T+L Design Awards 2012
T+L Jury 2012
A distinguished panel of judges names the best-designed hotels, restaurants, and more in this year’s design awards.
Billie Tsien: Cofounder of Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects; the firm’s work includes the American Folk Art Museum, in New York, and the new home for the Barnes Foundation, in Philadelphia.
Paul Priestman: The founding director of Priestmangoode, a multidisciplinary design group whose clients include airlines, train companies, and hotels.
Derek Lam: Award-winning fashion designer who launched his own label in 2003; he has been the creative director for Tod’s since 2006.
Muriel Brandolini: An interior designer who has been widely published; her first book, The World of Muriel Brandolini: Interiors, was recently released by Rizzoli.
Michele Oka Doner: An artist widely recognized for her public installations; her work has been acquired by museums including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Robert Hammond: Cofounder of Friends of the High Line, the nonprofit group that created and now maintains the groundbreaking public park on Manhattan’s west side.
Best Performance SpaceHarpa Reykjavík Concert Hall & Conference Center, Reykjavík, Iceland
Designed by Henning Larsen Architects
The centerpiece of this complex on Reykjavík’s eastern harbor is an 1,800-seat concert hall, but the standout feature is the southern façade, designed collaboratively by the architects, engineers, and Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. Composed of 12-sided glass-and-steel “quasi-bricks”—developed in Eliasson’s studio—the structure, illuminated at night, acts like a massive kaleidoscope mixing light from many sources and reflections of the city to spectacular effect. 2 Austurbakki; 354/528-5050; en.harpa.is.From the Jury
“Harpa evokes water in all of its grandeur—the prismatic quality of the glass reflecting ice and clouds.” —Michele Oka Doner, artist
Honorable Mention: New World Center, Miami Beach; designed by Gehry Partners.
Best Museum Herta & Paul Amir Building, Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Designed by Preston Scott Cohen
Wedged into a tight, triangular site within the city’s central cultural complex, this piece of architectural origami uses a soaring, twisting, 87-foot-tall atrium, called Lightfall, to link a series of refreshingly uncomplicated galleries. In contrast to many dramatically shaped new art museums, it succeeds in being at once breathtaking and deferential to the art on display.From the Jury
“The Tel Aviv museum is quite a piece of sculpture, but it is a sculpture that accepts art.” —Billie Tsien, architect
Honorable Mention: Clyfford Still Museum, Denver; designed by Allied Works Architecture; 1250 Bannock St.; 720/354-4880; clyffordstillmuseum.org.
Best Small HotelEncuentro Guadalupe, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico
Designed by Jorge Gracia
The concept at Encuentro Guadalupe is “luxury camping”—20 pristine cabins, crisply modern, are poised on a hillside overlooking Mexican wine country. The 99-acre site also includes a swimming pool, a winery, and a restaurant. But the highlight is the cabins, each with its own terrace warmed by an adobe fireplace, with views of the rugged valley. Doubles from $200.
Honorable Mention: The Singular Patagonia, Puerto Bories, Chile; designed by Enrique Concha; 56-2/954-0480; doubles from $660; thesingular.com.
Best Public Space Jane’s Carousel Pavilion, Brooklyn, New York
Designed by Atelier Jean Nouvel
In a completely unexpected pairing, a richly detailed carousel (1922) and a see-through minimalist shed (2011) jointly occupy a dramatic waterfront site in the shadow of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. The carousel is open to the public, and after sunset, the pavilion’s acrylic walls are illuminated, creating a light show visible across the river and from the bridges above. Brooklyn Bridge Park; janescarousel.org.
Best Retail Space Freitag Store, New York City
Designed by Freitag
The downtown New York Freitag store’s décor consists almost entirely of an ingenious wall-length storage system containing boxes filled with 1,000 of the Swiss company’s brightly colored messenger bags. The bags themselves are manufactured from recycled truck tarps, and the storage system is also made from recycled plastic. At the Freitag store, form, function, philosophy, and branding are one and the same. 1 Prince St.; 212/334-0928; freitag.ch.
Honorable Mention: Asop Nolita, New York City; designed by Jeremy Barbour, Tacklebox NY; 232 Elizabeth St.; 877/602-3767; aesop.com.
Best Bridge Sheikh Zayed Bridge, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects
About a half-mile long, this bridge connects Abu Dhabi Island to the mainland. The shape is a sine wave, a series of undulating curves that soar almost 200 feet above the water. From the perspective of motorists on the structure’s eight-lane highway, the massive steel waves form a parade of spectacular monuments. From shore, the bridge looks like a futuristic roller coaster, all speed and drama.
Best Restaurant Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx and Restaurant Camélia at Mandarin Oriental, Paris
Designed by Patrick Jouin & Sanjit Manku
Conceived as “the restaurants of tomorrow,” this matched set of dining environments uses an ultra-restrained palette—white on white—as a neutral backdrop for chef Thierry Marx’s surreal cuisine. The main restaurant (pictured) is essentially a work of fabric art, a soft dining cocoon, the walls and ceiling layered in a collage of cream-colored cloth. At the more casual Camélia, an extension of the hotel’s garden, diners are surrounded by giant petals that evoke the eponymous flower. 251 Rue St.-Honoré, First Arr.; 33-1/70-98-78-88; dinner for two from $182.From the Jury
“The restaurant Sur Mesure is transporting—it feels like an airplane cabin.” —Muriel Brandolini, interior designer
Best Large Hotel25hours Hotel HafenCity, Hamburg, Germany
Designed by Böge Lindner K2 Architects, Conni Kotte, Eventlabs, Markus Stoll, and Stephen Williams Associates
The first hotel in Hamburg’s newly redeveloped harbor district, 25hours invokes a tongue-in-cheek nautical style. The 170 rooms are cozy, with dark oak wood and work areas made from what look to be old steamer trunks. The hotel has abundant common areas, including a Vinyl Room with records and turntables and a no-frills Finnish sauna. The Heimat Küche & Bar, with its shipping-container décor, serves locally sourced cuisine. 5 Überseeallee; 49-40/257-7770; 25hours-hotels.com; doubles from $136.From the Jury
“The hotel is cozy—it speaks of Hamburg, and the vernacular of the larger city.” —Derek Lam, fashion designer
Honorable Mention: Hotel Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom; designed by Atelier Jean Nouvel; 1 Praterstrasse; 43-1/906-160; sofitel.com; doubles from $362.
Best Transportation Air New Zealand SkyCouch Family Experience
Designed by Air New Zealand
To create a better long-haul economy-class flight experience for young families, Air New Zealand transformed the standard row of three coach seats on its newest jets into a sofa. The key element is a cushioned leg rest that can be raised flush with the seats, forming an extended surface where children (and adults) can sprawl. airnewzealand.com.
Best Spa Espa at Istanbul Edition
Designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates
With embossed bronze floors and walls upholstered in horsehair or covered with marble, this opulent, 20,000-square-foot hotel spa draws its inspiration from the traditional Turkish hammam. While the décor evokes the romance of Istanbul, it never comes across as kitschy or fake. Most impressive is a cold room that appears to be full of real snow. Istanbul Edition, 136 Buyukdere Cad., Levent; 800/466-9695; editionhotels.com; doubles from $318.
Best Car Fiat 500
From $15,000; fiatusa.com
Best Personal GadgetZipbuds
Best Luggage Fendi & Maserati Luggage Collection
From $2,690; fendi.com
Best Travel Accessory Grace Carter Zip-On Rain Boot
Best CameraLeica D-Lux 5 Titanium Set
Best Men’s Travel Fashion 1964 by Scott James Blazer
Best Women’s Travel Fashion Issey Miyake Origami Folding Clothing
From $480; isseymiyake.com
Best Outdoor Accessory Neue Galerie’s R. Horn Viennese Picnic Set
Design Champion H. E. Mubarak Hamad al Muhairi
This is an exhilarating design moment in Abu Dhabi, where spectacular buildings by an all-star roster of architects—from Frank Gehry to Zaha Hadid—are currently taking shape. The moving force behind the city’s transformation has been this year’s Design Champion, H. E. Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi, of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and the Tourism Development and Investment Company. He has spearheaded efforts to grow the city in a thoughtful and sustainable fashion and, more fundamentally, to invest in art and design as the touchstones of its expanding tourism business. Major art museums and cultural institutions, including branches of the Louvre and the Guggenheim, are in the works. The daring cosmopolitanism of Abu Dhabi has opened a window to a new “it” destination: a cultural and design capital in the making.