KENGO KUMA: The Starbucks

One of the things I most loved about Japan was unexpectedly discovering the most spectacular contemporary buildings sitting on quiet corners. I love the work of many Japanese architects – to me, they set the standard. However, for this post, I wanted to portray the wow factor I’m talking about. As in “Wow… I went to buy a cup of coffee and the Starbucks looked like this!”. This Starbucks, situated in Fukuoka in Southern Japan, is on a street that leads to one of the most major shrines in Japan, Dazaifu Tenmagu. Traditional 1 – 2 story Japanese buildings line…

Marbella House by A-CERO

Okay, so I’ve been magnetically attracted to the Mediterranean lately (but then again, who doesn’t love it?). While happily browsing the internet I came across images of the Spanish firm, A Cero’s, exquisite Marbella house. On the exterior, linear planes clad in horizontal bands of stone fly over reflective ponds filled with river stones. Large irregular black-tinted windows appear like the openings to sacred tombs. And, both by night and by day, the entire place is strategically lit to accentuate the architecture. On the interiors the minimalism continues with neutral tones and finishes accentuated by statement pieces like the amazing…

CHARLES STREET TOWN HOUSE by Messana O’Rorke

This 1853 Greenwich Village house recently got a facelift and new bones. Yep, the historical faΓ§ade was restored according to the books while the interiors were gutted and reinforced with a new steel structure that allowed for a more open layout. Observe the small details that make the interiors like the cove lighting where the ceiling meets the exterior walls, the flush threshold between the bathroom and wood flooring, and the gorgeous rectilinear sinks. The offset fireplace is a charming minimalist move in the bedroom. And, I love this white marble backsplash with grey veining climbing up the walls. For…

HOTEL SEZZ by Christophe Pillet

Designer Christophe Pillet’s Hotel Sezz is a modern beauty along the French Riviera. Olive trees, stone walls, azure waters and royal palms on the outside reveal you are in St. Tropez. But inside, the clean minimalist lines, updated wood paneling, colorful accents, and mid-century inspired furniture creates a bright Californian vibe. Besides the charming location, I’m loving the minimalism with pops of reds and chartreuse, the double height brushed aluminum shutters and the smooth gray stone flooring found throughout the hotel. Sometimes modernism can make spaces distant and serious but here I feel it does just the opposite. I could…

PROJECT FEATURE: Weathered in Miami Beach

This past AugustΒ I had the chance to collaborate with Lead Designer Lisa Whyte and the new Lead Designer of Dkor Interiors, Karina Donadel for the design and project management of this beautiful apartment in Miami Beach. We wanted to evoke a sense of timelessness that would bring both comfort and luxury to this family of five. For this we used many different textures like this fine silk wallpaper from Phillip Jeffries, to the cool honed travertine we wrapped around the central pod,Β to the soft ivory cowhide rug from Artefacto, the weathered wooden planks of the dining room walls and the…

SECOND LOOK: The Setai In Miami Beach

In 2005 Hotelier Adrian Zecha and designer Jean-Michel Gathy of Denniston International Architects collaborated in bringing to life the swanky Setai Hotel in Miami Beach, FL. This week I had the pleasure of revisiting the hotel as our firm is working on the interior design of one of the residential penthouses. As I was waiting in the hotel lobby I observed the multitude of materials that refer back to Asian architecture. The weathered black pavers on the floors are reminiscent of Chinese roads. The rhythm in the wooden panels reminded me of the proportions of screens in Japanese temples. The…

ALEMANYS 5 by Anna Noguera

I’ve always been in love with new architecture that interjects with old architecture to create another being. In these buildings the charm and history of the past still remain while the appearances of modern design make the old relevant and fresh through it’s new interpretation. Barcelona based architect, Anna Noguera converted this 16th century house in Girona into two holiday apartments. In the dining seen in the photo above the thin steel casing framing the opening and the contemporary furniture beyond is a perfect example of this harmonious marriage. Below, the beauty of the placid rectilinear pond next to the…