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September 13 2014

Belgian twin brothers, Kristof and Stefan Boxy have dipped their culinary hands in several Michelin-star restaurants and catering businesses, and they’ve authored a cook book as well: Just Cooking.

We loved their food store/catering space, Boxy Fine Foods, in Ghent, but unfortunately it closed earlier this year. While we do not know the reason why it closed, we bet it wasn’t because of the interior design.



With the help of Frederich Hooft of Ghent, the Boxy brothers created an elegant, white, open space to display and sell gourmet foods.

The elaborate moldings on the ceilings, the sparkling chandeliers, the gilded mirrors and the wide floor boards speak of tradition, history and heritage, but not in a stuffy way. It feels fresh, new and modern with a few clever twists in the display set-ups.



From one angle at a doorway, a triple take on hanging items welcome the visitors: hams, chandeliers and hanging baskets with their mossy root balls.

The setting reminds us of a museum or an art gallery, which is partly the reason the whole enterprise appears opulent and luxurious and sets one up to expect high prices and superior quality. - Tuija Seipell.

See also Victor Churchill Butcher in Sydney

 

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May 20 2014

With his IO Studio, established in 2007, Czech architect Luka Krížek has created several notable hospitality projects.

His beer bar at Brandýs nad Labem (near Prague) for Radegast is the first of a potential chain of bars for the famous brand. Radegast is owned by Plzeňský Prazdroj best known by its German name Pilsner Urquell.

We were immediately attracted to the Old-is-New-Again vibe of the former lock factory. We love well-restored, re-purposed buildings with both an old and new tale to tell.

Krížek added a nice unexpected layer of tradition by using the patterns and colours of the Cibulák porcelain also known as Zwiebelmuster or Blue Onion pattern manufactured by Meissen porcelain since the 18th century.

The rounded shape of the onion repeats nicely in the tables, chairs, lamps, vaulted ceiling and even the exposed AC pipes. - Tuija Seipell

Photography is by Alexander Dobrovodský.

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April 9 2014

New York restaurateurs, Eric Marx and Lisle Richards, known for the Wayfarer at The Quin, have taken on a massive project and turned a Meatpacking District haunt into party central.


 
The pair opened the elegant Monarch Room earlier this year and just recently, right below it, the Gilded Lily bar. The location of the Monarch and the Gilded Lily is 408 West 15th Street, the former home of the 70s and 80s gay party spot, Crisco Disco. The building has stood empty for three decades while the District around it has been transformed.
 
To create the interior for Gilded Lily, Marx and Richards worked with New York-based Roman and Williams (of Highline Hotel, Ace, Standard and numerous high-profile restaurants and residences).


 
They gutted the entire building right down to the support joists and then recreated from these bare bones a special blend of rough industrial brutalism and slightly sinful glamour.
 
Dancers on the sunken dance floor can now enjoy raw cement surfaces, golden leather seating and a new take on the disco ball: an enormous chandelier of long spikes that is synchronized to the deejay’s music beats.


 
Apparently the name Gilded Lily comes from the idiom of “gilding the lily” that means covering something with a thin layer of gold and/or unnecessarily enhancing something already beautiful. In Gilded Lily both are true. The already handsome raw space has been embellished by a thin touch of gold. But not completely unnecessarily as it all seems to belong perfectly and echo the past of the District and the building itself. - Tuija Seipell

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April 17 2013

As far as nightlife goes, in Porto, Portugal, it is all happening downtown. A local company, Baixa (baixa is Portuguese for downtown), has recently added another downtown nightclub to its roster that already includes the Baixa bar.



The new nightclub, Instalação (installation), was designed by José Carlos Cruz Arquitecto, the same team responsible for the design of Baixa bar as well as the Farmacia Lordelo we have featured earlier.


 
The space for Instalação, opened in March, was in essence a long, narrow corridor with two dividing structural arches that support the building itself.


 
From this 250 square-meter (2,690 sq.ft.) space the designers created a golden wire tunnel where the main materials are concrete, brass and polished aluminum.
 
Inspired by various works of Olafur Eliasson,the team created a glowing, floating lighting program that helps expand the space visually and draws the attention to reflections and illumination, away from the narrow framework of the room.


 
Andy Warhol’s Factory inspired some of the ideas for the smaller VIP room, and Anish Kapoor’s ideas gave suggestions for the beautifully textured concrete ceiling – our favourite part of the entire project.


 
Apart from the Tom Dixon lighting fixture above the concrete bar counter, all furnishings and fixtures were design by José Carlos Cruz Arquitecto. - Tuija Seipell.


 
Photos by Fernando Guerra FG+SG.

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December 5 2012

The 12-year-old Clube Disco night club in São Paulo was reborn this fall. It now carries its past proudly yet offers a completely upgraded experience.


 
Brazilian architect Guto Requena worked with architect Mauricio Arruda on this project. We like the retro custom-designed furniture that gives a nod to the 1970s Brazilian style and mixes nicely with the black-leather, exposed-pipes underground disco feel. And we like the tunnel that was re-envisioned by Brazilian artist Kleber Matheus.



The lighting of the dance floor consists of 250 linear meters of metallic rails with LED tape that run as a frame along the perimeter of the space. This allows for an endless variety of lighting programs and color mixes to create and accentuate different effects based on the music. The entire system is controlled by the MADRIX software. - Tuija Seipell

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November 23 2012

On first glance, The Passenger restaurant, recently opened in the trendy Malasaña neighborhood’s Triball area in Madrid, Spain, appears like any retro dining establishment with heavy-handed use of leather, brass and dark wood. Yet there is a distinct undertone of a train, of a fine passenger train of a bygone era.


 
The bulky and clubby arm chairs, the iron table legs, the big windows all refer to a time when heads of state and industrialists, often travelling with their wives and servants, occupied entire train cars and dined in the most lavishly appointed dining cars rivalling the best-known fine establishments of the time.


 
But the real fun aspect of the 150-seat The Passenger -- coffee bar by day, rock bar by night --  is the illusion of movement. The three “windows” in the main seating area are actually video screens onto which a constant, synchronized stream of video is programmed so that it flows  from window to window, creating a feeling of looking out the window of a moving train.


 
The stylized train view, evoking an alternate state of being in the middle of busy Madrid, was created by Spanish video artist Franger. The images of both urban scenes and natural landscapes were recorded from actual trains around the world.



The restaurant’s designers at Parolio took their inspiration from the long-and-narrow space and then continued with the train travel concept throughout. Consistent with the classic rock music played at night, the main hall of the restaurant is decorated with images of the greatest stars of classic rock pictured in trains and railway stations.
 
The Passenger’s  owners are young Spanish actors Rodrigo Taramona and Jimmy Castro with  entrepreneurs Miguel Peman and Carlos Carrillo. - Tuija Seipell

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July 24 2011

Brazilian architect Fred Mafra, no novice to night club design, was given the unusual opportunity to redesign his earlier work, the night club Josefine/Roxy.

Since 2007, the club has been a strong player in Savassi, the night life area of Belo Horizonte, the capital of and largest city in the state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil.

The 955m² space has two dance floors, three bars, plus four VIP areas that can be combined into one larger VIP space. In addition, it has two lounges and smoking areas with a retractable roof.
With his new design, Mafra went to town with the hexagon and triangle forms.. By using them in the honeycombed ceilings and black-and-white floors, by including padded-vinyl seating and walls, and by lighting the space with creative LED, he's created an angularly sinful madhouse effect that is destined to help guests forget the outside world.



Roxy Clubis open on Wednesdays and Fridays when the DJs play techno and e-music to a straight crowd. Josefine Club is open on Thursdays and Saturdays when the DJs play tribal and pop music to gay/hipster crowd.

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June 11 2011

Standing out in Abu Dhabi takes more than clever gimmicks. Among the opulence of luxury hotels, lavish restaurants and all other forms of pampering and spectacular entertainment – including Ferrari World and a few breathtaking golf clubs – being merely great is nowhere near enough.


 
The legendary Cipriani Group is one of the brave enterprises that has recently entered the competition for the attentions of the demanding super-elite clientele.

Cipriani’s nightclub, Allure, at the Yas Island Yacht Club on Yas Island, has a few features that warrant at least one extra bat of even the most worldly of eyelashes.


 
The night club’s location is one such feature. Allure overlooks the water and extravagant super yachts of the Yacht Club. It is also connected by a bridge to magnificent five-star The Yas Hotel. But the most amazing part of the nightclub is the view. What you see from its balcony is a real Formula One™ race track.


 
Designed by Orbit Design Studio (Bangkok, London and Singapore), Allure is divided into The Main room adorned with gold leaf and bronze cladding, and The Terrace that overlooks the race track.


 
Orbit has also designed the Sound Phuket night club we’ve featured, the Bed Supperclub in Bangkok, and many other luxury bars, clubs and restaurants designers throughout Asia, the Middle East and Europe. - Tuija Seipell


 
Photography by Owen Raggett.

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April 2 2011

Bowling alleys are right up there with curling rinks on the list of the most unlikely milieus for anything chic. Yet, at The Spare Room, on the mezzanine level of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, both bowling and the bowling oxfords custom-designed for the newly opened lounge by George Esquivel are now decidedly in.



Celebrities and notables are seen nightly at the venue, created by nightlife wizards Med Abrous and Marc Rose and cocktail king Aidan Demarest.

The design, by the Los Angeles-based design firm Studio Collective, combines vintage, custom-tailored and new to conjure up an atmosphere of by-gone affluence.



There is the gaming parlor vibe, with its two vintage bowling lanes and custom-made sets of dominoes. And there is the speakeasy cocktail lounge scene with its lavish use of velvet, dark leather, polished dark wood, bronze, cast-iron and hardwood floors. Together, they form The Spare Room that oozes civilized illegality and pays homage to the real goings-on at the storied hotel in the 1920s. Tuija Seipell

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March 21 2011

Club MUSÉE is Madrid’s fresh take on what night clubs could be — a combination art gallery and night club, but both with a sharp, trendy edge.


 
Designed by creative director and designer Parolio of Madrid’s Parolio & Euphoria Lab the space provides a strong back-drop for powerful art.


 
At Club MUSÉE black glass and mirrors, bright-colored sculptural furniture and a three-meter-wide  LED video screen create a visual challenge for the artists’ work that ranges from paintings to video art and other  installations.


 
The work of upcoming photography and illustration talent is currently on display from photographer Robert Bartholot from Berlin,  Paco Peregrín from Madrid  and illustrator Glenn Hilario from New York.


 
The visual feast is supported by music mixed by Madrid’s hottest DJs who offer electronic, pop and house music.

Parolio’s strong sense of drama, theater and color work well at Club MUSÉE, and is evident in many of his other projects, including Pacha Madrid night club and Le Marquis restaurant and lounge.  - Bill Tikos


 

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