17 March 2014
Wooden strips coil around staircase at Strasbourg hotel by Jouin Manku
Les Haras de Strasbourg (France) is a hotel and restaurant project unlike any other. Composed of a four-star hotel and Michelin 3-starred chef Marc Haeberlin’s first brasserie, Les Haras presents an original solution to the question many provincial cities are facing: how to redevelop and harness the potential of their architectural heritage. Managed by the Institute for Research into Cancer of the Digestive System (IRCAD), presided over by Professor Jacques Marescaux, the project allies architectural creativity and technological innovation, two particular areas of French expertise, with philanthropy, an unprecedented mix for a historic redevelopment project in France.
Parisian studio Jouin Manku created this 55-room hotel inside an 18th century building previously used as an equestrian academy, with a restaurant that features a staircase wrapped in a spiral of wooden strips. The pieces of oak around the stairs, which link two floors of the hotel’s brasserie, create handrails on one side and a balustrade around the top.
“The interior design for the hotel and brasserie is characterised by its authenticity and modernity,” said the designers. “A particular idea of luxury and comfort inspired by the equestrian world, restrained and subtle.”
The staircase sits between a circular bar and open kitchen at the entrance level, where informal seating and a few dining table are located. Upstairs, guests dine beneath the original wooden roof supported by chunky beams and columns. Private booths are created within pods and large curved seats covered in saddle leather, while long tables extend down the length of the space to accommodate larger parties. Stonework around the windows has been left exposed and the walls are finished with rough plaster.
The wood structure is also highlighted in the simple bedrooms, which are painted white and decorated with leather details on the headboards and furniture.
Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku have expressed their vision of this former stud farm and historic site, in a design that is both elegant and simple. They have deliberately chosen to limit the range of materials used; solid wood, natural full hide leather and blackened or brushed metal to transpose the original life of this emblematic Strasbourg building into something resolutely contemporary and simple, whose architectural details attest to the studio’s creativity.
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14 May 2014
Hotel Hotel Canberra lobby, Australia, by March Studio
March Studio was commissioned to design the lobby for the Nishi building, a multi-storey apartment building located in Canberra’s arts and culture precinct New Acton. The building houses two floors of hotel rooms, wrapped around a central courtyard and light well. The ground floor contains Hotel Hotel’s lobby, reception, concierge and bar, as well as retail and hospitality tenancies. The grand staircase links the apartment block with the hotel, whose design was developed by 50 artists, designers and makers including Japanese studio Suppose Design Office.
The space features thousands of pieces of recycled wood, which are fixed around the walls and ceiling to create irregular patterns around the building’s precast concrete pillars. “Freed to scatter up the walls and across the ceiling, the suspended timber filters exterior light and views into and from internal spaces,” said March Studio in a statement. “Spidery, pixelated shadows are cast on the floor and bare walls.” The lengths are supported by steel rods that run from the ceiling to the ground floor, while sparser clusters of timber-covered steel rods line the front of the entrance.
Each tread of the staircase is made up of three different types of glue-laminated timber profiles. Longer lengths of timber profiles protrude from the middle of the staircase to create an illuminated central balustrade. The staircase leads up to the hotel lobby and bar, which occupies two floors of the building. Here, chunky lengths of concrete and timber create bulky pieces of furniture, while decorative lighting fixtures hang from the ceiling and circular skylights bring in daylight from overhead.
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29 December 2014
David Ben-Gurion’s former home renovated by Pitsou Kedem Architects
A Tel Aviv flat that was once the home of Israel’s first prime minster has been renovated and extended by local firm Pitsou Kedem Architects to create a new basement level with industrial-style fittings. A framework of chunky black I-beams supports the ceiling of a new basement floor, added to the flat formerly owned by the late David Ben-Gurion, who was instrumental in the founding of the Israeli state and was prime minister between 1955 and 1963. The project, called Past Turned Into Space, involved reorganising the interior of the ground floor apartment, which is located within a two-storey block designed by Ukrainian architect Yosef Berlin in 1925.
“Since the construction elements we created were totally new, we took care not to hide them but left them exposed in order to tell the story of the renovation.”
The protected building features renaissance-style arches with segmental keystones, balconies and pale pink plasterwork, and is located within a UNESCO heritage site in Tel Aviv. This meant the architects had to contend with severe building restrictions to add the subterranean level that would enable them to expand the residence into a 220-square-metre duplex apartment. A palette of exposed concrete, glass and steel were continued throughout the interior, lending an industrial appearance to the interior spaces that contrasts with the building’s ornamental facade. “We chose to use concrete and steel because we treat them as timeless materials,” said the architects. “This combination with a preservation building felt right.”
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
Les Haras de Strasbourg – via Jouin Manku
Hotel Hotel, Canberra – Peter Bennetts unless otherwise stated by Dezeen
Tel Aviv apartment – Amit Goren, with styling by Eti Buskila