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Puro Lodz Hotel by ASW Architekci and Superfutures Honors a Polish City’s Rich Artistic Heritage

PROJECT NAME Puro Lodz Hotel
FIRMS ASW Architekci, Superfutures
SQ. FT. 75,000 SQF

Puro Lodz in Poland was far from an easy commission for Superfutures founder Andy Martin and ASW Architekci partners Michal Ankiersztajn, Dariusz Stankiewicz, and Jaroslaw Wronski. It had taken Martin several years to persuade the owner of Puro Hotels to let him craft the 75,000-square-foot interior of the brand’s sixth property. “We had to convince him that we could offer something different,” Martin begins.

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The snack bar’s communal table is custom. Photography by Anna Stathaki.

Once they finally got the gig, the team found itself struggling with all sorts of spatial challenges in what Martin calls an “awkward site.” Puro Lodz had a few differences of its own to offer. It stands between the neo-baroque Poznanski Palace from 1903 and a renovated late 19th-century red-brick factory now a mixed-use complex. But the hotel is also a ground-up, five-story construction, so it’s both metaphorically and spatially lodged between the city’s industrial past and its future as a hip urban playground.

That meant the building took the alinear form of a long, narrow rectangle, which, Martin says, “became one of the project’s unique qualities.” But, “It was extremely challenging from a design perspective. The common areas could be rearranged, but we were basically stuck with the footprint.” It wasn’t what he’d expected, but Superfutures made it work.

Glass pendant fixtures and ‘60’s-inspired carpet, all custom, join Verner Panton seating in the cinema bar at Poland’s Puro Rodz hotel by ASW Architekci and Superfutures. Photography by Anna Stathaki.

Martin has been running a London firm called AMA for two decades. He launched Superfutures when companies began submitting requests for pro­posals that required him to oversee the art direction of projects, and, as he puts it, “employing the necessary creatives.”

> Browse through more hospitality projects featured in Interior Design

And Puro Lodz is loaded with the work of creatives. Superfutures utilized the local artistic resources to design the hotel. Poland’s third largest city, it boasts several excellent art museums, the Herbst Palace Museum and Muzeum Sztuki among them, plus the renowned National Film School in Lodz, and the in­teriors reflect that heritage. The firm worked with Puro Hotels art advisor, Zuzanna Zakaryan, who consults on all properties, to help select the modern art. She sought out the best students and graduates from the photography department of the film school as well as area craftspeople and illustrators. “Our collection is based on a young generation of emerging artists that not only fit with the spirit of the interiors and the city but are also a good investment,” she says.

A custom concrete screen separates the lobby from the lounge. Photography by Anna Stathaki.

The seven suites feature original wall hangings by hometown weaving studio Tartaruga. Some of the 130 guest rooms feature original illustrations inspired by Lodz’s famous interwar pioneers of avant-garde art, Katarzyna Kobro and Wladyslaw Strzeminski. The lobby staircase descends alongside a cinematic mural from local illustrators Ilcat and Maciej Polak. And contemporary painting and photography, as well as vintage film posters, populate the remainder of the project.

That includes its crowning glory, Cinema Paradiso, an in-house movie theater that pays homage to Lodz’s filmmaking culture. “We pushed to get a cinema into the scheme somewhere,” Martin says. “We tried the underground garage, an external one in the forecourt, but we finally decided it would get more use inside the hotel.” The second-floor space can also function as a meeting room, with the adjoining bar area great for break-out sessions. (There’s an official conference room on the same floor.) “Hotel guests often sit in their rooms to watch TV,” the architect continues, “so the cinema is an attempt at providing social activity.”

Vintage movie posters hang in the conference room. Photography by Anna Stathaki.

Martin, who worked on the furniture selection closely with the owner, settled on a European-centric “dusting of new creative designs,” he says, to combine with his custom pieces throughout, including the chromatic 1960s-inspired carpet in the cinema and conference room. Other pieces are what he calls “visual classics” with an eye toward comfort, such as the Verner Panton bar chairs and stools upholstered in plush turquoise or blush velvet. That palette extends to some walls, coated in saturated salmon, indigo, or teal paint. Guest rooms, however, are more restrained, with furnishings by the likes of Hans Wegner and millwork in pale tones; white ceramic tile lines guest bathrooms. And reception, with its desk that morphs into a stair, is outfitted almost entirely in gray concrete.

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While the hotel may honor classic elements of Polish life, it also features two restaurant concepts of today: a healthy snack bar serving smoothies and wholesome breakfasts at a long communal table and an organic bistro with a Thai vibe. There’s also a state-of-the-art spa with a view of Poznanski Palace that Martin says shouldn’t be missed. In all, it’s an interior born from substantial artistic tension and original ideas. The project’s wealth of creative talent, Martin says, “adds another layer and complexity to the experience. It put us off balance a bit—and the guests benefit.”

Keep scrolling to view more images of the project >

Cast-in-place concrete forms flooring in reception and treads on the stair, which leads up to the cinema and conference room. Photography by Anna Stathaki.
The coffered ceiling is also cast-in-place concrete. Photography by Anna Stathaki.
The bar’s plaster ceiling morphs into light fixtures. Photography by Anna Stathaki.
The cinema’s 26 seats were inspired by the Eames lounge chair. Photography by Anna Stathaki.
Local illustrators Ilcat and Maciej Polak spray-painted the lobby’s site-specific mural. Photography by Anna Stathaki.
ArrmetLab designed the stools and chairs in the bistro. Photography by Anna Stathaki.
The suite’s lounge chair is also by Wegner. Photography by Anna Stathaki.
A Hans Wegner chair pulls up to a suite’s custom desk. Photography by Anna Stathaki.
Leather straps secure a guest room’s cushioned headboard. Photography by Anna Stathaki.
Bathroom tile is ceramic. Photography by Anna Stathaki.
The spa’s sauna is clad in custom wooden planks. Photography by Anna Stathaki.

Project Team: Martyna Antczak-Galant; Michal Karykowski; Hanna Sawicka; Maria Swarowska:ASW Architekci. Nadia Sousa; Ben Webb; Mitch James; Kathrine H. Børresen; Adrian Jönsson: Superfutures. Atrium: Lighting Consultant. Bud-Ekspert: Structural Engineer. Elsa Projekt: Electrical Engineer. Wiso: Plumbing Engineer. Hotel Inwest Ireneusz Dudek: General Contractor.

Product Sources: From Top: Verplan: Chairs, Stools (Cinema Bar). Wenart: Custom Table (Conference Room), Side Table (Suite). Vibia: Pendant Fixtures (Reception). Arrmet: Stools (Bar), Chairs, Stools (Bistro). Caloi: Custom Chairs (Cinema). Gubi: Lamps (Suite). Carl Hansen & Søn: Chairs (Suite). Chelsom: Custom Sconce (Guest Room). Hansgrohe: Shower Fittings (Bathroom). Kvadrat: Cur­tain Material (Suite). Muuto: Cocktail Table. Moroso: Sofa. Throughout:Ege Carpets: Custom Carpet. Kasthall: Custom Rugs. ITNYS: Flooring.

> See more from the July 2019 issue of Interior Design

Continue reading Puro Lodz Hotel by ASW Architekci and Superfutures Honors a Polish City’s Rich Artistic Heritage



Designer Jean-Louis Deniot stripped a South Beach penthouse to the bare cement for a striking home with Art Deco nods.

I had an impression of Miami long before I ever visited. I grew up in Paris and loved hearing about the South Beach scene: Gianni Versace and his mansion, Madonna hanging out at the clubs.


When I first arrived here 10 years ago, I expected to find a sexy paradise with pastel-colored Art Deco buildings and convertibles cruising along the beach. And a lot of Miami Beach was exactly like that. But on that trip, I also discovered another side to the city at Vizcaya, the Renaissance-style estate built by the industrialist James Deering in 1916.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

Designer Jean-Louis Deniot relaxes in the living room of a Miami Beach penthouse that he extensively renovated and designed. In the entry corridor, the wall panels are in polished brass, and the floor ball lights are custom.

Wandering through the villa and its gardens, I found that there was a link between European taste and American culture that was surprising to see in the midst of such an easygoing and cool vacation spot.

Simon Upton
Simon Upton

In the living room, the sofa from Deniot’s collection for Baker is in a Martyn Thompson Studio fabric, the 1930s Jindrich Halabala chairs are in a JAB Anstoetz fabric, the vintage cocktail table is by Paul Frankl, and the gold side table is by Hervé Van der Straeten; the 1920s bronze-and-alabaster chandelier once hung in the Villa Kerylos in France, the indoor-outdoor rug is by Galerie Diurne, the artwork is by Franz Kline, and the shelf holds a Roger Desserprit sculpture (center) and a French 1940s lamp.

Since then, Miami has become one of my regular destinations (I mostly divide my time between Paris, where my firm is located, New York, and Los Angeles). I am currently renovating a house here, and I have several client projects in the area, including the interiors of the Elysee Miami, a 57-story luxury condo tower that is being designed by Arquitectonica.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

The master bath’s walls, vanity, and flooring are in a coordinating marble from Marble of the World, the R.W. Atlas fittings are from Waterworks, and the Jonathan Browning sconces are from Andrew Kornat Designs.

I renovated this striking penthouse for a tech entrepreneur from Los Angeles. I had noticed the apartment — in the 1995 La Tour building—from the street even before it was for sale. Through the massive glass windows, you could see into the living room, with its 20-foot ceiling; it had the look of an artist’s studio, which I thought was appropriate for the home of Art Basel Miami Beach. Its location in the Mid-Beach area known as Millionaire’s Row, between the Faena and Soho Beach House hotels, is ideal. When the penthouse went on the market, I convinced my client to buy it.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

In the master bedroom, the headboard in an Aldeco pattern and standing lamp are both custom; the coverlet is in a Kirkby Design fabric. The armchair is 17th-century Spanish, the mirror is by R&Y Augousti, and the carpet is by Toulemonde Bochart. Deniot lined a wall in distressed stacked bricks and commissioned a hand-painted mural with a spiral motif to make the ceiling appear higher.

On our first visit, we found the place done up like a Spanish castle: tapestries, terra-cotta walls, fountains, columns, and a massive wrought-iron candelabra. I am not kidding. My client was living in a painted-concrete loft in L.A.; I told him I could peel off the drywall here and create a similar kind of Brutalist look.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

The entry’s French 1940s bronze-and-marble console is from Gallery Yves Gastou, and the artwork is by Stephenie Bergman.

One of my inspirations was the Brancusi atelier in Paris. In photographs of the studio, a monochromatic blue canvas is surrounded by sculptures, some on rough-hewn pedestals. Miami’s Art Deco scene was another influence; I gravitated toward the style of Gerrit Rietveld, a Dutch designer of the period, whose work was geometric and avant-garde. In the living room, the walls were stripped to the bare concrete, which was never meant to be visible.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

In the breakfast area, a custom table is framed by midcentury chairs in a Romo velvet; a custom glass-and-bronze bar cabinet is topped with a 1980s cement vase, a French 1940s carafe, and a 19th-century Nigerian helmet; the pendant is by FontanaArte.

But once exposed, it looked like beautiful stone, textured and vibrant, and I left it untouched. I lined the entry corridor with brass panels to reflect the light; it makes the space look bigger, and the effect is pure sunshine. The flooring is newly installed terrazzo — a nod to classic midcentury Miami.

Everything in the living room needed to be on a huge scale to balance the room’s height. The sofa is giant, the concrete head on a pedestal is massive, and the 1920s Italian terrazzo fragment of a nose and mouth on the white shelf near the ceiling is much bigger than it appears — more than two feet tall. If decorating a room is like creating a story (and to me, it always is), then this living room is a tale of the sea.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

The kitchen’s custom stainless steel cabinetry has been laser-printed with an abstract pattern, the sink fittings are by Dornbracht and Franke, the bronze pendant is custom, and the flooring is terrazzo.

I designed the cabinet in straw marquetry to hide the television set. It’s the blue of the deepest ocean, and it rests on lacquered wooden balls shaped like beach balls (the shape also references both Art Deco and Memphis design). On top of the cabinet, a row of onyx cones reminds me of shark’s teeth. The cocktail table has the form of a surfboard, and I designed the rug’s pattern to resemble sand and water.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

On the terrace facing South Beach, the Ilmari Tapiovaara rocking chair is vintage, a 1960s rattan chaise is covered in an outdoor Kravet fabric, and the marble side table is from a Paris flea market.

The ceiling in the master bedroom is just eight feet high. To make it look loftier, I commissioned an artist in Paris to paint a canvas of a storm or massive wave. We put the painting on a boat to Miami and glued it in place in the bedroom. The swirling pattern almost appears like a dome. In the master bath, which has a bird’s-eye view of the Intracoastal Waterway, I wanted the marble to look like a landscape.

I found a stone in Miami with beautiful veining — it looks very Art Deco—and covered every surface in it, along with the vanity, and even designed a matching marble waste bin.

miami real estate
Simon Upton

The living room’s midcentury chair and stool are in a Kirkby Design fabric, the custom television cabinet has doors in straw marquetry, and the marble side table and vintage cones are from a Paris flea market. The artwork above the cabinet is by Jérôme Robbe, and the French 1930s table lamp is from Teo Leo.

In this penthouse, 26 stories above the ground, you feel as if you are floating above the beach, the neighboring buildings, and even the clouds. You can see birds flying by. It’s a very poetic, serene, and some might say surrealistic way to live.

This story was originally published in the April 2018 issue of ELLE DECOR.

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