Top Public Space Designs of 2019

Open to the public—be it an outdoor space, a cool hotel lobby or bar, an office atrium, or a lounge on a cutting-edge cruise ship—these projects Interior Design covered in 2019 welcome everyone to enjoy their designers’ creative vision.

Beyer Blinder Belle, INC, Lubrano Ciavarra, and Stonehill Taylor Propel Eero Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center into a 21st-Century Hotel

You expect Don Draper to appear any minute at the check-in counter. The raptorlike TWA Flight Center—a terminal for Trans World Airlines, designed by Eero Saarinen, built in 1962, and mothballed in 2002—is finally back, transformed into the lobby, restaurant, and ballroom of the new TWA Hotel at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The voices of Frank Sinatra and the Beatles float in, establishing the period and mood, and staff are uniformed like TWA flight attendants. But the hotel delivers the punch line sitting on a piece of recreated tarmac between the iconic terminal and the two new hotel wings: The Connie, a 1958 Lockheed Constellation—the four-propeller airliner commissioned by TWA’s owner, Howard Hughes. It still attracts passengers, though now they climb aboard just for cocktails. Read more about this project

ODA Transforms an Old New York Brewery into Denizen Bushwick

By the turn of the 20th century, there were more than 40 breweries in the adjoining Brooklyn neighborhoods now known as Bushwick and Williamsburg. One was for Rheingold, which occupied several buildings spreading across two city blocks. Today, the 1854 factory is a memory. In its stead stands Denizen Bushwick, a complex encompassing 1 million square feet of rental apartments, leisure, work, and athletic spaces, and large-scale murals commissioned from local artists. Essentially, its residents don’t ever have to leave. Which was exactly the thinking of the firm that designed the project, ODA New York. Read more about this project

Haworth, Gensler, and theMART Debut New Social Space at NeoCon 2019

NeoCon 2019 may be long over, but the buzz has certainly not died down. This year marked the debut of The NeoCon Plaza, an experiential outdoor environment located on theMart’s South Drive. Designed by Gensler, the NeoCon Plaza offered attendees a place to connect, collaborate, relax, and recharge (literally) while taking in Chicago’s iconic Riverwalk and cityscape. While it was open to the public, it also provided amenity space for several private events throughout the trade show’s duration. Read more about this project

New York City's Long-Awaited Hudson Yards Neighborhood Officially Opens to the Public

Manhattan's newest neighborhood, Hudson Yards, opened to the public in May. It is the largest development in the city since Rockefeller Center, with 28 acres of mixed-use civic, office, residential, retail, and hospitality spaces developed by Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group. The public-use space includes 20 Hudson Yards, a one-million-square-foot shopping and dining destination brought to life by Elkus Manfredi Architects and KPF. It also includes a landscaped public square featuring Vessel, a 150-foot-tall, copper-plated staircase to nowhere by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio. Read more about this project

Swoon Studio Updates Dallas Hospitality Icon The Adolphus Hotel

In 1912, Adolphus Busch built Dallas’s first grand hotel. A century later, The Adolphus Hotel’s Beaux Arts grandeur and Germanic exterior still charmed, but some refreshment was in order. While Swoon, the Studio didn’t have Busch’s Texas-sized budget—$2 million, or more than $52 million in today’s dollars—it had similarly big ambitions, tackling each communal space with an eye to modernize all the decadence without diminishing Busch’s achievements. Read more about this project

RCH Studios Revamp of L.A.’s Music Center Plaza

Music Center Plaza, the once-sunken nexus between three of Los Angeles’s cultural landmarks—the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Ahmanson Theatre, and the Mark Taper Forum—has undergone a $41 million renovation by RCH Studios. The project took almost two years to complete and officially debuted August 28. Read more about this project

Jouin Manku’s Soaring Public Spaces Anchor the New Celebrity Edge Cruise Ship

An immense crystalline chandelier in silvery white and champagne gold creates a luxurious shipboard take on a traditional Italian piazza. In the adjoining atrium, a lustrous brass pendulum hangs down a three-deck stairwell to hover over a large flat astrolabe—a tribute to ancient instruments of ce­lestial navigation. When they first embarked on the project for Celebrity Cruises, Interior Design Hall of Fame member Patrick Jouin and his Jouin Manku partner Sanjit Manku were neophyte seafarers. Jouin, born in Nantes, knew his grandfather had been a welder for the Chantiers de l’At­lantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, where Celebrity Edge was built, but he had never set foot aboard a cruise ship. Manku, from Toronto, says he “had practically never even seen one.” Read more about this project

Huntsman Architectural Group’s Lobby Renovation of Chicago’s The 300 Says “Welcome”

It’s no secret that savvy real estate developers are putting office building lobbies to good use. Or in the case of Chicago’s The 300, a 1970s tower located riverfront on South Wacker Drive, to creative use thanks to client Golub & Company and Huntsman Architectural Group. Working from outside in, the renovation project—which is a 2019 Best of Year Awards finalist—was part of a rebranding of the 35-story tower to make it enticing not only to prospective tenants but also to the surrounding neighborhood. Read more about this project

Sybarite Uses Curve Motif to Unify 20-Story SKP Department Store/Cinema in China

Having created stores for such high-end fashion brands as Marni, Joseph, and Alberta Ferretti, Sybarite is well versed in designing for the international luxury retail sector. But a recent foray into the booming Chinese market has seen much larger emporiums become the particular forte of the London-based architecture and branding practice, co-founded in 2002 by Torquil McIntosh and Simon Mitchell. In 2019, Sybarite completed its second SKP store, this one a 20-story behemoth in Xi’an. At 2,690,000 square feet, SKP Xi’an is almost twice the size of its Beijing sibling, and nearly three times as big as Harrods. Read more abut this project

Wutopia Lab Creates a Reader's Paradise in Xi'an, China

Xi'an, a city considered the cradle of Chinese culture, was naturally a place where an ambitious book­-store chain, Zhongshuge, thought it should have a presence. To make just the right statement, cre­ating a literal haven for literature, the compa­ny returned to Shanghai-based Wutopia Lab, which had previously designed locations near Shanghai and in Suzhou. Xi’an’s, at more than 20,000 square feet, is the largest to date. “There’s a café, a gift shop, a lecture hall, and a movie-themed gallery,” Wutopia founder and chief architect Yu Ting notes. All this can be found inside a new mixed-use com­plex with twin office and hotel towers connected by a podium, which houses dining and retail including Zhongshuge. Read more about this project

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