August 12th, 2014

Globetrotting with Philippe Starck

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Recently craving a little R & R and dreaming of a vacation (that I don’t have time for), I decided to spend a few hours on a virtual one. Instead of focusing on where I should go? I focused on where I might stay! For me a true vacation always include a boutique hotel experience. I love staying in places that I have seen in glossy magazines or my design books. As a designer you appreciate every aspect from the front desk to mini bar. One of my favorite websites for sourcing cool hotels is (they have not let me down) if you have never been on their site, you really should. The recently showcased a bunch of hotels by a designer I admire – Philippe Starck.

So I decided I would visit these, and it only reiterated what I have always found so fascinating about this man. He is completely unpredictable. Most of us (designers) over time, gain a personal style. As much as we adhere to our client’s taste you can usually tell who was working behind the scenes. He is like the design chameleon of our century. You would be hard pressed to find two similar projects. If you are ready for a whirlwind tour, hang on to your seat and lets do a little “Globetrotting with Philippe Starck”.
First stop – Delano south Beach hotel, Miami: re-designed in 1995, here you can go to the movies, take a dip in the pool, play volleyball or pool, relax at the spa, or go for dinner at one of the many restaurants offering everything from sushi to ravioli or lobster. The poolside bungalows are on Miami’s most wanted list.
Second stop – Le Royal Moncea Raffles, Paris: here bold bright pops of color, graphic stripes and rich materials create a stimulus overload. Starck’s imagination is unleashed in this five star hotel.
Third stop – Mamma Shelter, Paris: here Starck takes a whimsical approach with superhero mask wall sconces (I mean really, who would be brave enough to do this?) against bare concrete walls. He definitely proves that you don’t need a big budget to create a cutting edge design.
Fourth stop – The Sanderson Hotel, London: this building once housed the Sanderson fabric company, hence its name. Easily recognizable for its Dali inspired red lipped sofa and glowing onyx bar, row of eyeballs peering at the crowd from the back of barstools, (seen in many design books) this hotel feels like a museum of the surreal.
Fifth and final stop – Fasano Rio De Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro Brazil: This beautiful modern boutique is unlike his other projects, as it is a statement of constraint and refinement. It has a more serious, sexy, streamlined flavor than his other bodies of work.
Well I could go on………….. but, it’s time to get back to work. Until our next virtual trip………….