Wel­come Sights


Azure - - SPOTLIGHT - WORDS _Ken­dra Jack­son

A Star is Born

A pal­ette heavy on raw ma­te­ri­als – warm cop­per, ter­razzo tiles, ex­posed brick­work – cre­ates a light and har­mo­nious first im­pres­sion at Para­mount House Ho­tel (op­po­site) in Surry Hills, Aus­tralia. Oc­cu­py­ing a ren­o­vated 80-year-old ware­house that once served as head­quar­ters for Para­mount Pic­ture Stu­dios, the ho­tel, by Breathe Ar­chi­tec­ture, nods to its roots through con­sid­ered touches, such as the cop­per-chevron-fronted doors that echo the neigh­bour­hood’s art deco in­flu­ences (the fea­ture also re­flects the build­ing’s stun­ning fa­cade). Chunky con­crete benches with up­hol­stered cush­ions of­fer guests a com­fort­able place to land, while in­te­grated gar­den beds and mas­sive sky­lights bring nat­u­ral el­e­ments in­side.

De­lib­er­ately free of su­per­flu­ous or­na­men­ta­tion, the re­cep­tion lobby main­tains a sub­tle film-set-like at­mos­phere and re­flects, as the firm puts it, “the spirit and ex­cite­ment of the golden era of film.” breathe.com.au, paramoun­t­house­ho­tel.com

Nat­u­ral Beauty

Part of an over­all ren­o­va­tion of a tra­di­tional vil­lage house in China’s Jiangsu province, the re­cep­tion room of the Sil­ver Lin­ings Bou­tique Ho­tel by One Take Ar­chi­tects (above) is open to the ad­ja­cent restau­rant, form­ing a free-flow­ing space for vis­i­tors to gather in.

The de­sign team, led by found­ing ar­chi­tect Li Hao, used an abun­dance of or­ganic el­e­ments – stone, wood, bam­boo – through­out the ho­tel. The aim was to cre­ate a re­treat that is both “stim­u­lat­ing and com­fort­able” and that con­nects guests to na­ture, mak­ing them feel “at ease, pleas­ant and re­laxed.”

An at­ten­tion to invit­ing de­tail plays out through the ap­pli­ca­tion of lo­cally sourced bam­boo screens, stone-look ceramic floor tiles and sus­pended ceil­ing beams made of pet­ri­fied wood found on the site. A large, in­verted arch un­der the main desk is a sleight-of-hand so­lu­tion that cam­ou­flages a pair of im­mov­able col­umns by in­cor­po­rat­ing them into the new re­cep­tion counter. The re­sult: two re­dun­dant ob­jects trans­formed into a stun­ning cen­tre­piece. one­takearchi­tects.com

Per­fectly Time­less

In New Or­leans, a city steeped in his­tory and con­verg­ing cul­tures, the El­iza Jane (be­low) mas­ter­fully blends eras and in­flu­ences, which is ev­i­dent im­me­di­ately upon en­ter­ing. The ho­tel is com­posed of seven build­ings, all dat­ing to the early- to mid-1800s; they also stretch across an en­tire block of Magazine Street, which re­quired de­sign firm Stone­hill Tay­lor to co­he­sively tie them to­gether. Cre­at­ing a for­mal sense of ar­rival was in­te­gral to the agenda, notes de­sign lead and prin­ci­pal Michael Suomi.

“We wanted,” he says, “to give a mo­ment of pause.”

To that end – and work­ing within re­stric­tions dic­tated by his­toric preser­va­tion – Suomi and his team brought ex­ist­ing el­e­ments back to their for­mer glory and added new ones that felt both from the past and of the mo­ment: orig­i­nal plas­ter walls were painted mid­night blue, brick walls were re­stored, au­then­ti­clook­ing en­caus­tic ce­ment tiles were in­stalled and, be­hind the re­cep­tion desks, a con­cealed fire­place was re­vealed and res­ur­rected as an art­work. stone­hill­tay­lor.com, theel­iza­jane.hy­att.com

OP­PO­SITE: Thought­ful ges­tures – such as a cop­per faucet that serves lo­cal beer, on ar­rival – give guests of Aus­tralia’s Para­mount House Ho­tel the star treat­ment.ABOVE: “Cookie cut­ter” win­dows were opened up to bring nat­u­ral light to the lobby and restau­rant of the Sil­ver Lin­ings Bou­tique Ho­tel in China.

LEFT: New front desks mimic an­tique mill­work at the El­iza Jane in New Or­leans. The fire­place could not be re­ac­ti­vated, so it was treated ar­tis­ti­cally and filled with cord wood.

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