T+L Design Awards 2013
T+L Jury 2013
Good design makes travel better, and for T+L’s ninth annual competition, our distinguished jury chose the best of the year.
Alexandra Champalimaud: Founder of the interior-design firm Champalimaud; her award-winning work includes renovations of such iconic hotels as the Bel-Air, in Los Angeles; the Dorchester, in London; and the Pierre, in New York.
Amy Fine Collins: An author who writes about art, fashion, and design; she is a special correspondent for Vanity Fair, where she helps compile the annual International Best-Dressed List.
Deborah Berke: Architect and founder of Deborah Berke Partners; the firm’s work includes the Yale School of Art, in New Haven, and the three 21C hotels, including the newest, in Bentonville, Arkansas.
John Robshaw: A textile designer whose Indian-inspired fabrics and home furnishings are available on johnrobshaw.com and at design and department stores nationwide.
Stephen Doyle: Creative director of Doyle Partners, a graphic design, advertising, and branding company; his clients include Barnes & Noble, Rockefeller Center, and comedian Stephen Colbert.
Rebecca Minkoff: An award-winning fashion and accessories designer whose signature handbags have launched a global lifestyle brand; she opened her first stand-alone boutique in Tokyo in 2012.
Marcus Samuelsson: Acclaimed chef and owner of New York City’s Red Rooster Harlem and the chef of the American Table restaurants in New York and Stockholm; he is the author of Yes, Chef, published last year.
T+L Design Awards jury moderated by Chee Pearlman. Text by Luke Barr, with Honorable Mentions by Katie James. Reported by Katie James, with Nina Fedrizzi, Stirling Kelso, Courtney Kenefick, Gabrielle Lipton, Mimi Lombardo, Mario R. Mercado, Phil Patton, Joshua Pramis, Tom Samiljan, and Peter Schlesinger.
Best Museum Städel Museum, Frankfurt
Designed by Till Schneider, Michael Schumacher, and Kai Otto for Schneider & Schumacher
This spectacular extension of the Städel in Frankfurt inserts huge new galleries for contemporary art beneath the 19th-century museum’s courtyard garden, lit by 195 large round windows embedded in the lawn. The windows are designed to be walked on, and also double as LED lights, laid out in a grid and glowing at night. But it is the subtle, swelling hill at the center of the lawn (and the corresponding dome in the gallery below) that is the project’s otherworldly masterstroke, imparting a dash of Spielbergian drama in the heart of the city. 63 Schaumainkai; staedelmuseum.de.
Honorable Mention: Best MuseumYale University Art Gallery Renovation and Expansion, New Haven, CT
Designed by Duncan Hazard and Richard Olcott of Ennead Architects
The combination of three distinct, landmark buildings, as well as the addition of a rooftop terrace, form a combined exhibition space of almost 70,000 square feet where the university museum’s preeminent collection can now be displayed.
Best ResortTierra Patagonia, Torres del Paine, Chile
Designed by Cazu Zegers, Roberto Benavente, and Rodrigo Ferrer for Cazu Zegers
Set in a vast, awe-inspiring Patagonian landscape on the banks of Lake Sarmiento and with views of the mountains of Torres del Paine National Park, the low-slung, aerodynamic Tierra Patagonia is a deceptively modest building. The 40-room resort was built using locally sourced stone and wood, most of it left as raw and unadorned as possible; from the outside, the structure is meant to evoke the timeless shapes of sand dunes and driftwood, at one with its rugged setting; inside, fine wood paneling and traditional Chilean fabrics bring warmth to the simple yet luxurious rooms. All-inclusive; three-night minimum. $$$$$
Best SpaLes Bains de Léa Nuxe Spa, Bordeaux, France
Designed by Jacques Garcia
Overlooking the city of Bordeaux from the top three floors of the Grand Hôtel, Les Bains de Léa is an opulent retreat that includes a pool, a Turkish bath, a sauna, and treatment rooms, all in rich reds and slate grays, mosaics and marble, velvet and silk. There are stylized reproductions of Botticelli and Titian on the walls and gold-leaf details everywhere. The rooftop terrace bar, with its lush gardens, sprawling sofas, and tented Jacuzzi, is a further highlight of the spa’s sybaritic escapism. Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux & Spa; 2-5 Place de la Comédie; ghbordeaux.com. $$$$
Best TransportationLondon Bus, London
Designed by Thomas Heatherwick for Heatherwick Studio
The red double-decker bus is a symbol of London and a national icon, but with the original 1950’s and 60’s Routemaster long out of production, an icon in need of reinvention. This new diesel-hybrid bus, commissioned by the mayor, represents just that—it’s a contemporary classic. The bus has two staircases, three sets of doors, and an open platform. Inside, the lighting, colors, and materials are serene, and show off a meticulous attention to detail.
Best Hotel, Fewer Than 100 Rooms Wythe Hotel, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Designed by Andrew Tarlow, Peter Lawrence, and Jed Walentas; Morris Adjmi Architects; Workstead
Transforming a 1901 building into an industrial-chic hotel, the Wythe is emblematic of the new Brooklyn—increasingly a New York destination in its own right—and the homegrown, craft-centered aesthetic it represents. The hotel’s carefully preserved brick masonry, cast-iron columns, loft-style windows, and pine beams lend it a kind of historical glow; the modern furnishings, custom woodwork, and eye-catching art and graphics combine to create something entirely new. 80 Wythe Ave.; wythehotel.com. $
Best Retail Space Sweet Alchemy by Stelios Parliaros, Athens
Designed by Stelios Kois for Kois Associated Architects
A confectionery and pastry shop in Athens, Sweet Alchemy creates an atmosphere of mystery around its many delicacies, presenting them in glass-topped cases in a space that feels a bit like a sorcerer’s workshop. Jars, bottles, bins, and trays of candy, jam, chocolate, and pastry fill the rooms, which are lit dramatically from above; abundant sunlight is refracted through a dense grid of tall metal shelves, highlighting the shop’s many unfinished-wood and concrete surfaces and the very refined sweets on display. 24 Irodotu Str., Kolonaki; parliaros.gr.
Best Performance Space Music School of Louviers, Louviers, France
Designed by Opus 5 Architectes
A beautiful ruin, built as a monastery in the 1600’s and later turned into a prison, has been reborn as a state-of-the-art music school and performance space at the center of Louviers, in Normandy. Set above the Epervier River, the remnants of the site’s historical buildings have been preserved, unified around a simple glass box with chrome stripes. The new construction houses the main orchestral hall and is the stunning focal point of the school, reflecting the surroundings and sky during the day, glowing warmly at night. 1 Rue des Pénitents; emmlouviers.jimdo.com.
Best Hotel, 100 or More Rooms Palace Hotel Tokyo
Designed by Terry McGinnity for GA Design International
The understated luxury of the new Palace Hotel Tokyo, built on the site of the iconic 1961 Palace Hotel and adjacent to the moat surrounding the Imperial Palace in the center of the city, is perfectly suited to its history. There is quiet, traditional grandeur in the marble and ebony finishes and deep green carpets, and a sense of sophisticated restraint that permeates the hotel’s dazzling lobby, restaurants, and bars. All of the rooms overlook the vast green Imperial Gardens; views of nature—trees, stones, moss, and water—are at the center of the design. 1-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku; palacehoteltokyo.com. $$$$
Honorable Mention: Best Hotel, 100 or More RoomsConservatorium Hotel, Amsterdam
Designed by Piero Lissoni for Lissoni Associati
This Piero Lissoni–designed hotel occupies the site of Amsterdam’s former 19th-century Sweelinck Music Conservatory. Austere lines, sleek interiors, and floor-to-ceiling glass walls in the hotel’s Brasserie juxtapose the building’s neo-Gothic architecture to create a contemporary classic. 27 Van Baerlestraat; conservatoriumhotel.com. $$$
Honorable Mention: Best MuseumMetropolitan Museum of Art Islamic Galleries, New York City
Designed by Michael Batista
Exhibition design manager Michael Batista oversaw the renovation of the Met’s 15 Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia—housing an extraordinary collection of works that spans more than 13 centuries. Among them: a traditional Moroccan courtyard, 16th-century Persian Emperor’s Carpet, and fully reconstructed Ottoman reception hall, known as the Damascus Room.
Best Public Space Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, New York City
Designed by Louis I. Kahn, with Architect of Record, Mitchell/Giurgola Architects
Freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion, freedom from poverty, and freedom from fear—Franklin D. Roosevelt’s noble aspirations for all of mankind, articulated in a 1941 speech, are given forceful gravity in architect Louis Kahn’s memorial. Designed in the early 1970’s but shelved after Kahn’s death in 1974 and the city’s fiscal crises of that decade, the project is all the more powerful for having survived. Granite promenades and allées of linden trees lead visitors to the very southern tip of Roosevelt Island, to a bust of the president and views of the East River and the New York City skyline. fdrfourfreedomspark.org.
Honorable Mention: Best Public Space National Tourist Route Trollstigen, Norway
Designed by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter
This visitor’s center along Norway’s National Tourist Route in Trollstigen makes the most of its dramatic natural environment. The concrete-and-glass lodge reflects the static elements of the area, while cascades, flood barriers, and bridges to viewing platforms magnify the landscape’s shifting qualities. Trollstigen, Norway; visitnorway.com.
Honorable Mention: Best SpaSpring FootSpa, Queenstown, New Zealand
Designed by Saatchi & Saatchi Design Worldwide
Pops of color animate the predominantly neutral space of this Queenstown “social spa” for a fresh, lighthearted design and unmistakably vibrant atmosphere. 52 Benson Rd.; springfootspa.com.
Honorable Mention: Best Transportation CS Gas Station, Matúškovo, Slovakia
Designed by Atelier SAD
Prague-based design firm Atelier SAD reimagines the filling station with its unique project in Matúškovo, Slovakia. Three elliptical overhangs contrast the wood-and-glass filling station, while lighting built into the supporting columns creates a dramatic setting at night. Matúškovo, Slovakia; gas.sk.
Honorable Mention: Best TransportationHighway Rest Stops, Gori and Lochini, Georgia
Designed by Juergen Mayer H. for J. Mayer H. Architects
Commissioned by the Roads Department of Georgia, these grandiose rest stops, located at scenic viewpoints along a new thoroughfare connecting Azerbaijan and Turkey, are also intended to serve as civic and cultural spaces for residents. Gori and Lochini, Georgia.
Best Restaurant Pauly-Saal, Berlin
Designed by Stephan Landwehr and Boris Radczun
The glamour of Weimar Republic–era Berlin is reinterpreted in the most modern of ways at Pauly-Saal. Many of the traditional German restaurant’s design details, including ceramic tiles and Murano chandeliers, were custom-made; dark-green upholstered chairs add a solemnity to the bright room. But it is the restaurant’s location, too, that tells a story: it is set in what was once the gymnasium of the Jewish Girls’ School, closed by the Nazis in 1942. The building is now a center for the revival of Jewish culture in Berlin, and also houses a number of art galleries and a delicatessen. 11-13 Auguststrasse; paulysaal.com. $$$$
Honorable Mention: Best Restaurant Atera, New York City
Designed by Parts and Labor Design
Atera occupies a small, noteworthy space on the ground floor of a nondescript building in New York City’s TriBeCa neighborhood. Modern light fixtures, custom-designed leather furniture, and a wall covered with live plants create a rustic, yet stylish environment. 77 Worth St.; ateranyc.com. $$$$
Honorable Mention: Best RestaurantDel Popolo Mobile Pizzeria, San Francisco
Designed by Jonathan Darsky and Michael Hyde
The invention of owner Jonathan Darsky and industrial designer Michael Hyde, Del Popolo is architecture made mobile. Built from a transatlantic shipping container, the next-generation food truck features steel-framed glass doors that open fully, allowing customers to watch their pizzas bake in a traditional wood-fired oven. Follow @pizzadelpopolo for daily routes; delpopolosf.com. $
Honorable Mention: Best Hotel, Fewer Than 100 Rooms Hotel Topazz, Vienna
Designed by Erich Bernard for BWM Architekten & Partner, Michael Manzenreiter for DI Michael Manzenreiter
Protruding oval windows give this boutique hotel’s façade a contemporary look that contrasts with the landmark architecture of Vienna’s historic first district. The windowsills function as daybeds inside guest rooms, which also feature sumptuous fabrics, dark-stained paneling, and marble baths. 3 Lichtensteg; hoteltopazz.com. $$
Honorable Mention: Best Retail Space The Gourmet Tea, São Paulo, Brazil
Designed by Alan Chu
Inspired by the brand’s bright packaging, Brazilian architect Alan Chu designed this third Gourmet Tea shop to look like a colorful plywood box. As the box opens, panels cleverly unfold to display tea and coffee. Shopping Cidade Jardim, 1200 Avda. Magalhães de Castro; thegourmettea.com.
Honorable Mention: Best Retail SpaceLivraria da Vila—both in São Paulo, Brazil
Designed by Isay Weinfeld
The bookshelf takes on new meaning in this Isay Weinfeld–designed store, where dark-wood shelving units wrap around the bright white main space, and smaller specialty areas for children’s books, music, and movies are delineated with graphic text. JK Iguatemi Mall, 2041 Avda. Juscelino Kubitschek; livrariadavila.com.
Honorable Mention: Best Performance Space Cineteca Cinema Center, Madrid
Designed by Josemaría de Churtichaga for CH+QS Architects
A former slaughterhouse housing a film archive, two cinemas, a film and television studio, and a summer viewing patio, the Cineteca Cinema Center demonstrates an innovative reinterpretation of space. The existing brick-and-stone structure is contrasted with materials like pinewood, bent steel tubing, and industrial irrigation hoses, woven to create texture along ceilings and walls. Matadero Madrid, Centro creativo contemporaneo del Ayuntamiento de Madrid, 8 Plaza de Legazpi; mataderomadrid.org.
Honorable Mention: Best Hotel, 100 or More RoomsHilton Frankfurt Airport
Designed by JOI-Design Interior Architects, Hamburg
Housed within the Squaire, a structure connecting the airport, rail station, and two highways, the Hilton Frankfurt Airport hotel is a combination of luxury and high-tech function—a leading example of a new generation of stylish airport hotels. Natural light permeates the lobby’s steel-and-glass atrium, while neutral color palettes and textured wall patterns in guest rooms create a soothing atmosphere. The Squaire Am Flughafen, Germany; hilton.com. $$
Best Watch Timex Weekender Slip Thru with Changeable Strap
Best Travel Shoes Casbia for Edmundo Castillo Woven Pull-on Sneakers
Best Travel Accessory Götti Switzerland Fold-Flat Sunglasses
Best Travel Bag Dror for Tumi Convertible Nylon Backpack
Best Luggage Porsche Design Leather Trolley
Best Travel Beauty Product Tara Walker’s Dream Skin-Care Travel Tubes
from $35; tarawalkersdream.com
Best Tablet Microsoft Surface
From $499; microsoftstore.com
Best Men’s Travel Clothing Luigi Bianchi Mantova Lightweight Field Jacket
Best Speakers X-Mini KAI Capsule Speakers
Best Camera Pentax-Q10
Best Adventure Gear BioLite CampStove and Charger
Best Women’s Travel Clothing Terra New York Polyurethane Trench
Design Champion Rolf Fehlbaum, Chairman of Vitra
In 1981, a fire destroyed most of the production facilities at the venerable furniture manufacturer Vitra. This was in Weil am Rhein, Germany, just outside Basel, Switzerland, where the company had been making chairs designed by Charles and Ray Eames and George Nelson since the 1950’s. The fire was a turning point: Rolf Fehlbaum had only recently taken the reins at the company founded by his parents; he had traveled widely and worked in film and architecture, and wanted to bring new international designers and ideas to the business. He hired the English architect Nicholas Grimshaw to design a new factory building, and soon after asked Frank Gehry to design both a factory and a museum—his first buildings outside the United States. More seminal commissions followed over the years, including singular, innovative buildings from Zaha Hadid (her first ever), Tadao Ando (his first outside Japan), and Herzog & de Meuron. Today the Vitra Campus is a significant travel destination, and Rolf Fehlbaum is T+L’s 2013 Design Champion, representing the boundary-breaking, transformative power of both design and travel.