Food

Food

October 21 2009

Germain is a Parisian restaurant in a newly revitalized space at 25-27 rue de Buci in the 6th Arrondissement. The prolific, Iranian–born and Paris-based architect, India Mahdavi, created the interior architecture of the three-storey, funky establishment.



The most striking feature of the space is a massive yellow sculpture of a woman in an overcoat and high heels. Its lower half stands on the café’s first floor while the upper body and head break through the ceiling to the upper level VIP lounge area. The sculpture is one of three that the multi-disciplinary, Paris-based artist, Xavier Veilhan, made of his friend Sophie for an exhibition at the Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery (Miami) in 2006.



When Thierry Costes, scion of the Parisian hospitality family that owns Germain, asked Veilhan to contribute to Germain, Veilhan studied the multi-storey location and envisioned the drama that would be created if one of his Sophies “grew” in it, almost as if it were a feature that pre-existed the restaurant.

The Costes family is no stranger to using the talent and drawing power of well-known designers and artists in its hotels, restaurants and cafés. The fact that the 36-year-old Veilhan’s sculptural installation work has a prominent presence currently at Versailles  cannot but help attract customers and the curious to the left-bank location of Germain. - Tuija Seipell

Food

August 20 2009

Tobias Rehberger won the best artist Golden Lion this summer at the 53rd International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. This year’s Exhibition is titled Making Worlds (Fare Mondi).Rehberger won the prize for the cafeteria of the Palazzo delle Exposizioni della Biennale, formerly known as the Italian Pavilion. The cafeteria is open to the public at least till the end of the Biennale Art Exhibition (November 22).



Rehberger calls his cafeteria “Was du liebst, bringt dich auch zum Weinen” (Whatever you love, will bring you to wines). It is a crazy, retro-inspired space, juxtaposed with a jumble of forms and colours with black and white as the combining theme. He collaborated with the Finnish furniture house Artek that created custom furniture for the space.



The Art Exhibition is part of the venerable Venice Biennale, established in 1895. The Biennale promotes new artistic trends and organizes events, including the International Film Festival, the International Art Exhibition, the International Architecture Exhibition, the Festival of Contemporary Music, the Theatre Festival and the Festival of Contemporary Dance. - Tuija Seipell

 

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Food

July 18 2009

One of the hottest new restaurants in São Paulo, Brazil, is the much talked-about KAA. It was designed by Sao Paulo’s own Arthur de Mattos Casas of Studio Arthur Casas Architecture and Design.


 
KAA is a magnificent example of beautiful use of space. A surprising, lush, open-air atmosphere awaits behind a windowless white stucco facade. The main restaurant is a narrow and long nearly 800 square-meter, high-ceilinged space. A massive green wall with more than 7,000 live plants, a retractable roof over a section of the space, a staircase leading to a mezzanine-level lounge, and a dividing wall behind the bar, all add to the magnificent feeling of airy relaxation.


 
Casas has indeed reached his goal of creating an urban oasis for busy paulistas, as KAA has the distinct feel of a luxurious hotel lounge, minus the hotel.


 
American institute of Architecture Los Angeles chapter recently gave KAA one of its Restaurant Design awards. The 43-year-old Arthur Casas has already managed to create a successful multi-disciplinary practice that is involved in residential, commercial, corporate, retail and hospitality projects, interior design, plus product and furniture design. Expect to see his name much more frequently. - Tuija Seipell.

Food

May 14 2009




You know how good you feel when you have just tidied your workspace, and how much more organized and productive you seem to be. Do great surroundings affect other areas of life as well? For example, if school meals were served in well-designed and good-looking spaces - could this encourage healthy eating and improve the well-being of students?

That was the theory behind a pilot project of The School Food Trust, a government body in the UK chaired by Michelin-starred chef, writer and entrepreneur, Prue Leith. The Trust aims to improve the quality of school food and to promote the health of children and young people.



The Trust has been working with students to gain an understanding of the importance of the lunchtime environment. The goal is to create new school dining environments across the UK.

A pilot project - The Applemore College Canteen (or ACC as it has been rebranded) - was recently completed at Applemore Technology College in Southampton, where on a tight budget of £55K, the once-dull and lifeless dining hall was transformed into a buzzing eatery and hang-out space, extremely popular among the students.



Designed by renowned architects SHH, the 4,000-square-foot interior now has a relaxed cafeteria feel with areas zoned for eating and for casual hanging-out. The ACC’s innovative features include hanging graphic panels which help absorb noise, and an industrial feel and striped motif inspired by Manchester's popular Hacienda club.

“This pilot project proves that well-designed and suitably equipped kitchens and dining areas are solid investments for the future and contribute significantly to the whole school approach to healthy lifestyles and to the overall success of the school,”says Barbara Roberts, Delivery Manager at The Trust.



Clearly, you don’t have to be a trendy bar, a boutique hotel or the pop-up store of the moment, to create positive buzz. This project shows that with some well thought-out ideas and innovative planning, even the dullest of spaces can be transformed. And at reasonable cost. - Brendan McKnight
 

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Food

March 12 2009



The rooftop Terrace of the 13,000-square-foot restaurant/club, Sevva,  on the 25th-floor penthouse of the Prince’s Building, commands prime views of the Hong Kong harbor.
 
Inside, deliciously subtle dashes of color tone down the grandiosity of the vast establishment, giving its several restaurants and bars a relaxed elegance. For drinks, live music and tapas, Sevva has the Taste Bar. For the ultimate power lunch, there is the Bank Side restaurant adorned with images of magnificent banks.


 
The best place for a relaxed drink is the long and narrow Lounge with its live garden wall. Casually elegant meals can be enjoyed under the vaulted ceiling of the Harbor Side restaurant. And for irresistible cakes and sweets, there is Ms B’s Sweets, a cake shop under the huge 1950s chandelier designed originally for the British embassy in Rome.


 
Ms B is owner Bonnie Gokson whose reputation in the world of branding and fashion has helped Sevva gain lots of attention. Gokson is Chanel Asia Pacific’s former communications director and the sister of Asia’s legendary fashion icon, Joyce Ma, credited for bringing the world of brand-name fashion to Asia.


 
Gokson’s own achievements are widely respected in the hospitality, food, entertainment and retail worlds, and she is constantly working on developing new products and ideas.
 
Gokson loves art and drama, so it is no wonder she chose Tsao & McKown Architects to transform the 1960s mixed-use Prince's Building space into the dramatic Sevva environment.


 
Tsao’s background includes studies of theatre from acting to directing, sets and costumes, but his architecture degree is from Harvard where he also met his future partner, Zack McKown.


 
Their New York-based firm handles architecture and design of both residential and commercial projects, as well as set and exhibit design, product and furniture design. - Tuija Seipell


Food

March 4 2009



Subtlety is not in the vocabulary, if Toronto’s club king, Beirut-born Charles Khabouth, is involved in an entertainment or hospitality venue. The CEO of Toronto-based Ink has done it again with the reopened ULTRA, designed by Toronto’s Munge Leung. Partners Alessandro Munge and Sai Leung were also in charge of the award-winning design of the original ULTRA five years ago.
 
The new ULTRA has a dark, hellish and somewhat mad vibe with black and red as the dominant colors, and gigantic images of threatening roosters looming over the 400 or so diners. Photographer Stephen Green-Armytage created the threatening bird pictures.


 
Khabouth’s Ink is engaged in a range of prominent hospitality venues, including the Pantages Suites Hotel & Spa in Toronto (club) and The Beatles Revolution Lounge in the Mirage in Las Vegas. - Tuija Seipell

Food

December 8 2008



Posh is probably the best word to describe the venerable Boca Raton Resort & Club in Florida. Expecting only pastelly and fussy colonial style, we were happy to see the fun decor of Serendipity cafe, just opened at the luxury resort. But we really shouldn’t be surprised. This cafe is the second only outlet of New York’s super-famous Serendipity 3.
 
It is the cafe with the crazy Alice-in-Wonderland decor that was opened in 1954 in New York (on East 58th and later moved to East 60th) by three party-hosting young men, Patch Caradine, Calvin Holt and Stephen Bruce. In addition to serving mad dessert and ice cream treats, they also offered – and still do – an extensive family-friendly menu. Celebrities of all kinds are regulars. In 2001, a movie was named after the cafe and starred John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale.


 
The Boca Raton outlet is the first time the 54-year-old Serendipity has been lured outside New York, so we assume they have really thought this out. Certainly the new 1,200-square-foot space looks amazing with its ice-creamy colors and signature light fixtures. .We’ll drink an Apricot Smush for that. - Tuija Seipell

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Food

June 25 2008




We�re constantly in awe of the incredible ideas coming out of the world of retail and hospitality interior design. Over the last few years we've seen an influx of creative new minds enter the field who are redefining the concept and making their own rules. The latest inspiring example of innovative interior commercial design is the new Maedaya Grill & Sake bar in Melbourne, created by local design firm, Architects Eat. The sushi restaurant's interior, mostly 'bound' by ropes,  demonstrates the possibility of using ordinary recyclable material for hospitality projects without compromising sophistication.



The rope idea originated from the classic design of sake bottles, which are traditionally secured with ropes. The principal materials for this project are Manila ropes, timber and concrete, all reflecting natural elements such as vegetation and earth.

EAT  took a different path with the first-floor function room, which is in stark contrast with the ground-floor 'rope' room. Here they have created a modern, minimalist space with white-washed walls, Japanese black-stained timber flooring, simple timber benches and raw stainless steel canopies. By Lisa Evans.


 

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Food

June 16 2008



Home Made Delicate Food Delivery on Milan’s via Tortona is homey in a supremely stylish way. And it should be, being as it is located right at the epicenter of Salone del Mobile. Owner Monica Bangari with architects Riccardo Salvi and Luca Rossire envisioned a real home and created a cozy flow from the living room to a little garden (by landscape architect Carlo Callari of Milan’s ARePA studios). The fabulous AGAPE bathtub on the patio is an example of the clever partnership deals that the architects made with several prominent suppliers — all of whom are keen to be present where the world of design mingles. The suppliers, including the architects, are listed as “sponsors” on the restaurant’s website, which perhaps is an indication of their home-grown version of “let’s all work together for a common good and forget being so greedy.” Salvi and Rossire have collaborated since 1998 and completed many innovative projects including the design of furniture and accessories for various manufacturers. The food at Home Made is healthy and fresh – slow food at its Italian finest – and take out is delivered in swanky and lean 50s retro baggies. Handy and simple menus are published online for easy online ordering. By Tuija Seipell




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Food

June 5 2008



Rumor has it that Bangalore Express, opened a few months ago across Waterloo Station in London, is the first of many to come. Both menu and decor of this modern, Indian fresh-food place have received mixed reviews, but we like the inventiveness of the “scaffolding” used to build the booths and the upper level. Some have called it a recipe for disaster and other thought it looked like bunk beds. Both may be true as you do need to climb step ladders to reach the second level and much of the exposed structure is, indeed, made of FastClamp, a construction-site scaffolding system.



The interior colour scheme is organic in muted greens and browns. We love the peacefulness this creates. Bangalore Express is the newest venture of proprietors Charles Hill and head chef Yogesh Datta who also run the Painted Heron in Chelsea. By Tuija Seipell




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