work of local artisans, who crafted the sand-colored bricks in two sizes—large modules stacked horizontally along the walls and smaller ones arching up the vaulted ceiling—plus the wool rug and bedcover. Bottom: In a bathroom, the sink and soaking tub are cast concrete. Opposite: A ground-floor suite has its own private pool.
Considered one of the most versatile and prolific architectural voices in Mexico City, Kalach has focused his career on site-specific projects that blend into the natural environment and underscore his concern for the environment. In fact, Casona Sforza’s tagline is a “planet-conscious casa boutique.” In converting his design from home to hotel, the architect maintained the project’s overall footprint—staggered volumes nestled into the gentle hillsides and fronting a large circular pool—but tweaked the position of openings and partitions to define public lounges and dining areas, as well as the private suites. Kalach also maintained the distinctive brick arches and vaults that his client initially suggested but got cold feet for during the design process. “When Alberto delivered the final concept with flat roofs, I told him, ‘We have to go back to the vaults,’” Ayarza Sforza recalls. “He said, ‘Are you crazy?’ But at the end of the day, he really wanted them, too.” An unusual typology for beachside villas, the vaulted brick shed has a precedent elsewhere in Mexico’s vernacular architecture. “There’s a long and important tradition of vaulted construction here, especially in the interior of the country,” Kalach explains. “Plus the vaults have lots of benefits. They are seismically stable and help with air circulation, and the curves allow positive energy to flow better.” Ayarza Sforza adds that they help “vibrations bounce around and create a sense of peacefulness.” More pragmatically, the thermal mass of the brick walls and ceilings help cool the naturally ventilated interiors. Simple and timeless, the architecture is, as Kalach describes, “austere but powerful.” Hand-crafted by local artisans, the sandy-hued bricks represent the Casona’s imperative to build with locally produced materials and avoid synthetic products wherever possible. Other sustainable features include a wastewater treatment plant operated with activated charcoal (in lieu of septic tanks that might damage the local aquifer) and a forthcoming solar-generated electrical system (its installation delayed by pandemic-related protocols).
Left, from top: Wardrobes are custom-made of wood and rattan, and the brick surfaces help maintain cool temperatures. The curves of the concrete pool echo the arches of the hotel’s roofline. Right: Beside a chair designed by La Metropolitana, louvered windows and doors allow for natural cross-ventilation, drawing in sea breezes and minimizing reliance on air-conditioning.
The furnishings, which Kalach says his client oversaw with “great tact and great style,” also draw on the talents of weavers from Oaxaca and makers of woven-palm lamps and rope hammocks in Veracruz, Jalisco, and the Yucatán. For Casona’s custom furniture and millwork, including wardrobes and louvered windows in such local hardwoods as Macuili, Ayarza Sforza turned to the carpenters of Pueblo del Sol, a philanthropic organization he created to support Indigenous communities of the Oaxacan highlands. Workers in the village, located about an hour’s drive from Casona, craft the hotel’s bath and beauty products from honey they produce on-site and they cultivate the organic coffee served to guests, while ceramic artisans make the dinnerware for Casona’s restaurant. “Our guiding principle is that everything we do at the hotel helps support Pueblo del Sol,” Ayarza Sforza says. Pueblo del Sol also provides
yoga, meditation, and healing arts classes to guests of Casona, and upcoming plans for the organization include a new textile studio, a preschool, and cabins where guests can expand their vacation beyond the beach to include organic farming and beekeeping workshops. Ayarza Sforza is headed to Africa later this year to explore a Pueblo outpost; another location, possibly in Argentina, is on the radar as well. More reasons for Ayarza Sforza—and the fellow Latinxs he champions—to be proud that what he’d planned to be his beach house now serves a much higher purpose.
PROJECT TEAM ROBERTO SILVA: TALLER DE ARQUITECTURA X. MOB ESTUDIO; PUEBLO DEL SOL: CUSTOM FURNITURE WORKSHOPS. SALINAS AQUITECTOS: GENERAL CONTRACTOR. PRODUCT SOURCES THROUGHOUT ARUDEKO: CUSHIONS.
RMW Architecture & Interiors stitches together a headquarters for robotic medical specialist Intuitive Surgical in California’s Silicon Valley text: edie cohen photography: eric laignel
Previous spread: At Intuitive Surgical in Sunnyvale, California, by RMW Architecture & Interiors, the story corridor, linking the lobby to the café, has aluminum paneling fitted with light boxes illustrating the work of the robotic-system company’s instruments-andaccessories unit. Top, from left: Via bifold doors, the café can be closed off into a private dining room. Rolled aluminum tubes and acrylic blades compose Tailfeathers, the lobby installation by Yellow Goat Design. Center: Polished concrete flooring runs below it. Bottom: The ground-up construction encompasses 300,000 square feet. Opposite: The sculpture is joined by a white oak bench and a built-in solid-surfacing desk, both custom.
Depending on the procedure, patients today have a choice between non-robotic and robotic surgery. But it’s not entirely an either-or situation if they opt for robotic. A surgeon is always present, seated at a console to manipulate the robot’s arms with its scalpels and instruments. The upside, according to Intuitive Surgical, creator of the robotic da Vinci Surgical System, is a less invasive operation with minimal incisions. Since being granted FDA approval in 2000, roughly 6,000 of the systems have been installed in hospitals worldwide. Located on a 22-acre campus in Sunnyvale, aka California’s Silicon Valley, Intuitive is both a research-and-development venture and a manufacturingand-assembly factory for surgical parts. The C-suite occupies a ground-up building along with clinical facilities to teach procedures. Otherwise, employees within the company’s various divisions were siloed in singlestory, tilt-up structures across the site. Experiencing explosive growth, Intuitive clearly needed to commission headquarters. That’s where RMW Architecture & Interiors enters the picture, obtaining permitting for a fourstory, 300,000-square-foot structure. “Flexibility was key,” principal Steve Worthington begins. Initially the program was general: Design a building to accommodate any one of the R and D divisions. With construction already underway, however, the program shifted to be more specific. Intuitive decided to put its instruments-and-accessories unit in place as well. The change in plans meant, well, a change in plans for organizing the ground floor. It also meant raising a portion of that ceiling to accommodate a requisite clean room, a completely sterile environment where surgical instruments are delivered, cleaned, and assembled. But the revised scheme brought together the unit’s entire staff. And that was the point. Designers and researchers would engage with staffers in receiving and assembly. Proximity would breed cross-pollination and innovation. “For Intuitive, it’s a new way of doing business,” Worthington says. “It’s a model for the company’s future, with a real-time feedback loop within one facility.”
The building is concrete with a wraparound band of glazing. Figuratively, “the glass is the glue,” Worthington says. It cements together teams for assembly and testing. R and D occupies the top two floors with labs and touch-down cubes for engineers. The ground level, given its proprietary manufacturing, receiving, and clean room, is more opaque. Every floor has offices, and each of their four quadrants has a connecting stair plus an elevator, with bright-blue supergraphics providing wayfinding. Since Intuitive hosts plenty of hospital personnel and physicians and delights in touring them through, the entry sequence needed to be impactful. It begins outside at the entry plaza, which is dominated by a soaring stainless-steel sculpture cum shade canopy called Cosmos. “It’s like a chameleon in the way it captures light,” Worthington notes. Perhaps more fascinating still is the piece’s underlying design process involving the Fibonacci sequence to mathematically create its shape. Inside, the bright and airy double-height lobby is sparsely furnished with a massive white oak bench and a monolithic desk in white solid-surfacing. Overhead swirls another large-scale installation, Tailfeathers, composed of dozens of white riblike blades. “It relates to the spine—malleable and human, not at all machinelike,” Worthington proffers. But the real main event for Intuitive is what the company calls the “story corridor.” Functionally, it’s the connector between the lobby and the company café, where employees enter after passing through an aluminum-paneled stairwell leading from the garage. Narratively, it illustrates just what the instruments-and-accessories division does, with its wall of embedded videos and oversize photographs of people, tools, and processes and windows offering glimpses into the clean room, a story in its own right. Constantly busy, with items coming in from the loading dock and then being cleaned and assembled by employees, who suit up completely before entry, “the clean room,” Worthington says of the crucial component situated amid industrial surroundings of gray epoxy flooring and an exposed ceiling, “appears precious, like an iPhone, but we did it without using expensive materials.” The room is encased by a gleaming, white-painted Opposite top: Much of the surgical instrument assembly occurs in the clean room, where the floor is epoxy. Opposite bottom: Modular painted steel panels enclose the room. Top, from left: A clerestory of aluminum-framed glazing brightens the stairwell. Supergraphics painted on glass near stairs and elevators announce floor levels. In the café, Branches, in aluminum and acrylic, is also by Yellow Goat Design. Bottom: The metal-pan stair with concrete infill connects the building’s four levels.
Top, from left: LED troffers are recessed into the clean room’s acoustical ceiling. Lievore Altherr Molina tables and chairs furnish the café, warmed up by oak mill work. Center: A drone image captures the concretepaver entry plaza and the top of Cosmos, a sculpture by FutureForms. Bottom: Employees enter and exit through a stairwell flanked by perforated aluminum panels. Opposite: In powder-coated stainless steel, Cosmos rises nearly 23 feet, its shape mathematically created using the Fibonacci sequence.
steel framework. Flexibility was a governing factor, so all equipment and platforms are on wheels. Lighting is critical; in terms of lumen output, it’s surgical quality. Not everywhere, though, required strict clean-room status. Actually, much instrument-andaccessories assembly occurs where light pours in from two glazed sides. This hub is meant to be inspirational. “Typically, manufacturing spaces are not as well situated,” Worthington says. The café is also a hub, its oak woodwork making the space read a bit warmer than the mostly white-and-gray palette dominating the state-of-the-art project. It also continues RMW’s art-full prescription for the HQ, with a nature-inspired installation of aluminum tubes and acrylic leaves that cascades 6 by 18 feet. Speaking of procedures, RMW’s phase two for Intuitive is already underway.
PROJECT TEAM BART MCCLELLAND; PATRICK TODD; VI BRACCO; BRENT W. WOLLENBURG; RON AGUILA; STEPHANIE SILKWOOD; GLORIA RASMUSSEN; JOSIE CAMACLANG; FELICE ROSARIO; EUNICE FURUTA; LARRY PEIFER; JASMIN CAMARILLO: RMW ARCHITECTURE & INTERIORS. ROYSTON HANAMOTO ALLEY & ABEY: LANDSCAPING CONSULTANT. PROPP + GUERIN: GRAPHICS CONSULTANT. LIGHT SWITCH: LIGHTING CONSULTANT. IMEG: STRUCTURAL ENGINEER. GLUMAC: MEP. KIER & WRIGHT: CIVIL ENGINEER. BROOKSIDE VENEERS; CRESTMARK ARCHITECTURAL MILLWORK: WOODWORK. BUILDGROUP: GENERAL CONTRACTOR. PRODUCT SOURCES FROM FRONT EUROSPAN: CEILING SYSTEM (HALL). WILSONART: PANELING. GROUP DELPHI: LIGHT BOXES. WEST ELM: BENCHES. MAHARAM: CUSHION FABRIC (LOBBY). WALTERS & WOLF: CURTAIN WALL PANELS (EXTERIOR). KENALL: LIGHT ING (CLEAN ROOM). STONHARD: EPOXY FLOORING. BASX SOLUTIONS: MODULAR FURNISHINGS. FINELITE: LINEAR FIX TURE (STAIRWAY). COALESSE: CHAIRS, TABLES (CAFÉ). HPL: PARSONS TABLES. BELGARD MODULINE: CONCRETE PAVERS (EXTERIOR). THROUGHOUT HALO; SORAA ARC; 3G LIGHTING; USAI LIGHTING: LIGHTING. HUNTER DOUGLAS: CEILING PANELS. CEILING PLUS ILLUSIONS: CEILING SYSTEM. ALUCOBOND PANELS: COMPOSITE WALL PANELS. POHL: FORMED WALL PANELS. REYNOBOND: PERFORATED WALL PANELS. GRANITEROCK: CONCRETE FLOORING. DU MONDE: WOOD FLOOR ING. TERRAZZO & MARBLE SUPPLY COMPANIES: TERRAZZO FLOORING. OTTE CHEMICAL CALIFORNIA: SOLID-SURFACING. FENIX NTM: PLASTIC LAMINATE. SHERWIN-WILLIAMS COMPANY: PAINT.
cabin fever From rural retreats and wilderness camps to forest hideaways, small structures that blend seamlessly into the natural landscape are a hot trend in hospitality design text: peter webster See page 132 for the Tree Houses, a new group of guest cottages at Hotel Björnson in Jasná, Slovakia, by ArkShelter. Photography: BoysPlayNice.
Koto Design and Aylott + Van Tromp project Hytte. standout Named after the Norwegian word for cottage, Hytte is a new company that designs, furnishes, and delivers sustainable modular cabins, both off-the-shelf and custom models, for hospitality projects worldwide—a partnership between the two U.K.-based firms, which are responsible for the minimalist Nordic-inspired architecture and interiors, respectively. imagery: Merge Visualisation.
“The concept was founded with the aim of creating a simple, scalable product that’s adaptable to varying needs and requirements”
Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter project Hotel 48° Nord, Breitenbach, France. standout Untreated wood from a locally sourced chestnut tree clads the main building and 14 guest cabins that dot the hillside at this Alsatian eco-retreat, the little structures’ arrestingly geometric forms—there are four distinct typologies— enclosing rustic interiors featuring blond millwork, built-in furniture, and bucolic views epitomizing the Nordic concept of hygge. photography Florent Michel @11h45.
“Located in a protected natural habitat, the project was designed to fit into the setting without disturbing it”
“The cottages are placed among the trees, facing away from each other into the undisturbed scenes of the forest or the ski slope”
Ark-Shelter project Tree Houses, Hotel Björnson, Jasná, Slovakia. standout To minimize environmental damage to the wooded site, the guest cottages—each comprising a pair of independent modules that can be joined by sliding back a shared internal wall—have been carefully placed between the trees, raised on stilts above the ground, and topped by green roofs, which doubles the natural biotope they float over. photography BoysPlayNice.
“The activity center can be both lively and peaceful, seamlessly connecting to the forest, making guests feel like they’ve spent a day in nature even if it’s been raining”
Klein Dytham architecture project PokoPoko, Tochigi, Japan. standout A cluster of three cone-shape structures, the Risonare Nasu hotel’s clubhouse gives each pavilion its own function: cooking and dining, an indoor playground for kids, and a fireplace lounge for grown-ups. photography clockwise from top left: Nacasa & Partners; Mark Dytham; Nacasa & Partners; Brian Scott Peterson. 134
fit for a king In the Alsace region, Jouin Manku’s addition to Hôtel Les Haras, part of a centuries-old complex for Louis VIX, treats visitors like royalty text: ian phillips photography: nicolas mathéus
When discussing one of his latest projects, Hôtel Les Haras, Patrick Jouin is keen to point out that hospital and hotel have the same etymological origin—from the Latin hospitalis. They are two worlds the Interior Design Hall of Fame member knows well. His mother, a retired nurse, began her career treating tuberculosis patients. Meanwhile, with his co-founder, architect Sanjit Manku, he has worked on numerous high-profile hospitality projects—among them, La Mamounia in Marrakech, Blue by Alain Ducasse in Bangkok, and, in his native France, Fontevraud L’Hôtel, which is located in the Loire Valley, on the grounds of an abbey where Richard the Lionheart is buried. A few hundred miles east, Hôtel Les Haras in Strasbourg has noble origins, too. Its initial part, opened in 2013, occupies the former royal stables conceived by Louis XIV and dates to the mid-1700’s. The stables and another building on the equine complex were converted into a 55-room hotel and Brasserie les Haras by Jouin Manku. The firm has returned for the hotel’s 30,000-square-foot extension, which incorporates a spa, breakfast and meeting rooms, and 60 more guest rooms. They’re inside in a separate 19th-century building that housed a clinic operated by Les Diaconesses, an order of Protestant women who provided pastoral care— and still do. (Hence, Jouin’s hotel-hospital analogy.) “There’s 138
Previous spread: An addition to Hôtel Les Haras in Strasbourg, France, by Jouin Manku features a subgrade spa, its 60-foot pool flanked by wall of local Grès des Vosges limestone and a trio of Corian volumes housing an experiential shower, a hammam, and a sauna. Top: An oak staircase lit by LEDs connects the spa to the ground level. Bottom: In the breakfast room, a plaster bas-relief by Pierre-Louis Dietschy depicts medicinal plants. Opposite top: Japanese ryokans inspired the oak-framed grids of squares leading toward the meeting rooms and custom reception desk. Opposite bottom, from left: The addition connects to the existing part of Hôtel Les Haras, also by Jouin Manku, via an underground tunnel of limestone, plaster, and LEDs. Aspen surrounds and forms seating in the sauna.
“The annex has its own distinct identity, typified by a quest for calm and restraint”
a special ambience in Diaconesse establishments,” he says, “calm, and often with beautiful gardens.” (Coincidentally, Jouin’s second daughter was born in a Parisian maternity ward run by the very same community.) The two sections of Les Haras are now linked via an old, abandoned tunnel, which Jouin and Manku re-sculpted with jagged walls illuminated by recessed waist-high LEDs. “We wanted to create a slightly strange atmosphere,” Manku explains. “Going underground is always a quite particular experience.” The hotel is not only close to Strasbourg’s historic district but also to one of the tributaries of the Rhine, the Ill. “As soon as you dig down into the earth, you find yourself in its bed, which complicated the construction work,” Manku says of the river. “We had to make sure everything was strictly watertight.” For Jouin, that aquatic presence made the subgrade level more than a fitting location for the spa, which features a 60-foot lap pool and a wall clad in Grès des Vosges, a local reddish limestone. Along the pool’s other side are three large, angular structures in pure white Corian—“enigmatic objects that plunge into the water,” Jouin describes. They respectively contain an experiential shower, a hammam, and a sauna. The spa is also home to three treatment rooms, developed in partnership with the cosmetic brand, Nuxe. Aesthetically, the new annex shares a number of characteristics with the existing part of the hotel. The most striking similarity is the use of natural materials, such as oak and leather, as well as furniture by Patrick Jouin iD. There are, however, none of the same grand architectural gestures. “There weren’t any large volumes that would have allowed us to express ourselves in a dramatic fashion,” Jouin continues. Instead, he and Manku preferred to give the project its own distinct identity, typified by a quest for “calm” and “restraint.” “We opted for an approach that is pared-back and sober, with little ornamentation.” The main feature in each of the guest rooms is an expansive, wing-shape headboard covered in a combination of gray and tawny leather. “It has a very graphic expression,” Manku states, “looking almost like a floating blanket.” For Jouin, the custom element has a Japanese quality, its form reminiscent of a kimono with its sleeves stretched out on a stand. Elsewhere are more direct references to the Land of the Rising Sun. Bathrooms are wrapped entirely in bamboo, and the meeting rooms downstairs are enclosed by oakframed white or glass panels in a square grid pattern that nods to the paper screens found in traditional ryokans. The building’s heritage also gets a nod. The communal table in the breakfast room is an intentional allusion to those in convent refectories, and the coronets worn by the Diaconesses are echoed in the forms of the shades of several light fixtures. Its background as a place of healing, meanwhile, inspired the plaster bas-relief in the alcoves
Opposite: Mosaic tiles and Fantini’s Nostromo 8093 shower fittings outfit the hammam. Top: Patrick Jouin’s Hera chairs stand with a custom table, bench, and screen in the lobby. Center: By the spa’s pool is an Artesia bench in Bano Ducal stone. Bottom: LEDs around a custom mirror illuminate one of the three treatment rooms.
of the breakfast room, exquisitely carved over the course of several months by sculptor Pierre-Louis Dietschy. The motifs are medicinal plants from around the world, such as red clover, used by traditional Chinese doctors for asthma and eczema, and speedwell, its flowers treasured for their antiseptic qualities. Such fine craftsmanship is a constant throughout the whole addition and a specialty of the Alsace region, of which Strasbourg is the capital. “It’s almost like Japan,” Jouin reflects. “There’s the same rigor in terms of workmanship, the same desire to create things that are perfectly crafted. For us, that made the project so much more enjoyable.”
PROJECT TEAM TANIA COHEN; MORGANE BERTIN; BRUNO PIMPANINI; FRANÇOIS ISONE; JULIEN LIZÉ: JOUIN MANKU. LUCQUET ARCHITECTES: ARCHITECT OF RECORD. STUDIO VICARINI: LIGHTING CONSULTANT. BMO AGENCEMENT: CUSTOM FURNITURE WORK SHOP. CRÉA-DIFFUSION: CUSTOM CORIAN STRUCTURES. BEAUJARD: WOODWORK. PRODUCT SOURCES FROM FRONT KELLER: POOL (SPA). KLAFS: SAUNA, HAMMAM (SPA). FANTINI: SHOWER FITTING (HAMMAM). KVADRAT: SCREEN FABRIC (LOBBY), BENCH FABRIC (SUITE). ARTESIA: BENCH (SPA). THROUGHOUT PEDRALI: CHAIRS. ASTROPOL: CUSTOM LAMPS. DUPONT: CORIAN.
Top: In a junior suite, beams date to the 19th century, flooring is oak planks, and the custom headboard spans 12 feet. Bottom: The land marked building used to house a clinic operated by Les Diaconesses; Jouin Manku dug down to create the subgrade spa level. Opposite top: A custom oak table furnishes the breakfast room. Opposite bottom, from left: A suite’s plasticized-textile pendant shade was inspired by headdresses worn by Les Diaconesses; the oak stool and table are custom. Bamboo and Corian appoint guest bathrooms.
lush with cash Ministry of Design merges banking and biophilia at a Citibank wealth-management center in downtown Singapore text: rebecca dalzell photography: khoogj
Previous spread: Money plants, parlor palms, and bird’s nest ferns are among the tropical species filling the conservatory at Citi Wealth Hub, a wealth-management center in Singapore by Ministry of Design. Top: Acoustic oak veneer and wool-nylon panels line one of the four meeting pods, outfitted with leather-covered Henrik Pedersen chairs. Bottom: An Angeletti & Ruzza lamp tops the reception desk of Turkish marble and stainless steel. Opposite top: Studio 7.5 chairs and brasstrimmed laminate hot desks furnish the office area. Opposite bottom: The acoustically sealed pods each have their own ventilation and firesprinkler systems.
The founder and director of Ministry of Design, Colin Seah, admits that his firm was not an obvious choice to design a high-end bank. “We’re a bit of a black sheep,” he says. “It’s our natural impulse to be slightly rebellious and question convention.” The Singaporean architect has earned accolades for such edgy constructions as the Race Robotics Laboratory, a futuristic black cave, and the piercing triangular Vanke Triple V Gallery. Investment banks, by contrast, favor plush but predictable interiors. Yet Citibank Singapore was ready for a change when it held a competition to create the Citi Wealth Hub, a wealthmanagement center downtown. The RFP called for out-of-the-box thinking and a fresh, world-class experience. MOD’s outsider perspective worked to its advantage: The firm won with a proposal for what it called a “banking conservatory” filled with tropical plants. The idea stemmed from the site, a sunny 36-foot-high atrium in a 2014 building by Raymond Woo & Associates Architects. “In a conservatory, you grow, nurture, and protect something valuable to you,” Seah explains. “I thought it was an interesting analogy for wealth.” The plan also made sense on a cultural level. The bank stipulated that Citi Wealth Hub, which serves clients across the region, should reflect its location, and Singapore has long billed itself as a garden city. Its first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, promoted green space as a path to prosperity, hoping tree-lined roads and clean parks would attract tourists and foreign investment. In the past decade, the country has unveiled two high-profile indoor gardens: Jewel Changi Airport by Safdie Architects and Gardens by the Bay from Grant Associates and WilkinsonEyre Architects. “On the one hand, our project
was innovative because of its typology, but on the other, it’s logical as part of the city’s development,” Seah notes. MOD worked with ICN Design, the landscape architects behind Jewel Changi Airport, to create a lush but formal conservatory that could be used for events as well as private meetings. The team composed layers of plants in different heights and textures, including betel nut palms, arums, and Boston ferns. Gold-tinted stainless-steel planters conceal a hydroponic growing system; plants sit in individual pots that can be easily removed and the water is topped up by hand. The layout evokes a meandering garden path, as planters curve to enclose nooks with Neri & Hu lounge chairs and Michael Anastassiades lamps. LED strips line walkways at night. JUNE.21
This page: A Büro Famos coffee table and Neri & Hu chair form a break-out area in the conservatory. Opposite top: Wood-look vinyl and wool carpet tiles floor a collaboration area. Opposite bottom: Solidsurfacing tops a work counter.
“It’s an environment where clients, employees, and plants can thrive”
Four acoustically sealed meeting pods form luxe cocoons amid the foliage. Originally, MOD conceived them as pa vilions for casual conversations. But as the project evolved, the firm realized clients would want to use them for con fidential discussions as well. “The pods look simple, but they’re incredibly com plex,” Seah explains, “because they had to be private without making clients feel trapped.” Skylights and large windows
bring in natural light, while wool-clad foam panels and soundproof ducting protect acoustics. Like houses, each pod has its own mechanical, electric, and sprinkler system. At the entrance, Seah reimagined the client lounge. “Usually, there’s a nice, quiet room and someone brings you a drink from a hidden pantry,” he observes. Having designed multiple hotels—most recently the Prestige in
Penang, Malaysia—he pitched a sleek marble bar where guests could network and take in the garden over mochas and mocktails. “It sets a completely different tone that says, Come hang out—which apparently clients do.” International visitors or locals shopping in the neigh borhood can stop in for a break anytime, using the space like a private club. It’s no Soho House, but it is about as buzzy as a bank can get.
Top: Cables and rods, both stainless steel, support the double-height glass atrium. Bottom: Walnutveneered walls and a polished marble desk define the upstairs reception area for private banking clients. Opposite top: LED strips illuminate tinted stainlesssteel planters. Opposite bottom: Raymond Woo & Associates Architects designed the 12-story building.
While most guests visit the conservatory, on the second of Citibank’s four floors, only private banking clients can see it from above. On the third level, those elite members have access to an enclosed viewing deck furnished with Rodolfo Dordoni armchairs and side tables. “It’s a great place to appreciate the garden, but also a sign of having arrived,” Seah says. Other details subtly distinguish the exclusive upper level, such as a polished marble reception desk, walnut-veneer wall coverings and cabinets, and handblown glass pendant fixtures. Peace lilies and fan palms grow in gray marble planters. The biophilic design continues all throughout the 30,000-square-foot project, which includes two floors devoted to 220 employees. “In wealthmanagement centers, there’s often a strong disconnect between impressive public areas and depressing back offices,” Seah says. “For the mental well-being of the people working here, we made the office areas an extension of the conservatory.” Client relationship managers work at curvilinear hot desks that wrap around planters of shade-loving evergreens. Spiky palms animate collabora-
tion areas, while wood-look vinyl flooring and walnut laminate tables add warmth. A shifting smart lighting system matches circadian rhythms, bright in the morning and cool toward evening. It is, in other words, an environment where clients, employees, and plants alike can thrive.
JOYCE LOW; RUTH CHONG; COLIN APPLETON; FON
FROM FRONT BO CONCEPT: CHAIRS (POD). ANDREU
LERTRATTANAKIT; FAI SUVISITH; NAMRATA MEHTA;
WORLD: TABLE. HERMAN MILLER: CHAIRS (OFFICE
NONG CHOTIPATOOMWAN; JUSTIN LU; ZHANG HANG;
AREA). LAMITEK: COUNTER MATERIAL. FLOS:
KEVIN LEONG; CHIANG SZE MAY; RICHARD HERMAN;
LAMP (BREAK-OUT AREA). DE LA ESPADA: CHAIR.
RAIS RAHMAN; TASMINAH ALI; AZILAWATI WANTI;
LACIVIDINA: COFFEE TABLE. COMFORT FURNITURE:
IQBAL YUSOF; MAGGIE LEK: MINISTRY OF DESIGN.
CHAIRS (COLLABORATION AREA, OFFICE AREA).
ICN DESIGN INTERNATIONAL: LANDSCAPING CON
THROUGHOUT MILLION LIGHTING: RECESSED
SULTANT. LIGHTING PLANNERS ASSOCIATES: LIGHT
FIXTURES, PLANT LIGHTS. RAMEWORK MATERIALS:
ING CONSULTANT. ALPHA ACOUSTICS ENGINEERING:
CEILING PANELS. INSUL-DEK: ACOUSTIC CEILING
ACOUSTICAL CONSULTANT. ARUP: STRUCTURAL
SYSTEM. KVADRAT: WALL FABRIC. AURAL-AIDE:
ENGINEER. BESCON CONSULTING ENGINEERS: MEP.
PANELING. SURFACE STONE: FLOOR TILES.
STONRICH: STONEWORK. GRANDWORK INTERIOR:
INTERFACE: CARPET TILE, VINYL FLOORING.
ROYAL THAI: CARPET.
Tom Kundig: Houses
Rothko Chapel: An Oasis for Reflection
by Dung Ngo Hudson, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, $28 176 pages, 175 images (150 color)
by Pamela G. Smart and Stephen Fox New York: Rizzoli International Publications, $50 132 pages, 87 illustrations (69 color)
Originally published in 2006, this small but important book was the first to show five early houses by Interior Design Hall of Fame member Tom Kundig of Seattle’s Olson Kundig Architects. Presented chronologically, the earliest project, a house/studio for a photographer, dates from 1998, and the most recent, the architect and his wife’s own home, from 2006. Four of the five are in Washington state—three in Seattle, alone—and one in Idaho. For this latest edition Kundig has provided a new foreword; thoughtful appraisals by fellow architects Steven Holl, Rick Joy, and Billie Tsien remain. In these early works Kundig already shows himself to be a master of the highly personal concept for each client and topography as well as the congruent detail, an architect who is also an inventor, craftsman, and—in spirit—a sportsman. Holl, who was one of his teachers at the University of Washington, admires not only Kundig’s architecture but also, behind it, his “positive mental thoughts, his core values. . .the con ceptions of a ‘spirit of architecture.’” Joy delights in Kundig’s “infatuations with what he calls ‘gizmos.’” And Tsien, in her brief but poetic ode to Kundig, writes that he “looks closely and makes things carefully. . .There is always an element of elegant invention. . .He reminds us that small moments in life are precious. That is his gift to us.”
b o o k s edited by Stanley Abercrombie
This handsome well-illustrated book celebrates the 50th anniversary of what may be the most thoughtful and thought-provoking space of the last century (and, so far, of this one too). It was built to house a suite of 14 large (up to 9 by 15 feet) paintings by Mark Rothko, though we might also say the works were done to grace the chapel, for the architecture and the art were created together. Both were imagined and financed by art patrons Dominique and John de Menil, who earlier had founded the University of St. Thomas in the leafy Houston suburb of Montrose, for which the chapel is now the focus. The university’s pleasantly Miesian buildings were designed by Philip Johnson, and he was the original choice as architect for the chapel. Johnson, the de Menils, and Rothko had agreed on an octagonal floor plan, but Johnson also proposed an 88-foot-tall pyramidal skylight structure rising above it, which Rothko felt was inconsistent with what he and the de Menils envisioned as an austere shrine for meditation. Johnson was replaced by Houston architects Howard Barnstone and Eugene Aubry, who designed a more suitable 31-foot-high skylight. The building is faced with rosypink brick; inside, pale plaster walls meet a dark asphalt floor, backless cedar benches, and the paintings, which are rendered in washes of black and violet. Outside a reflecting pool centers on Barnett Newman’s Broken Obelisk, a sculpture dedicated to the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. Poignantly, Rothko's suicide two weeks after approving final plans meant he never saw the completed chapel, which remains a quiet but moving monument to both art and an equitable society.
Pascale Sablan Associate at Adjaye Associates
What They’re Reading... Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles over Schools, Unions, Race, and Democracy
“I’m still reading Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America but I’ve also started this monograph on Albert Shanker. My understanding is he was the President of the American Federation of Teachers from 1974 to 1997, a capacity in which he controlled our public school system nationwide. I learned about the biography from teacher and education activist Dr. Adelaide L. Sanford, in her 2013 speech, 'Afrocentric Education as a Human Right.’ I’m hoping to gain insight into the pressures that designed our education system and why there’s a disparity in the number of diverse figures it highlights.”
BOTTOM LEFT: COURTESY OF PASCALE SABLAN
by Richard D. Kahlenberg New York: Columbia University Press, $31 552 pages, 30 black-and-white images
An afternoon of relationship-building, insights, trends and new products–all in quick and informative virtual meetings.
DESIGNERS, APPLY TODAY
DESIGNERS IN SPECIAL FEATURE Ark-Shelter (“Cabin Fever,” page 126), ark-shelter.com. Aylott + Van Tromp (“Cabin Fever,” page 126), aylottandvantromp.com. Klein Dytham architecture (“Cabin Fever,” page 126), klein-dytham.com. Koto Design (“Cabin Fever,” page 126), kotodesign.co.uk. Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter (“Cabin Fever,” page 126), reiulframstadarkitekter.com.
PHOTOGRAPHERS IN FEATURES Shao Feng (“Out of the Box,” page 102), sfap.com.cn. Khoogj (“Lush With Cash,” page 144), khoogj.com. Alex Krotkov (“Blue and Green,” page 110), alexkrotkov.com. Eric Laignel Photography (“Hands On,” page 118), ericlaignel.com. Nicolas Mathéus (“Fit for a King,” page 136), matheusphoto.com.
DESIGNERS IN WALK-THROUGH FÖDA (“Vernacular Spectacular,” page 57), fodastudio.com. Hufft (“Vernacular Spectacular,” page 57), hufft.com.
Rebecca Moses (“Sisters in Strength,” page 63), rebeccamoses.com.
c o n ta c t s Interior Design (USPS#520-210, ISSN 0020-5508) is published 16 times a year, monthly except semimonthly in April, May, August, and October by the SANDOW Design Group. SANDOW Design Group is a division of SANDOW, 3651 NW 8th Avenue, Boca Raton, FL 33431. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. Subscriptions: U.S., 1 Year: $69.95; Canada and Mexico, 1 year: $99.99; all other countries: $199.99 U.S. funds. Single copies (prepaid in U.S. funds): $8.95 shipped within U.S. ADDRESS ALL SUBSCRIPTION REQUESTS AND CORRESPONDENCE TO: Interior Design, P.O. Box 16479, North Hollywood, CA 91615-6479. TELEPHONE TOLL-FREE: 800-900-0804 (continental U.S. only), 818-487-2014 (all others), or email: email@example.com. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to INTERIOR DESIGN, P.O. Box 16479, North Hollywood, CA 91615-6479. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40624074.
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Kaswell Flooring Systems
Since 1972, Kaswell Flooring Systems has pioneered the use of end grain for flooring and millwork in residential, corporate, and hospitality applications. A twist on a classic favorite, our Engineered End Grain oak plank now comes in a rectangular shape (shown here in our new refabricated sizing 3.25” x 7”) is available prefinished in many UV oil colors or unfinished for custom finishing.
Ariel embodies a minimalist approach to design with a focus on formand functionality. An elegant side chair and barstool with light-scaleproportions, Ariel embodies a modern playfulness that is impossibleto overlook. t. 336.889.2009 davisfurniture.com
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CA63 – Hollow Wheel Casters
The Maryland Theatre escaped the traditional by using Whiting & Davis Metal Mesh Fabric to create the spectacular chandelier above the Lobby Grand Staircase and Cocktail Lounge. Shimmering, fluid and dramatic Whiting & Davis metal mesh fabrics create a simple yet lustrous pattern of texture unlike any other material. Feel the difference. t. 800.876.MESH wdmesh.com
Cool casters! Beauty meets brute strength in a distinctly modern design with a 250 lb weight capacity. Available with Plate or Stem Mount, or Socket Mount for Chairs in Black, Red, Grey, or White. Smooth. Quiet. Stealthy!
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Infinity Drain Slot Linear Drain
Handcrafted in the Los Angeles atelier of Denis de la Mesiere, Edition Modern pays homage to the iconic French “MODERNIST” designers with scrupulous attention to detail and materials that are faithful to the timeless spirit of their original masterpieces.
Designed to disappear, Infinity Drain’s Slot Linear Drain has a narrow 3/8-inch drainage gap that integrates seamlessly for a beautiful, barrier free bathroom. An easily accessible clean-out tray simplifies the process of debris removal. infinitydrain.com
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Sonoma Forge Designer Faucets
It’s the ultimate blank slate. Acid etch it, backpaint it, digitally print on it — whatever your vision is, Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass by Vitro Architectural Glass serves as the perfect canvas for brilliant interior elements with decorative treatments or pure transparency.
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A comfortable, elegant option, this modular collection was designed by Vincent Van Duysen for Sutherland Furniture and can be arranged in a format to suit your space. Otti features soft yet durable Perennials Rope, made with proprietary 100% SDA yarns.
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i n t er vention
hole in the wall The health benefits of drinking tea have been known for centuries. But what about applying it to the skin? Cosmetea, a South Korean cosmetics brand, believes that many of the same benefits can be gained from topical creams infused with the fragrant leaves. To spread the word about their skin-care products, Cosmetea tapped Nax Architects to transform a steamed-dumpling shop into a tiny pop-up on a corner of Shanghai’s trendy Yuyuan Road. To make the most of the singlestory brick structure’s 100-squarefoot interior, Nax Architects lead designer Lina Chan punched a 5½-foot-diameter circular storefront in the end wall. She then inserted a series of mirror-polished stainless-steel portals down the length of the shop. Suggesting moon gates ringed with LED strips, they form a ribbed tunnel that’s like a wormhole in space beckoning passersby to step inside. “We found inspiration for our theme from Cosmetea’s logo, which resembles a pendulum,” Chan says. “It signifies the use of cosmetics to control aging.” Open shelves and wall cabinets between the shiny ribs allow customers to browse products based on green, chamomile, mint, and other teas. More items are displayed beneath the glass floor, which increases the dimension-bending effect. It all serves Cosmetea’s brand philosophy: With the right cosmetics, you can turn back time. —Wilson Barlow
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