3 Hospitality Projects That Double As Destinations

Walking into a hotel or restaurant designed with intention can transport one to different eras, cultures, and landscapes. Here are three spaces using products found in the A&D Building that exemplify the transformative power of design.  

Poliform's mission was to add contemporary furnishings to the public spaces in Hotel Lutetia, such as the hotel's restaurant, L'Orangerie. Photography courtesy of Poliform. 

Project: Hotel Lutetia 

Location: Paris, France 

Product Spotlight: Poliform

Paris has no shortage of iconic hotels, which are just as famous for their architecture as their storied clientele. One of these icons is the Art Deco style Hotel Lutetia, built in 1910 by the founders of Le Bon Marche department store and frequented by the likes of James Joyce and Albert Camus, as well as Serge Gainsbourg and Josephine Baker. 

The Hotel Lutetia recently reopened after a four-year, €200 million euro (roughly $234 million) refurbishment helmed by the French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, who is known for his sensitive preservation of cultural and artistic icons. For the updated design, Wilmotte’s mantra was “let the light enter” and to do this he reduced the number of guest rooms, creating a new interior courtyard. He also sought out the Italian furniture company Poliform, which was tasked with reimagining the communal areas. 

A view from Bar Joséphine. Photography courtesy of Poliform. 

Franco Galli, head of Poliform’s Contract Division and manager of the project, says his goal was “the introduction of new materials that would add functionality and a contemporary element, while seamlessly blending with original historic details.” Galli and his team used mirror, glass, and marble in other communal areas of the hotel to add lightness and shimmer throughout the space. 

The challenging renovation set out to preserve and restore the hotel’s original details, such as the frescoes in Salon Josephine (named for Ms. Baker) and the expansive glass ceiling in Salon St. Germain, which was updated by the artist Fabrice Hyber. The result? A sensitive renovation that pays deference to the Hotel Lutetia’s past while preserving its soul—all while bringing it respectfully into the 21st century.

Text reprinted with permission from 150E58, the Magazine of the A&D Building. For more about these showrooms and 37 others, visit the A&D Building at 150 E. 58th St., New York's best address for kitchen, bath and fine furnishings or go online at adbuilding.com.

All the walls and work benches in the new kitchen at French Laundry are Dekton, chosen for its durability and luxurious looks. Photography courtesy of Cosentino. 

Project: French Laundry  

Location: Yountville, California 

Product Spotlight: Cosentino 

When Chef Thomas Keller wanted to rebuild French Laundry—the world-class, Michelin-starred, Yountville, California restaurant he opened in 1994—he was inspired by the Louvre Museum. “I wanted to expand the existing space and blend it with a more modern building.” The chef worked with architect and designer Craig Dykers from Snøhetta, along with Cosentino for the Dekton-clad kitchen.

French Laundry's new kitchen received a bright, contemporary update. Photography courtesy of Cosentino. 

“We chose Dekton by Cosentino because it has high resistance to heat, and it resists scratches and stains,” says Keller. “From an aesthetic point of view, it is stunning when you walk in. All of the walls and all of the work benches are done in Dekton.”

Dekton also is easy to clean, adding to its appeal in commercial and residential spaces. 

Text reprinted with permission from 150E58, the Magazine of the A&D Building. For more about these showrooms and 37 others, visit the A&D Building at 150 E. 58th St., New York's best address for kitchen, bath and fine furnishings or go online at adbuilding.com.

The lobby bar is a custom piece by B&B Italia. Photography courtesy of B&B Italia.

Project: Blue Lagoon 

Location: Grindavík, Iceland 

Product Spotlight: B&B Italia

“Dig. Let’s see what emerges.” Not your standard architectural brief. Yet it was with that freedom—equally glorious and nail-biting—that Basalt Architects and Design Group Italia undertook the expansion and reinvention of a wellness destination at Iceland’s wildly popular Blue Lagoon. Whereas making the Retreat Hotel and the Retreat Spa far more exclusive experiences, true retreats, was the other directive given to Basalt founding partner Sigríður Sigþórsdóttir and DGI chief creative officer Sigurður Thorsteinsson.

The region’s rugged beauty propelled the interior design, both functionally and aesthetically of the latest expansion. “With The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland, we wanted to create something that enhances and compliments the exquisite Icelandic nature,” says Thorsteinsson. “In order to do that, you need partners that can deliver on the level of uniqueness that fits with the place." With this in mind, DGI turned to an Italian company known for its leading high-end designs—B&B Italiamarking their first collaboration together.   

"We worked in close collaboration with B&B Italia throughout the project," says Thorsteinsson. "This meant an on-going dialogue and ambition on both sides. Together, we achieved what we aimed for.”

B&B Italia's exacting furnishings and pieces create a unique aesthetic throughout the hotel and spa. Photography courtesy of B&B Italia. 

B&B Italia's nuanced millworks, furnishings, and decorative lighting enhance the meditative feel of the hotel, restaurant, and spa. The company also outfitted these spaces with custom-made furnishings and pieces such as the Mart armchairs and the Michel Club seating system in addition to ottomans and accessories. 

A color palette strictly limited to earthy grays or browns, moss greens, and the aquamarine of the lagoon extends from the lobby, into the two guest wings. Rooms and suites, 62 in total, range from 430 to 650 square feet, plus balconies or terraces—the suites come with private lagoon access, and the largest has butler service and an optional chef. Most accommodations boast freestanding bathtubs. “One third of each room is dedicated to the bath, emphasizing that this is a spa hotel,” Sigþórsdóttir says.

Originally published in Interior Design's November 2018 issue

For more about these showrooms and 37 others, visit the A&D Building at 150 E. 58th St., New York's best address for kitchen, bath and fine furnishings or go online at adbuilding.com.

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