Saturday, March 28, 2009

South Beach Living

South Beach, Miami, is known for it’s lively colors, lively people and fabulous design.  There are many hotels that have made news in the last couple years for their ingenious interior and exterior designs and the Mondrian South Beach Hotel Residences is one of them.

The Mondrian South Beach has undergone a $50 million renovation which included oversized studios, 1 and 2 bedroom hotel residences, penthouse hotel residences and four exclusive tower residences with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, Biscayne Bay and the ever-changing Miami skyline.

Developed by the Morgan Hotel Group and designed by Marcel Wanders Studio, the Mondrian South Beach has 342 residences in fifteen stories, a 40 slip marina with dockmaster, Agua Spa, a state-of-the-art gym,and a world class five star restaurant.

Marcel Wanders

The two story, 20 foot high lobby includes a signature 4,000 square foot bar flowing onto the pool deck creating a one-of-a-kind lounge/bar atmosphere overlooking Biscayne Bay.

Marcel Wanders, a world-famous design star and an original member of the influential Droog collective in the Netherlands,  conceived of the hotel as Sleeping Beauty’s castle.  Guests enter a garden area that leads to the interiors. The gardens feature comfortable seating areas, an outdoor “sand” bar, a hanging chandelier above the glamorous pool, and cabanas for all ages, including tented play spaces with a sandbox and bouncy toys in the children’s area.

The property is a stone's throw from her sister hotels Delano South Beach and The Shore Club which are both located directly on Collins Avenue on Miami Beach. If the name Mondrian sounds familiar, it is because Morgans Hotel Group also owns Mondrian West Hollywood, which also has had a fantastic renovation.

Mondrian South Beach  Images

A computer-generated version of the lobby area.  This looks like the staircase to heaven… not a super swanky hotel lobby in Miami Beach.  But alas!   This laser-cut staircase stands amid the glossy marble floor and seems to go all the way up to… um…. heaven.

Mondrian South Beach, Miami Beach, Florida, USA

The completed version.

The all-white bar area, complete with thimble-like columns and another view of the lobby staircase.

 Mondrian South Beach Hotel Room

Computer generated lobby area.  Matching fabric on everything!  Includes chairs, floor pillow seating areas, lamps and lampshades.  The wire forms outside are the forms for the hedge canopies in the outdoor seating areas.

Mondrian South Beach Hotel Columns

The computer-generated version of one of the lobby areas complete with sleeping beauty bells with chandeliers inside.

The completed version of the bells.


Lobby area with a stark contrast between the seating areas, black-painted floors  and a 3-D face peering out at you.  Wanders said, “In every room, we wanted to have someone who is the host, someone who is looking at you.”  I find this strange, how about you?


Lobby area.  I love the cut-out reliefs on the back wall, as well as the reception desk bejeweled in metallic tiles.

 Mondrian Beach Hotel Miami

In lieu of solid walls, Wanders separated sleeping and bathing areas with a full-height pane of clear glass to create a loft-like bedroom suite; a curtain offers privacy if desired.

Very cool whirlpool tub unlike anything I’ve seen before.  It looks more like an over-sized soapdish, but I love it! 

Mondrian South Beach Hotel Miami

Wanders kept floor plans as open as possible and created spatial continuity with continuous flooring that run throughout, even onto the open-air balconies.  Here we see the fabric that was shown in the lobby area above, covering even the standing lamp.


Computer generated version of the bathroom area looking into the bedroom.  The fairy-tale mirror mounted on the glass wall is very effective in this space that was created to be open and airy, taking advantage of the views.

Computer-generated room with the glass walls, damask wallpaper and beautifully patterned rugs.


The completed hotel rooms with three different black and white patterns flanking the floor and walls.  It works because the furniture items in the room are simple and streamlined.

The opposite view of the room.  The yellow is a great shock of color in this black and white space.  The mirror is symbolic of the fairy tale stories that Wander is creating here.


Wanders with what looks to be his favorite wall treatment.


Computer-generated model of one of the apartment living spaces.

The completed living area, complete with another 3-D face peering out.  

Indeed, his most fanciful design detail is also the most functional: showerheads in the form of crystal chandeliers that double as operable lighting fixtures.   Beautiful!

“We just combined two ideas—water and light—it was very simple. In Dutch we call it vanzelfsprekend: it speaks for itself,” says Wanders.   Wanders designed similar fixtures to hang over the outdoor swimming pool.



A living room in one of the apartments.  The tiled wall is gorgeous and creates an incredible focal point for the room. 

Modular couch given a busy fabric treatment of toile de Jouy set against beautiful sheer drapes.

The original digital rendering of the toile de Jouy conceived by Marcel Wanders for his curved sofas at the Mondrian South Beach in Miami.


Floor plan of a one bedroom apartment.


Marcel Wanders' Magical Vending Machine at  Mondrian South Beach

Check out this amazing new vending machine that will sell you both a toothbrush and 24 carat gold handcuffs...oh and a Bentley.

Even the vending machines are different!  Doing away with a hotel gift shop and brushing off Marcel for a moment, the Mondrian brought in Mari Balestrazzi to reinvent an automat, called Semi-Automatic, for peddling their goodies. It's a great idea except for the fact that it only accepts credit cards and contains nothing edible.  But, you can buy a toothbrush, 24 carat gold handcuffs (I’m not EVEN going there!) and a Bentley!


Asia de Cuba at Mondrian South Beach blends modern furniture conceived by Marcel Wanders with innovative menus, incorporating the best of Asian and Latin cuisines.


Another view in the Asia de Cuba restaurant.

FETE CITY: The new Mondrian South Beach's Sunset Lounge is the setting for several glam parties during Art Basel week.

The new Mondrian South Beach's Sunset Lounge is the setting for several glam parties.


Another seating area, complete with the toile de Jouy pattern designed by Wanders.

  mondrian patio.jpg











Mondrian patio with a view of the Miami Beach skyline.  Again, they are using a palette of red and white.  The canopied arches over the private seating areas have beautiful chandeliers for lighting.


The patio area with elegant seating, bulbous chandeliers and more of those fantastically patterned rugs.

The hotel’s sunset lounge provides views over Miami’s downtown skyline while golden candelabras and onyx jewel-cut stools are combined with ottomans and antiques creating contrasting visual elements.


Mondrian South Beach, 1100 West Avenue, Miami Beach,

(800) 606-6090.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Architecture Firm Series

Turkish design firm Autoban, founded by Seyhan Özdemir (architect) and Sefer Çağlar (interior architect), was established in 2003 and their office is in Galata, Istanbul’s historic quarter.  They design and develop interior environments for residential and commercial projects.   They consider each interior project a “story to be told”, which I love, because when you study design, you attach yourself to it.  You look at it from all sides, turn it upside down, give it a few shakes and see what forms.  And along the process, you hope to have a design concept (or a story) developed for your client.

Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar

Autoban also designs products using natural and raw materials and their designs are very Bauhaus in style and form (see some of their products below).

Recently, they have completed the design of The House Café, located in the Kanyon Shopping Mall in Istanbul, Turkey, and the results are spectacular.

Here they have integrated the design of The House Cafe into the form of the Mall.  The steel structure reads more like a greenhouse than a restaurant, but the use of a warm walnut platform gives the restaurant warmth and presence.

The dining space is open and airy, given the glass walls.  The taraxacum 88 pendant light, available at HiveModern adds the perfect bit of dazzle to this very architectural space.

A view down through the restaurant toward the bar at the end.  The drapers are brought all the way up to the glass ceiling, through the steal beams to soften the space.

Also notice the metal accent strips in the floor that mirror the steel beams.  The curvilinear shape of this restaurant gives it interest as well.


One final look at the bar area and a community table.  Community tables are gaining more and more popularity by the way.  Have you been to a restaurant with a community table?  It’s a wonderful way to meet new people.


magnolia Magnolia Lighting Unit | Autoban + Seyhan Özdemir & Sefer Çaglar

This wooden flower shaped lighting fixture was designed by Seyhan Özdemir & Sefer Çaglar.

This Magnolia Lighting Unit hangs from the ceiling and has hexagonal plates are graduated in size, becoming smaller toward the top and bottom. Each plate is rotated into a different position so the form below is representative of the leaves of a flower.

Wired King Lamp

Autoban-Bergere Bed Photograph - Modern Bedroom Furniture

Bergere Bed




The Beyoglu House in Istanbul.  Modern furniture meets traditional architecture in this home.   Note the accent light in the corner.


Glass doors reflect another view into the room.


This is my favorite room.  The warm wood table, which is very narrow, probably to accommodate the space, against the crisp white cabinets with the fantastic mirrored subway tiled backsplash is very pleasing to the eye.


The Ayazpasa House in Istanbul.  Modern and traditional furniture mix to create a perfect sitting area.  Note the Magnolia lighting fixture.

Another view of the room above.  The architecture of the room is wonderful.  Here the coffee table mirrors the ceiling molding.

Looking into the dining room.  Three doors into this space is a lot, but the arch on them adds uniformity. 

The lighting fixture, also designed by Autoban, is an inverted Double Octopus.  The artwork on the floor is placed on clear glass, that allows the brick wall to show through.

Finally, the bed in the bedroom is up against a freestanding wall panel, beautifully decorated with molding (I wonder what’s behind there?).  The sparsity of the room gives it a very modern feel.

Cheers everyone!  Have a lovely day!

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