Thursday, 27 February 2014

Miami's heat : Art Deco revisited

With the dreaded chill of Toronto's winter, I decided to forego the annual New York jaunt and instead booked a ticket to sunny Florida for my inspiration trip this year. Not wanting to simply sit on the beach, I had a rigorous schedule to see what Miami's design scene had to offer - I've never explored Miami in this light.

I started with the revived Miami Beach and toured the various Art Deco hotels of South Beach in the evening - admiring the buildings with their stunning neon lights and brilliant color combinations. The strip was alive with musicians and laughing crowds.

I went back during the day to soak in a few more interiors and was fortunate enough to get a tour of the National Hotel (1677 Collins Avenue), currently under construction. They recently restored the two-story lobby, where reproductions of the original furniture and light sconces can be found. The guest rooms have also  been meticulously designed to have the original feel of the era. The 205 ft long pool, (not from the Deco period) in the back is impressively 'Miami'!

The journey of walking through the lobby of the Delano was also quite spectacular; designed by famed architect Robert Swartburg in 1947 and renovated by Philippe Starck in 1994, the Delano is the tallest building on Miami Beach. Its charm is found equally in its grand structure and its intricate details: between each column in the lobby is a secluded seating area each to its own, dimly lit comfy casual hideaways.

Miami is also embodied in these large scale (approximately 6' high) art pieces by local artist Havi Schanz, exhibited in the Carlyle Hotel.

There's so much to share about Miami, I'll have more posts in the coming weeks.