Poltrano Frau Seating Collection



Poltrano Frau Seating Collection
220 Chapel Road, Manchester CT, 06042
P. 860-645-8700
F. 860-645-9100
Poltrano Frau
Seating Collection
Seating Collection
The Art of
Converging Design
and Function
Welcome to Poltrona Frau Contract Division, innovators of exquisite
traditional and state-of-the-art seating. This portfolio features select
Poltrona Frau seating projects which we feel best highlights the
company’s distinctive style, craftsmanship and quality.
Since 1912, the name “Poltrona Frau” has advanced a legacy in Italianquality seating. The reputation and legacy of Poltrona Frau has left its
mark on history - enjoyed by past generations, but living-on forever as
it advances onward with new innovations to be enjoyed by generations to come.
It all started over 100 years ago, in 1912, when a young man in Turin,
Italy, Renzo Frau, started a workshop dedicating himself to his craft of
creating quality furniture. Once he registered the name Poltrona Frau
with the local Chamber of Commerce, the legacy ignited. Renzo’s
workshop was the beginning of Poltrona Frau’s philosophy, to design
and build only the finest quality furniture with the most exceptional
materials in the world. Renzo’s philosophy was a proven immortal
success, one that remains a company standard today.
Early in his career, Renzo found his specialty in high-quality seating,
when in 1919, he created an iconic armchair line still sold today, as
well as many other award-winning seating designs. Prior to Renzo’s
untimely death in 1926, he earned awards and honors for many of
his seating and furniture designs, including the honor of having been
appointed as the official furniture supplier of the Royal household.
Poltrona Frau headquarters in
Tolentino, Italy. Resting amongst the
gentle hills of the Marche, in the very
heart of central Italy, Poltrona Frau
draws on and gives back the beauty
of the territory. Inspired by the
culture for the harmony continually
searching for excellence and a high
standard of living.
Poltrona Frau’s creations have
transcended an entire century,
earning the reputation as the greatest
seating company in the world. It has
achieved the title of “legend,” having
marked important moments in
history around the world.
In the early 1930s, the company entered a new market when it was
commissioned to design, build and install seating and furnishings for
the legendary ocean liner Rex, marking Poltrona Frau’s introduction
to maritime furniture. Poltrona Frau’s luxury maritime furnishings and
designs are still commissioned today and can be found in world-class
custom yachts and ocean liners around the world. This is one of many
diverse niche markets for which the company has come to be known
In 1962, the company excelled in new directions when president and
visionary, Franco Moschini, joined Poltrona Frau. This event in the company started a new era. Poltrona Frau’s reputation as an industry leader
was greatly bolstered by Mr. Moschini’s work ethic and command for
excellence. The company soared in reputation and growth, its work
was commissioned by many new burgeoning high-profile projects.
It was Mr. Moschini’s vision to create and manufacture fixed theater
seating which propelled Poltrona Frau to new innovative heights.
In 1984, Poltrona Frau prevailed as the largest and greatest seating
manufacturer in the world, with its work commissioned in theaters,
concert halls, airplanes, ocean liners, palaces, embassies, luxury hotels,
as well as many other public and private venues. The company also
began to receive recognition for its special custom work, including
accolades by luxury automobile makers such as Maserati and Ferrari,
which featured Poltrona Frau custom interiors in the marketing of their
luxury automobiles.
The Rex, 1932 was the only Italian
ocean liner to ever win the Blue
Riband and one of the best looking
cruise ships to ever wear the colors
of the Italian Line and makes
a beautiful ocean liner model.
Poltrona Frau debuted contract
business by providing interiors
for the first-class section of this
legendary ocean liner.
The great room/lounge of the
ocean liner Rex furnished with
Poltrona Frau pieces.
The rich tradition of Poltrona Frau is the force that drives its continuing
devotion to quality materials, expert craftsmanship and comfort. The
application of technology, innovative materials and contemporary
design’s, preserves Poltrona Frau’s place as today’s industry leader.
Poltrona Frau’s work can be found in the semicircle of the European
Parliament in Strasbourg, the Piccolo Teatro in Milan, the Getty Center
in Los Angeles, the Parco Della Musica Rome, El Palau de les Arts Valencia, and Oslo Opera House, to name only a few. At the same time,
the company continues to design new lines for domestic furnishings
and private seating designs for offices, yachts and more; as well as
automobiles through its car division.
Poltrona Frau’s work has been commissioned by some of the most
important architects in history, including Gio Ponti, Tito Agnoli, Enzo
Mari, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Richard Meier, Frank O. Gehry,
Herzog & de Meuron, Santiago Calatrava, I.M. Pei, Oscar Niemeyer,
Jean Nouvel, and many other greats.
Today, any concept or idea can be brought to life by Poltrona Frau’s
experienced and innovative visionary team. It is a welcome challenge
to Poltrona Frau’s team to bring to life the vision of any special project.
Though rooted in strong traditions and business values, Poltrona Frau
continues to grow and innovate with an eye to future trends and cutting-edge technology.
The Getty Museum by Richard
Meier coined, “the commission
of the century” and was completed
in 1997 with the mandate to advance
knowledge and nurture critical
seeing through the growth and
presentation of its collections and
by advancing the understanding
and preservation of the world’s
artistic heritage. Poltrona Frau
created a bespoke auditorium
chair called “West Coast” designed
exclusively for the Getty Museum
project by Richard Meier.
European Parliament in
Strasbourg by AS.Architecture
Studio inaugurated in 1999.
Poltrona Frau created for the
amphitheater and conference
rooms. The desks are linear
elements that combine with
the geometry of the building.
The deputies’ “Monsieur Pol”
armchairs represent a search for
a “third way” or a hybrid product
between the comfort of a desk
chair and the warmth of a club
chair - a haute couture item that
is both functional and seducing.
This armchair was created in
several versions.
Poltrona Frau offers a wide variety of seating types and classifications;
there is no project impossible and no type of seating design inconceivable. In addition to the range of seating options in style, design and
materials, Poltrona Frau supplies a vast variety of seating classification
options such as: bespoke, retractable risers, theater seating, automotive, aviation, maritime, lounge, auditorium, and much more. Poltrona
Frau’s work can be found in the most celebrated and unique structures around the world, contributing to its impeccable reputation in
the international architectural community.
Poltrona Frau takes the guess-work out of conceiving seating projects.
The company uses a “big picture” approach to create the ideal seating
solutions, with the end goal to enhance the architecture and natural
features of the space, in addition to maintaining the function and
auditory integrity. Poltrona Frau consummates every last detail of the
project, each phase is punctuated with impeccable quality control
and customer service.
An engineering consultation service. Engineers, along with Poltrona
Frau’s research and development team, with ISO certified testing laboratories, test the space for strength, structural integrity, acoustic analysis,
and heating and cooling capacity. This stage is performed to ensure
safety, and to adopt the ideal acoustic quality.
Design specialists create a layout of the space, integrating the specifications made by the engineering team to achieve the ideal archetype
for the seating symmetry and proportion.
Engineers and design specialists create shop drawings for production
of the custom seating, or will produce a structural prototype based on
the project’s specifications. Each of our state-of-the-art products meets
the highest quality demands for design, comfort, stability, acoustics
and fire protection. In addition to the technical requirements, all designs meet ergonomic standards.
Manufacturing of the seating is perfected according to the design
drawings or prototype.
Professional installation of the seating final product is performed
according to the blueprint layout.
An “after sales service and maintenance program” is offered to preserve
the integrity of the seating and meet the highest quality demands.
With offices around the world, Poltrona Frau has proven to be a
diverse and successful innovator able to accommodate even the most
prominent international projects or specialty orders.
Inaugurated in 2005 in Valencia,
El Palau de les Arts by Santiago
Calatrava is considered one of
the masterpieces of the modern
architecture. Poltrona Frau
realized bespoke chairs with
the sides in opaque crystal: thanks
to a particular electroluminescent
lamp and a sophisticated control
software magnificent light
effects can be created during
the performance.
as. architecture studio
2011. Athens
bennetts associates
2010. Stratford-upon-Avon
chaix & morel et associés
2011. Paris
foster + partners
2011. Hong Kong
gehry partners
2011. Miami
handel architects
2011. New York
steven holl
2010. Shenzhen
odbc - odile decq benoît cornette
2011. Paris
odbc - odile decq benoît cornette
2010. Rome
fulvio de simoni
2011. Pershing Shipyard Mondolfo
renzo piano building workshop
2011. Boston
poltrona frau r&d
2011. Naples
taniguchi associates
2011. Texas
tihany design
2011. London
keith williams architects
2011. Canterbury
as. architecture studio
2011. Athens
The Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens, Greece, is a state-of-the-art
visual arts facility and performance center. The aspiration behind the
new cultural center was to promote Greek artists and to encourage
the development of modern Greek culture within Greece, as well as
the international community.
The Onassis Cultural Center, funded exclusively by the Alexander S
Onassis Public Benefit Foundation, was specifically founded to celebrate Greek culture and Greek artists primarily in the form of orchestra,
opera, theater and dance performances.
The Onassis Foundation held an international competition to find the
ideal architect for the project. After considering sixty-six proposals by
architects from around the world, French architecture firm As. Architecture Studio was selected to bring the cultural center’s design to life.
The Onassis Cultural Centre is an icon of the city of Athens and has
revitalized the city.
The interior of the center was just as important as the exterior, particularly concerning the two state-of-the-art auditoria. The main auditorium
seats 880 guests, the smaller auditorium seats 220 guests for smaller,
more intimate performances or lectures. Both auditoria are equipped
with the latest in modern technology to ensure the highest quality of
all performances. Mark Foley, of the UK-based architectural firm Burrell
Foley Fischer, was assigned to the architectural redesign of both amphitheatres, with acoustics designed by Xu Acoustique of Paris.
The Onassis Foundation is
located in the heart of Athens,
between Piraeus and the
A metal mesh surrounds
the white marble facade with
an ever-changing pattern
of light and shade.
Abstract, hieratic yet dynamic,
the shell-like outer enclosure
surrounds the core structure
consisting of two auditoria.
Beyond the façades, a precious
and surprising object brings
the two auditoria together that
crosses the entire construction.
The intimate 300-seat theatre
was designed for smaller musical,
theatre or dance performances,
lectures, special audiovisual
projections and conferences.
For the Onassis Cultural Centre, Poltrona Frau’s team collaborated with
the designers and architects to create and install exquisite custom
theater seating for the two auditoria, all made to order according to the
design specifications.
Poltrona Frau’s team customized one of its iconic chairs for the auditoria. The wooden sides and backrests distinguish the version of its
Pitagora, but custom-made for the Onassis Foundation. The chairs are
upholstered in the exclusive Pelle Frau® leather, and is complete with
a built-in writing tablets and air diffusers within the metal support for
air conditioning. The result is a chair that combines the finest materials
with meticulous craftsmanship and carefully engineered state-of-the
art technology.
The multiplicity of potential stage
and lighting configurations make
it possible to use the auditorium
for a range of large-scale events,
from theatrical and dance
performances, concerts and
cinema screenings to lectures
and concerts.
Both auditorium interiors were
designed by Marc Foley.
AS. Architecture Studio defines architecture as “an art committed with
society, the construction of the surroundings of mankind.”
Founded in Paris in 1973, Architecture Studio’s team consists of over
one hundred employees and more than twelve partners. Its team is
composed of architects, urban planners, designers and interior designers
from over twenty-five different countries.
Some of Architecture Studio’s projects include, The European Parliament
in Strasburg, the Arab World Institute (Equerre d’Argent and Aga Khan
Prize), Notre Dame de l’Arche d’Alliance church in Paris and many more
high-profile projects around the world.
Architecture Studio has won numerous competitions, including for the
restructuring of Maison de Radio France in Paris, the rehabilitation of
Jussieu campus in Paris, the 2010 World Exhibition in Shanghai, the
Onassis Foundation House of Letters and Fine Arts in Athens, le Quai
Theatre in Angiers, Rotana Hotel tower in Amman, Muscat Cultural
Centre in the Sultanate of Oman, Bahrain National Theatre, Makka’s
King Abdul Aziz Road in Saudi Arabia and the headquarters of Wison
Chemical in Shanghai.
The international presence of Architecture Studio is prominent in China,
with two permanent subsidiaries in Shanghai and Beijing. Architecture
Studio China employs approximately 50 architects carrying out projects
in that region, combining the mindset and skills of two cultures, French
and Chinese.
Along with its international reputation for architectural greatness,
Architecture Studio has been developing its interior design department,
AS Design Studio, focusing on renovations and high quality interior
design projects such as the renovation of Palazzo Santa Maria Nova
in Venice, the design of the Bali Barret shop in Tokyo and the development of luxury villas in Dubai.
The white marble, layered and diaphanous façade of the building appears
ethereal, as if the building is floating and translucent. The heart and
soul of the Onassis Cultural Centre is the stages upon which the performances are executed, within its two auditoria. The exterior marble
bands around the rectangular shell of the building not only adds architectural interest, but acts to give the building a sense of mystery. During
the day it gives the impression of a gentle wave, and at night, when
artificially lit, the images inside shine through the exterior layers.
The Main Stage is the larger of the two auditoria, with 880 seats. Curved
balconies, wood floors, brass and ambient lighting make this auditorium an aesthetic delight. However, the functionality of the auditorium
is of equal importance, boasting the latest in state-of-the art acoustical
design and equipment.
The Upper Stage is the smaller of the two auditoria, with 220 seats. This
single tiered theater hosts more intimate gatherings. The rich shades
of red and dark wood in this theater are highlighted by over-head track
lighting and spotlights. It too boasts the same state-of-the art acoustical
design and equipment as applied in the Main Stage theater.
bennetts associates
2010. Stratford-upon-Avon
The site of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, on England’s western bank
of the River Avon, is a celebration of the work of playwright William
Shakespeare and is located near where he was born. The original
theater, built in 1879, having been damaged in a fire in 1926, was rebuilt yet again before the Royal Shakespeare Company resolved to
entirely renovate the historic theater in 2007, dubbing the renovation,
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre Transformation Project.
The theater was reopened in November 2010, after the four year, £112.8
million transformation completed, with the help of an endowment from
the lottery as well as public and private donors from countries around
the world. The Transformation Project was a multi-part collaborative
effort from thousands of engineers, designers and other professionals.
The architect chosen to lead the redesign was Bennetts Associates.
The new theater retains the best of its art deco and Victorian elements,
but adds bold new architectural elements.
In celebrating the work of William Shakespeare, the new theater brings
actors and audiences closer with the creation of the new 1040-seat
thrust stage auditorium at the heart of the project. The three dimensional
and panoramic qualities of the traditional thrust stage provide a different experience for each member of the audience. The new theater was
to be a place to see “the best place for performing Shakespeare in the
world,” said Royal Shakespeare Theatre’s Artistic Director, Michael Boyd.
However, another area of acute interest for the Transformation Project
was to provide a venue meant to be enjoyed by the public. Multiple entrances, public common spaces, gardens, rooftop restaurant and bar,
a Shakespeare exhibit area and public tours all help to contribute to a
sense of public participation to celebrate theater and Shakespeare’s
The Royal Shakespeare Theatre
(RST) in the Stratford-uponAvon has once again undergone
a dramatic transformation.
The design has sensitively
incorporated the most significant
remains of the earlier theatres
which stood on the site and
retained their character.
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The core of the RST is now
an intimate auditorium; a 1040
seat thrust stage performance
space inspired by Elizabethan,
Jacobean and contemporary
theatre design.
The new auditorium built around
a thrust stage dramatically
reduces the distance between the
actors and their audience.
The decor is understated, with
wood flooring, and simple
wood-and-steel balcony fronts.
Poltrona Frau is proud to have provided a custom made auditorium
seating for the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
The auditorium of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre was developed in
collaboration with theater consultants, Charcoalblue. The seating was
custom designed by experts of Poltrona Frau to address the geometric
complexities of the auditorium, such as the curved rows, and seat
widths in an auditorium where no one in the audience is more than
15 meters from the center of the thrust stage.
Poltrona Frau engineered various prototypes for the seating designs
in the auditorium; the goal was to combine comfort within the tight
space constraints.
The final construction of the chair combines laser-cut steel leg frames,
plywood seat and back panels, and finished with deep red toned
upholstered cushions and arms. It proved to be the perfect solution for
the auditorium of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
Bennetts Associates, with offices in London and Edinburgh, is one of
UK’s leading architectural practices, with a reputation for design, delivery and sustainability across a wide range of sectors and architectural
classifications. A strong team ethic and methodical approach to design
has earned the firm over 100 awards for many design works across
Europe, including the Mint Hotels in London and Amsterdam, The Royal
Shakespeare and Swan Theaters Transformation, The Suttie Centre
for Teaching and Learning in Healthcare, Elizabeth II Court, Potterrow
Development at the University of Edinburgh, New Street Square London,
Jubilee Library in Brighton and many more.
The firm was founded by Rab Bennetts and his partner Denise Bennetts
in 1987. Rab Bennetts takes a personal, hands-on approach and collaborative spirit with each project, playing an active role in the firm’s
multitude of design projects and construction. Rab was awarded the
OBE for services to architecture in 2003. He is a Board member of the
UK Green Building Council, a Trustee of the Design Council and a director
of Sadler’s Wells Theatre.
The director for the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Transformation project
was Simon Erridge who joined Bennetts Associates in 1992 and became
a director in 2005. He has a broad range of experience in projects ranging from arts buildings to infrastructure, commercial offices, historic
buildings and masterplanning. Simon has been personally responsible
for leading the Transformation Project for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. Among his other clients are Network Rail,
the Royal College of Pathologists and British Land. Simon is a regular
speaker at events and conferences on subjects such as construction,
sustainability and theatre design.
At the heart and soul of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre Transformation
project, was the modernization and engineering of the new auditorium.
The auditorium was completely re-thought to create a space suited to
the performance of Shakespeare. The new auditorium fits within the
original scarred outer brick walls of the now demolished auditorium,
leaving a triple-height void on three sides for much-needed orientation
space and a potent reminder of the scale of the old theatre where,
despite its shortcomings, so many great performances took place.
Bennetts associates along with its director Simon Erridge were under
pressure to create the best stage for performing Shakespeare in the
world, for Shakespeare’s legacy and for discerning Shakespeare enthusiasts from around the world.
The stage decided upon was a traditional thrust stage, a stage that
extends into the audience’s portion of a theater with three sides, similar
to an arena. The thrust stage allows performers more intimacy with
the audience. The thrust stage concept was generally out of use for
centuries, and was resurrected in 1953 during a Shakespeare festival
in Canada. It is now a regarded stage for authentic Shakespeare plays.
“You can hear a whisper on stage from the back of the auditorium,”
Erridge has said with pride when speaking of the new auditorium.
Though outfitted with the best technology found today, including a new
stage basement to enable actors, scenery and props to rise from beneath
the stage and a 15-meter flying zone created over the stage, it stays
authentic to the kind of theater Shakespeare would have chosen more
than 400 years ago.
Complete with rafters, brass trims, wood slat balconies, overhead tract
lighting, rich wood paneling, exposed original brick back framework wall,
exquisite red seating and wood stage, the auditorium and stage are truly
a marvel and an updated twist on the glory of a traditional thrust stage.
chaix & morel et associés
2011. Paris
La Banque Postale is located within a building complex in the sixth subdistrict of Paris, at the corner of the historic streets of Rue de Sevres,
Saint-Romain and Saint-Jean-Baptiste de la Salle. This French bank is
the only bank to have been authorized to provide banking services
under the 2008 French law to modernize the country’s economy. La
Banque Postale has also been modernized by a renovation executed
by architects Chaix & Morel.
La Banque Postale is part of a building complex that includes buildings
from different historical periods, including the Hotel de Choiseul-Praslin,
built in 1732.
Architects, Chaix & Morel, were the winners of a competition to merge
together the eclectic set of buildings in the complex as well as the
renovation of the building headquarters of La Banque Postale. The
building on Rue de Sevres, the headquarters of La Banque Postale,
was dramatically altered in appearance as part of the renovation. The
building’s exterior is now suited with a distinctive double-skin glass
and glazed façade that curves and wraps around the entire building
in a shapely upward tiered figure. The exterior look is modern and
sleek and adds architectural interest to this Paris district. The new
exterior is also functional as it advances energy efficiency and has
received a high environmental rating (HQE). The renovated building
includes a roof terrace permitting views of the Notre Dame, Eiffel
Tower and similar breathtaking views of Paris.
The courtyard that links the buildings together in the complex features
a prestigious reception room and lounges that are sophisticated but
with historical inspiration; some areas were restored to their original
condition. A glass roof atrium and other modern, sleek elements were
added to make use of natural light in addition to linking the eclectic
set of buildings through this indoor courtyard.
Located on the corner of Rue
de Sevres, the new headquarters
of La Banque Postale has a new
double-skin glass and glazed
façade surrounding the building.
The 13m long table has a wooden
structure, base, top and feet
and its visible parts are finished
with maple veneer plaques for
aesthetic and structural purposes.
All lateral panels of the table are
removable for the maintenance
of audio, video and IT equipment
built in 22 metal boxes in mat
varnished aluminum.
Poltrona Frau proved to be the perfect partner to bring to life La Banque
Postale’s auditorium with exquisitely crafted seating for the project.
Poltrona Frau supplied and installed its personalized “West Coast”
seat, upholstered in Pelle Frau material in the color of Siena. The
folding seats, framed in maple wood veneer, were designed with an
important acoustic treatment for the best sound possible in the auditorium. Acoustic wall panels in American maple wood veneers were
also installed for acoustic integrity as well as aesthetic uniformity.
Poltrona Frau also developed a special custom 34-seat conference table
and seating for La Banque Postale’s boardroom. The conference table
has a sturdy wood structure, and all lateral panels are removable for
the maintenance of built-in audio, video and IT equipment. Poltrona
Frau has also installed 34 microphones and 17” monitor screens inside
the table. The conference table seating is Poltrona Frau’s “Chancellor”
chair with Pelle Frau material in the color of Siena.
In the basement of the La Banque
Postale building, the architects
created a new single-tiered,
200-seat auditorium.
The auditorium seats were
originally designed by Richard
Meier for the Getty Museum
in Los Angeles.
Born in 1949, Philippe Chaix became an architectural graduate in
Paris in 1972. After studying in Finland for a year, and five years of
special projects, Chaix founded his own practice in 1976. Thereafter,
he won a design competition for the renovation of the City of Rennes’
central food market.
Founded in 1983, the studio currently has a team of nine members,
eight architects and an executive assistant: Philippe Chaix, Jean-Paul
Morel, Remy Van Nieuwenhove, Walter Grasmug, Anabel Sergent,
Denis Germond, Benoit Sigros, Rémi Lichnerowicz and Henriette Martenot. In 1984, Philippe Chaix and Jean-Paul Morel created the Zénith
in Paris for the Ministry of Culture, followed by Zéniths of Montpellier
in 1986, Orleans in 1996, Dijon in 2005 and Nantes in 2006.
In 1996, Chaix & Morel ventured into museum design with projects
such as the Saint-Romain-en-Gal archaeological museum, consultation
for the Musée des Arts Premiers Quai Branly, the renovation of the
Petit Palais Museum, and construction of the Petit Palais.
In 2011, Chaix & Morel obtained further awards for the design of Thyssen Krups headquarters in Essen (Germany) and for the renovation and
extension of the La Banque Postale’s headquarters in Paris.
Besides architecture, the internal design studio has developed several
furniture designs and furniture lines. A line designed for the Mobilier
National is currently used in several national palaces. Currently, several
projects are under construction, including the renovation and expansion
of the Noisy-le-Grand town hall and the events hall in Mâcon. The studio
has just won the competition for the new European Commission
in Luxembourg (200,000 sqm of real estate) and an office tower in
Lyon’s new Part Dieu Sud district.
Architects Chaix & Morel rose to the challenge to renovate a site such
as the La Banque Portale. Mixing historic architecture with a sleek,
modern design is a delicate balancing act. The architects were keenly
aware of corresponding the new design for the La Banque Postale
building with the existing architectural surroundings.
Chaix & Morel addressed the project with environmental awareness
in mind, as evidenced by the photovoltaic roof panels and the energy
efficient new double-skin glass and glazed façade surrounding the
La Banque Postale building. Chaix & Morel admit that the new façade is what distinguished them as architects and visionaries for
the project, asserting, “We won the competition in 2006 because of
our proposal for a new façade on the street, we were offering at the
same time a new image to La Banque Postale.”
The new façade also allowed the architects to keep the original height
of the structure, a clear advantage over demolishing and rebuilding,
as restricted under the current height ordinances.
The architects had additional challenges in building the indoor courtyard linking the buildings in the complex. The now glorious glass roof
courtyard proved to be of some difficulty to design originally as it needed to accommodate access to each of the buildings, all of which had
different styles and floor heights.
In the basement of the La Banque Postale building, the architects
created a new single-tiered, 200-seat auditorium with American hard
maple paneling and exclusive maple wood folding theater seating.
foster + partners
2011. Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Airlines “The Cabin,” located within Hong Kong International Airport, is a hub of relaxation as well as productivity for Cathay
Pacific’s weary or busy first-class and business-class customers. The
Cabin is a place for Cathay Pacific passengers to rejuvenate with its
range of hospitality facilities, with several options from which to choose.
The Cabin is ultra-modern in design and introduces some brand new
seating and dining concepts. A red carpet links the various sections
within. It is bordered on one side by floor-to-ceiling windows and on
the other by signature white marble and warming wood walls. The
high gloss ceilings reflect a variety of stylish custom designed furniture.
The array of materials used is a combination of marble, leather upholstery and bamboo.
Architects Foster + Partners designed The Cabin with high quality in
mind, to enhance Cathay Pacific customer’s travel experience and to
help them rediscover a little of the glamour of travel.
The Cathay Pacific Cabin
Lounges, combining the highest
quality materials with a new
seating system designed by Foster
+ Partners, transforms the
experience for passengers using
Hong Kong’s flag carrier.
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Solus Chair’s hourglass form
rises from a circular base
to create a private space for
individual travelers.
The chair’s soft leather upholstery
is enclosed by a solid lacquered
shell with integrated power
sockets and tablets.
Contemporary, refreshing,
and dynamic, The Cabin is ultra
modern in design and introduces
some brand new seating and
dining concepts.
Poltrona Frau has realized “The Cathay Solus Chair” for the Cabin
Lounge, having proved, once again, that there is no custom project
impossible for Poltrona Frau.
Foster + Partners designed the interior spaces as well as the majority
of the furniture for The Cabin. Poltrona Frau has engineered and manufactured the Cathay Solus Chair according to the design specifications.
The Cabin is equipped with 45 of the Cathay Solus Chairs.
The Solus Chair is a seating system designed to function as a secluded
space to eat, work or relax. Its distinctive curved outer shell helps the
design function like a private mini suite. The outer shell has a solid lacquered finish and acts like a protective wall around the chair’s exterior.
The inside upholstered seat is wide and comfortable and integrates
a power supply and a table, which can be used as a modified desk.
The inside wall is also upholstered for comfort and durability.
Foster + Partners is one of the leading London-based architectural
firms in Europe, founded by chairman Norman Foster. Established by
Norman Foster as Foster Associates in 1967, the firm was renamed to
Foster + Partners in the 1990s to more accurately reflect the influence
of the other lead architects.
Foster + Partners boasts a lengthy résumé of important projects, including bridges, government offices, cultural centers, sports stadiums, airline
terminals and rail terminals, office buildings, hospitality, mixed use
and master planning. Some of its projects include, London City Call,
Winspear Opera House, Faculty of Law Cambridge, Wembley Stadium
reconstruction, Hong Kong International Airport, Hearst Tower in New
York, Hermitage Plaza La Défense in Paris, and many more.
Foster + Partners is also an award winning architectural firm, some
of its awards include, RIBA Stirling Prize for Imperial War Museum,
MIPIM AR Future Projects Award, Grand Prix for Swiss Re, RIBA Stirling
Prize for Swiss Re, RIBA European Award for Dresden Station Redevelopment RIBA International Award for Hearst Tower, Aga Khan Award
for Architecture for University of Technology Petronas, LEAF Award for
Beijing Airport Terminal 3, RIBA European Award for Zenith and RIBA
International Award for Beijing Airport Terminal 3.
Foster + Partners is guided by a belief that the quality of one’s surroundings has a direct influence on the quality of one’s lives.
The firm carefully considers several guiding principles when designing
a building or space; including, the character of a building or surroundings,
the services that allow it to function, the ecology, the quality of natural
light, the symbolism of the form, the relationship of the building to the
skyline or the streetscape, how one interacts within the space, and
its ability to lift the spirits.
As the first in a series of lounges for Cathay Pacific, Foster + Partners’
challenge was to create The Cabin, an interior space, for the airport
building that it had designed and completed ten years prior.
The Cabin for Cathay Pacific consists of several hospitality features,
all of their own design and function:
The IT Zone is located just past the entrance of The Cabin to the right
and offers a fast paced lounge, with Wi-Fi internet, 11 PCs, 6 iMacs and
a video conference suite for the busy business traveler or for travelers
who want to stay in touch. One can also access one of 20 Wi-Fi enabled
iPads, pre-loaded with the latest apps including newspapers, magazines
and games.
The Deli, also located within The Cabin, is a restaurant venue offering
passengers a range of made-to-order hot sandwiches, Italian antipasti
and a variety of fresh salads.
The Health Bar, at The Cabin, is a place where one can select a variety
of different beverages, with healthy options. As well as promoting
healthful juices, blended smoothies, morning shakes and herbals
teas, passengers can also enjoy traditional cocktails and soft drinks.
The “Cathay Solus Chair” for The Cabin is an innovation in design, a
seating option fashioned to allow one to eat, work, read or simply relax.
The chair is designed as a modified personal cubicle for privacy, complete
with a desk top area to use for a variety of functions.
gehry partners
2011. Miami
Michael Tilson Thomas and Ted Arison founded the New World Symphony in 1987 with the aim of giving America much more than its
only full-time orchestral academy. They re-invented the meaning of
virtuosity for the 21st century. With an environment and curriculum
that go far beyond those of traditional conservatories, NWS produces
musicians who are leaders in the fullest sense of the word.
The fellows leave Lincoln Road as accomplished, compelling instrumentalists who are ready to take ownership of the orchestral enterprise’s future. It has become increasingly clear that the remarkable
success of the New World Symphony far eclipses the physical capacity of its home since 1989, the Art Deco-era Lincoln Theatre. For all
its vintage charm, the building has acoustical limitations. These challenges, coupled with a sheer lack of space, kept NWS from pursuing
the next steps in orchestral innovation - whether in new performance
formats, expanded educational programs, distance learning, or community outreach.
Gehry’s confident expansion for the New World Symphony is marking
a new era for the orchestra as it embarks on a monumental mission to
stimulate fresh interest in an area of the musical spectrum so often
overlooked by young minds. Externally, the dazzlingly white structure
is one of Gehry’s quieter compositions; its smooth milky frame punctuated by an 80 ft high wall of glass, through which Miami’s abundance
of natural light can penetrate.
The atrium is full of Gehry’s
architecture characteristics:
overlapping curving shapes,
which house practice rooms
and rehearsal spaces for
fellows of the orchestral
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The main facade of the building
includes a 7,000-square foot
projection wall, where audiences
in the adjacent park can watch
live “wallcasts”of what’s
happening inside.
The focal point of the symphony’s
new home is of course, the 756-seat
performance hall, surrounded
by acoustic panels that double up
as projection screens, paving the
way for increased collaborations
between artists and composers
during installation.
The concert hall is one of the
most flexible in the world with
round seating, satellite stages,
interchangeable main stage with
10 movable lifts and platforms
to change configuration, and
acoustic panels or sails that
receive projection.
Poltrona Frau’s has a decade-long legendary reputation for fine theater
seating in venues around the world. Its experienced and innovative
team offers the finest in a wide variety of seating types and classifications. Design specialists create a layout of the space, integrating
the specifications made by the engineering team to achieve the ideal
archetype for the seating symmetry and proportion, ensuring the optimum acoustic integrity.
Poltrona Frau supplied and installed customized Frank Gehry Chairs as
well as benches with polished aluminum legs and fabric upholstery
for the orchestra zone. The chair was modified in order to be movable
and retractable thus giving more flexibility to the auditorium.
The armchairs are made of fabrics designed by Gehry in the tones of
blue with light colored wooden arms and backrests.
The chairs are made of fabrics
designed by Gehry in the tones
of blue with light colored
wooden arms and backrests.
The chair was modified in order
to be movable and retractable
thus giving more flexibility to
the auditorium.
Gehry Partners, LLP is a full service firm with broad international
experience in academic, commercial, museum, performance, and
residential projects.
Frank Gehry established his practice in Los Angeles, California in 1962.
The Gehry partnership, Gehry Partners, LLP, was formed in 2001 and
currently supports a staff of over 120 people. Gehry Partners employs
a large number of senior architects who have extensive experience in
the technical development of building systems and construction documents, and who are highly qualified in the management of complex
Every project undertaken by Gehry Partners is designed personally
and directly by Frank Gehry. All of the resources of the firm and the
extensive experience of the firm’s partners are available to assist in
the design effort and to carry this effort forward through technical
development and construction administration. The firm relies on the
use of Digital Project, a sophisticated 3D computer modeling program
originally created for use by the aerospace industry, to thoroughly
document designs and to rationalize the bidding, fabrication, and
construction processes.
The partners in Gehry Partners, LLP are: Frank Gehry, Brian Aamoth,
John Bowers, Anand Devarajan, Jennifer Ehrman, Berta Gehry, Meaghan
Lloyd, Tensho Takemori, Laurence Tighe and Craig Webb.
The voluminous entrance hall, Gehry’s trademark style is sung from
the rafters. A grand staircase weaves its way between white abstract
rehearsal spaces as a generous, illuminated glass bar and campus
box office skims the polished concrete floors. These pure white
shapes are fused to a 756-seat concert hall where the traditional
essence of classical music is celebrated in the embrace of state of
the art digital technology.
A tactic enlisted by many expanding performance venues is to encourage audience members to interact with the live music on an intimate
level by arranging fixed seating in close correlation to the professional
musicians onstage. Gehry has incorporated this method into the design
of the concert hall, positioning the seating in a “vineyard pattern” to
ensure that no seat is more than 13 rows from the stage. Continuing
with the theme of accessibility, seats are separated into groups and
steeply raked, bringing each audience member closer to the musicians.
handel architects
2011. New York
The Dream Hotel in downtown Chelsea, New York City, is an ultramodern, hospitality destination for the urban sophisticate. The Dream
Hotel is a luxury hotel destination with twelve-stories, 316 guestrooms,
two restaurants, rooftop and VIP lounges, outdoor pool and pool bar, a
gym, event space, and ground floor retail shops.
The original site of the Dream Hotel was once one of the annexes of
the National Maritime Union of America headquarters, along with the
now nautical themed Maritime Hotel. In 2006, Handel Architects was
engaged to convert the main annex into the now Dream Downtown
Hotel after the sale of the two buildings.
Today, the Dream Hotel retains some of the charming characteristics
of its former glory as a headquarters for the Maritime Union, complete with portal-style windows and themed hole designs throughout,
suggestive of perhaps bubbles. However, the mood of the hotel now
evokes a sleek lounge style.
The stainless steel hole-punched façade of the hotel slopes around
the entrance and throughout the hotel, in some areas the hole design
in the façade change in size. The front entrance of the hotel boasts
massive wood doors, also designed with hole punch-outs in keeping
with the themed hole design.
The new hotel façade is
constructed of two perforated
stainless steel layers, its top
sheet of holes a replication of
the 17th Street punched-window
design and the inner sheet a
regular perforation pattern.
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Above the lobby, the skylight is
actually the clear bottom of the
swimming pool upstairs, offers
a view of guests doing laps.
In the lobby the guests can relax
on a number of Chester sofas
from the new circular line.
The elegant Marble Lane
restaurant, features plush
leather banquettes and a
striking collection of handblown-glass light bulbs.
Poltrona Frau’s custom seating creations have been perfected in its 100
year history, earning it a reputation as the greatest seating company in
the world.
Any seating concept or idea can be brought to life by Poltrona Frau’s
experienced and innovative team, offering a wide variety of seating
types and classifications; there is no project impossible.
For the Dream Hotel, Poltrona Frau’s team collaborated with the designers and architects to create and install exquisite custom seating for
the lobby and restaurant of the Dream Hotel, all made to order according
to the design specifications. The materials, craftsmanship, innovation
and installation quality are all elements that make Poltrona Frau simply
the best in the world.
Handel Architects LLP is an architecture, interior design, and planning firm founded in New York City in 1994. Founder, Gary Handel,
has grown the firm into a worldwide practice, combining the creativity
of its talented staff with the reliability of a major architecture firm.
Today, Handel Architects employs more than 80 architects, interior designers, planners and support staff in New York City, San Francisco, Hong
Kong and Abu Dhabi. The firm has gained international recognition for
work such as the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C., and the World Trade
Center Memorial in Lower Manhattan, along with many other projects.
Handel Architects has won numerous design awards and is regularly
featured in architectural journals and design publications. Handel
Architect’s clients range from private developers to publicly funded
organizations to institutional and not-for-profit groups.
Floor-to-ceiling wrap-around windows indulge guests with 360 degree
views of New York City. Dim and sophisticated custom lighting and
contemporary furnishings evoke a sensual mood. Two hundred hand
blown glass globes float through the lobby atop luxurious custom
leather seating. Steel and marble frame the windows and dark wood
throughout the interior common areas.
The lobby and restaurant are arguably two of the most important
common areas of any hotel. Handel Architects commissioned custom
seating by Poltrona Frau for the these two spaces of the Dream Hotel.
The seating pieces were fashioned around the design concept for the
spaces as well as for functionality, quality and style.
In the lobby, the tufted upholstered chesterfields appear cloud-like,
custom fit to the hotel’s entry façade. The influence of the lobby seating
design was circles, in keeping with the circular theme throughout the
hotel’s decor. The curved, silver upholstered leather Chesterfields are
paired with circular ottomans and quarter-round benches.
The restaurant seating was also a valuable design element of the hotel
theme. The dark, tufted leather circular booths are made of exquisite
leather and custom made for the restaurant. As for the asymmetrical tufting of the seating, it is a spin on the traditional tufting of the capitone style.
steven holl
2010. Shenzhen
The new Vanke headquarters known as Vanke Center and nicknamed
the Horizontal Skyscraper as it is longer than the Empire State Building
is tall. Vanke is China’s largest residential developer and a company
committed to sustainable architectural designs, working to reduce
China’s carbon footprint on the planet.
The new 1.14-million-square-foot Vanke headquarters is suspended
50 feet above the ground by translucent lighted glass support structures. The space beneath the building is used as a public park with
many varieties of tropical plants and gardens amidst restaurants,
pools and walkways. The rooftop of the building consists of planters
as well as 15,000 square feet of photovoltaic panels which converts
solar radiation to direct current electricity. The building site replaces the
amount of green space used by the building structure. In furtherance
of the company’s commitment to create an environmentally sound
design, the complex also features a lagoon that is connected to adjacent creeks which filters water pollution; in addition, the building
has many other pollution mitigating design elements. In addition to
the headquarter offices, the complex includes condos, a hotel, and a
conference center.
Hovering over a tropical garden,
this ‘horizontal skyscraper’ - as
long as the Empire State Building
is tall - is a hybrid building
including apartments, a hotel,
and offices for the headquarters
of China Vanke Co. ltd.
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The Vanke headquarters building
combines different functions in
the massive complex, including
an 86,000 square-foot conference
center located underground.
The three-tiered conference
center features Poltrona Frau’s
custom Pitagora folding chairs,
framed in bamboo with lightcolored wooden veneers and
upholstered in green mohair
The custom square-edge design
of the chair’s seat and backrest
is also equipped with aisle lights
for function and safety.
Poltrona Frau was proud to be a part of the Vanke Center, and proved
to be the perfect partner to provide the seating for the conference
center of this sustainable structure. Poltrona Frau’s custom seating,
made and installed for the Vanke Center conference center, was an
ideal design for ergonomic seating and made with sustainable materials. The three-tiered conference center features Poltrona Frau’s
custom Pitagora folding chair, framed in bamboo with light-colored
wooden veneers and upholstered in green mohair fabric. The custom
square-edge design of the chair’s seat and backrest is equipped with
aisle lights for function and safety.
Steven Holl is an award-winning American architect born in 1947 in
Bremerton, Washington. He graduated from the University of Washington before pursuing architecture studies in Rome in 1970. In 1976, he
attended graduate school at the Architectural Association School of
Architecture in London, and thereafter founded Steven Holl Architects
in New York City. Steven Holl specializes in projects with particular cultural and historic importance, as well as the use of light in a design.
Among many other projects, some of Steven Holl Architects’ work
includes the School of Art and Art History at the University of Iowa
(Iowa City), Higgins Hall Center Section at the Pratt Institute School
of Architecture (Brooklyn, New York), Hangzhou Music Museum
(Hangzhou, China), The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City,
United States), Museum of Natural History (Los Angeles, United States),
and Cranbrook Institute of Science (Michigan, United States).
Some of Steven Holl’s awards include prestigious architectural awards,
such as: The American Institute of Architect’s Medal of Honor, the
Alvar Aalto Medal, and the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt
National Design Award, as well as many others.
Steven Holl is a Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School
of Architecture and Planning since 1981.
The Vanke Center is one of the first sustainable buildings in the region
with the prestigious LEED platinum rating. The moist, humid sub-tropical
weather in the region called for certain design elements to moderate
the temperature, which was achieved by installing high-performance
glass that allows light but not heat to enter the interior, a customdesigned system of perforated aluminum louvers, and window positioning to avoid the full impact of the afternoon sun.
Because of the height restrictions driven by tsunami threats, the massive building is one large skyscraper laid in its side, a design that
seems to defy gravity with the appearance that it is floating. The floating
design element, in part, was to create views over the South China
Sea, mountains and nearby lake as well as to take advantage of the
sea breeze. It also was designed to create gardens and vegetation to
replace the structure space, and to provide a community common
area in the space provided beneath the “floating” building.
As admitted by architect Steven Holl says, “The landscaping is really a
machine for cleaning the water and tempering the climate.” This is evidenced by the lagoon water filtration system and shade provided by
the lush vegetation.
The interior of the building features doors, floors and furniture made
from environmentally abundant bamboo, and the carpets are made
from recycled materials.
odbc - odile decq benoît cornette
2011. Paris
The Palais Garnier is the thirteenth theater to house the Paris Opera
since it was founded by Louis XIV in 1669. It was built on the orders of
Napoleon III as part of the great Parisian reconstruction project carried
out by Baron Haussmann. The design for the opera house was put to
competition and was won by Charles Garnier, a then unknown 35-yearold architect. The grand building designed by Charles Garnier in the
Neo-Baroque, or “Baroque Revival” style was and is regarded as one
of the architectural masterpieces of its time.
Many years later, in the same glorious location, comes the first ever
restaurant to be housed in the Opera Garnier, the Opera Restaurant.
It took three attempts and 136 years for the world to finally have the
chance to dine within Charles Garnier’s opera house, as he declared
many years earlier for a “restaurant worthy of my Opera”. Opened in
July 2011, and designed by French architect Odile Decq, Phantom
Restaurant is the Opera Garnier’s first ever restaurant. The 1400 square
foot, 350 seat restaurant features an upper mezzanine, a terrace and
a lounge. According to the architect, it is a restaurant designed as a
place to enjoy a good meal in the company of friends, surrounded by
interesting interior design.
And an interesting design it is. Such as the mask in Phantom of the
Opera, the overhead curvaceous mezzanine levels steals the attention
once you enter, the shape reminiscent of the mask in Phantom of the
Opera. The curved mezzanine levels are additional restaurant seating
areas that can accommodate 90 guests, offering them a unique dining
experience in the presence of fantastic old architecture blended with
contemporary shapes and colors and modern interior design.
From the street, the wavy glass doors with steel and brass accents
invite one to peer inside to witness the towering, ornate ceilings, the
red carpeted stairways and red rugs over black slab floors. White laminate tables and red upholstered seating give the space a high level
of design sophistication. The sheer volume of space surrounding the
street-level dining area is a marvel. The soft curves of the mezzanine
level float above the dinner guests, covering the space with a surface
that bends and undulates.
The project for the Opéra Garnier’s
restaurant is slid beneath the
‘Rotonde des Abonnés’, inside
the space that was originally the
covered entrance for the privileged
opera amateurs arriving by horse
and carriage.
The need for extra surface area
has initiated the creation of the
mezzanine floor, which then has
taken place progressively over
the central area.
The concept is based on the
literal translation of the essential
and unalterable constraint that
nothing of the existing structure
should be changed or even
touched, as the project has to
remain completely reversible.
One of the stand out features of Opera Restaurant is the bold and
dramatic red seating, which works as a bold accent the overall design
concept of the restaurant. These custom seating creations were the
work of world famous seating designers Poltrona Frau. The striking
red Poltrona Frau seats produce a theatrical character reminiscent of
the Phantom of the Opera, a theatrical classic once performed in the
building’s auditorium.
Poltrona Frau made the perfect design partner with architects for the
Opera Restaurant in Paris, resulting in the custom seating and other
design furnishings for the restaurant.
Any seating concept or idea can be brought to life by Poltrona Frau’s
experienced and innovative team, offering a wide variety of seating
types and classifications; there is no project impossible. Poltrona Frau
has a century-long reputation for fine seating, combining the finest materials known with meticulous craftsmanship and carefully engineered
state-of-the art technology.
odbc - odile decq benoît cornette
2010. Rome
The Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO), established in
1883, is the forerunner of contemporary art museums in Italy. Art works,
including talent by Italy’s foremost post-WWII artists, are exhibited in
this museum. MACRO exhibits collections by abstract artists such as
Achille Perilli, as well as 1960s Pop Art by Tano Festa, artists from the
Nuova Scuola Romana, sculpture collections of Leoncillo and Ettore
Colla, as well as some exhibits showcasing emerging artists.
MACRO has undergone a transformation by way of a new redevelopment and expansion project awarded to critically acclaimed French
architect Odile Decq. Decq’s redesign of the building is bold and not
meant to blend with the former architecture but to distinctly converge
old and new dynamics. The building’s new architectural design creates
a dynamic modern element to the museum as well as to the district,
becoming an attraction in the city, almost as its own exhibit.
The new expansion retains much of the building’s original structure
but is enhanced by a dynamic exterior steel-and-glass façade. From
the street, the museum addition appears as a glass box suspended.
Inside, open metal stairs and zig-zagging walkways across the foyer
administer paths to the various exhibition halls and other areas of
the museum.
The new expansion project bestows museum visitors with new exhibition areas, a large terrace, more parking, a library, café, and other
common spaces.
In the middle of the atrium,
a polygon houses a small
auditorium. With its lacqueredwood envelope cut into large
facets and a red entry ramp
extended like a tongue, this
structure within a structure
has a kinetic quality that
animates the entire project.
The color of blood,
the auditorium is the pulsing
heart of the building.
For the cafe of the new museum
expansion Decq designed bespoke
Among the “stand out” features of MACRO is the bold and dramatic
red and diamond-shaped structure that holds an auditorium in its core.
Poltrona Frau collaborated with Odile Decq, who was not coincidentally also the seating and furniture designer of the MACRO, to create
a custom seating creation that worked for MACRO’s auditorium. The
striking red upholstered Poltrona Frau seating features folding seat
and arm rests which makes it an extraordinary auditorium chair. Poltrona Frau also created and installed the freestanding seating and
other furniture for MACRO’s new Art Café.
Any seating concept or idea can be brought to life by Poltrona Frau’s
experienced and innovative team, offering a wide variety of seating
types and classifications. Poltrona Frau has a century-long reputation
for fine seating, combining the finest materials known with meticulous
craftsmanship and carefully engineered state-of-the art technology.
The auditorium chairs are
covered in Divina fabric
by Kvadrat.
The recessed writing tablet
in the chair was made with
a bright led lacquer finish.
The Opera Restaurant design came with many limitations and challenges to overcome. The existing architecture of the exterior and
interior of the opera house was to be left untouched, and all the modifications had to be reversible. The National Commission of Historic
Monuments’ strict regulations found a formidable opponent in French
architect Odile Decq who took on the challenge of completely leaving
the building’s antique stone untouched.
The architect for the Opera Restaurant is Odile Decq. Odile Decq is
a graduate of Master of Planning and Development at the Institute
of Political Studies in Paris. In 1980, she founded the Paris architect
agency, ODBC, with partner Benoît Cornette.
After several architectural interior projects, urban studies and some
architectural projects in the west of France, in 1990 the firm was commissioned to design two buildings for the “Banque Populaire de l’Ouest“
in Rennes, of which they won the commission after a national competition held in 1988.
Some of Odile Decq prestigious projects include construction of the
People’s Bank of the West and Brittany in Rennes, in collaboration with
Peter Rice to the front, earning an immediate international recognition,
rewarded by a dozen national and international awards. Other projects
include the viaduct of Highway A14 in Nanterre, France, along with the
construction of the Highway Managerial Center suspended underneath
the viaduct.
In 1996 their firm received the Golden Lion from the Venice Architecture
Biennale, and in 2001 Odile Decq was selected for the extension of the
Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome.
Odile Decq is currently a visiting professor at the School of Architecture
of Grenoble in 1991. She is also doing other teaching activities including
the Special School of Architecture (ESA) since 1992, the Bartlett (London) in 2000, Columbia (New York) in 2001 and 2003 at the Kunst
Akademie in Vienna in 2003, and the Kunst Akademie in Düsseldorf in
2004 and 2005.
In April 2007 Odile Decq was elected to the direction of the Special
School of Architecture in 2011 and re-elected for another term.
The piers, mezzanines and equipment were integrated into the interior
site without touching the stones, a strict prerequisite to executing
the architecture to the interior space. The result is an illusion that
the mezzanine structures floats above the ground. The contemporary
additions of the restaurant compliments the classical details of the
vaulted stone ceiling without altering the historical integrity of the
classic space. The refined, sophisticated and interesting architectural
designs of curved shapes trimmed with bold colors, give this space
supreme interest.
As there is no visible structure, the restaurant seems to hover above
the ground, like a “phantom,” the soft protean curves of the mezzanine
float above the space covering it with a surface that bends and undulates. The design for this project brilliantly highlights the restaurant’s
truly contemporary character inside the Opera Garnier, but respects
the historic integrity.
Odile Decq was faced with the challenge of reconstructing and creating
an addition for a contemporary-style museum in an aging mixed-use
industrial building. The 108,000-square-foot addition includes a gallery
of rooms featuring a café, exhibit rooms and common areas. Decq
retained some of the industrial charm of the museum, once used as
a brewery, by using exposed concrete beams in the new galleries to
show a link to the past, yet other design elements are strongly suggestive of moving forward to a modern generation.
The modern features of the reconstruction and expansion cannot be
denied. Steel ramps and walk-ways, illuminated staircases, bamboo
garden, roof terraces, the central volume of running water over the
center of the atrium and projected red stripes running through the
foyer, all impress the museum’s visitors that this building is firmly in
the present and approaching the future.
One of the most interesting design elements is located In the middle
of the atrium, suspended above the ground level, a bright red solid structure encasing a small auditorium. Because this auditorium is
located in the heart of the building, and is also a free-standing building,
its design is exceedingly unique. Once inside the red solid diamondshaped structure, one will enjoy an auditorium with red reflective
walls and red upholstered seating. Decq has said of the auditorium,
“The color of blood, the auditorium is the pulsing heart of the building.”
fulvio de simoni
2011. Pershing Shipyard Mondolfo
Pershing has been designing, producing and marketing luxury “open”
motor yachts for over 25 years, and now boasts a firmly established
position as one of the leading names in the “Made in Italy” fiberglass
open yacht sector. With over a quarter-century of experience in the
water craft business, Pershing has won prestigious awards such as
the Best Performance Superyacht.
Pershing’s reputation for its personal yachts reaches beyond the
quality of luxury invested in each vessel. Its yachts are known for the
best in superior performance, style, top quality materials, comfort,
and powerful engines. Its high-performance engines are world-class,
with custom surface propellers, hydrojets and gas turbines used to
give Pershing yachts a distinct advantage to reach speeds of up to
52 knots.
Pershing’s yachts are versatile, functional, luxurious, state-of-the-art
and innovative, making its yachts the foremost choice for personal
water craft buyers.
The latest of the Pershing yacht model is the Pershing 108 model. This
yacht model is the breakthrough in cutting-edge design and technology. With state-of-the-art on-board technology, high-performance yet
low fuel consumption motorization and luxury interior, it is truly an
industry leader.
Beautiful 33 meter motor
yacht Pershing 108 is the
first three-engine model
focusing on ecology whilst
still maintaining high
performance built by the
Italian shipyard Pershing.
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Whether speeding to catch
the sunset at the next anchorage
or simply enjoying the scenery,
the Pershing 108 emphasizes
luxury living inside and out.
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There’s particularly striking
use of leather in the master
bedroom and for the headboard
that rises up and continues
The bridge consists of three
comfortable adjustable central
pilot seats. The steering console
is designed with the latest
navigation and communications
One of the nicest features is
the indoor-outdoor flexibility
of the saloon. The glass partition
between the aft deck and the
saloon is divided into an opening
door and a drop-down window.
Since the 1930s, Poltrona Frau has been rooted in the ocean liner and
yacht industry, preparing the company to manufacture and install such
exquisite yacht furnishings as provided in the interior of Pershing yachts.
Poltrona Frau understands water travel, and is experienced in the design
elements as well as the ideal materials needed to ensure comfort, versatility and durability in this unique setting. Poltrona Frau has custom made
and installed furniture and fixtures for more than 85 Pershing yachts.
Poltrona Frau collaborated with the client and designer to approach the
ideal interior and exterior spaces of the Pershing 108. The bridge features three comfortable adjustable central pilot seats built and installed
by Poltrona Frau. The deck furnishings and built-ins were custom made
by Poltrona Frau’s expert teams. The living spaces are impeccably designed to ideally optimize all living areas and common areas. The interior
style is sleek, sophisticated and modern. Poltrona Frau’s exceptional
materials, such as its Pelle Frau® leather, is used to create the cabin’s
bed frames and other furniture.
The entire interior creation of the yacht is custom made and installed
in collaboration with the design specifications in conjunction with
Poltrona Frau’s knowledge of maritime laws, marine environment
specifications, regulations and recommendations.
Fulvio De Simoni is an Italian yacht designer of international fame.
He started his career in the early 1970s as a naval architect in Milan in
the studio of Alberto Mercati.
In 1977, he founded Yankee Delta in collaboration with Massimo Gregori
with whom he collaborated until the end of 1983. Thereafter, he founded
Italprojects, a company specializing in developing highly upscale and
technological solutions in the ship industry.
In his long career, De Simoni has designed more than 2500 boats for
the most important shipyards in Italy and abroad, and has received
international awards for some of his designs, for quality and originality.
Some of De Simoni’s most noteworthy projects include collaborations
with Pershing, Antago, Mochi Craft, Ilver, Gianetti, Raffaelli, Inace,
Gallart, Trojan, Simonneau Marine and the most recently with Abacus
Marine, Aicon, Astondoa, Austin Parker, Evomarine, Filippetti Yacht,
Menorquin, Rodman, Sea Share, and Wider.
Fulvio De Simoni’s long and illustrious career in the yacht and ship
industry has enriched him with the knowledge of the exact requirements needed for life aboard a yacht. De Simoni’s creations are built
on the foundation of his conventional experience combined with his
pulsating innovative spirit.
The excellence of Pershing 108 is an example of De Simoni’s versatility
and experience as a designer. The Pershing 108 is 32.90 meters or 108
feet long. The interior’s configuration comes equipped with four guest
cabins and three crew cabins, though is customized by the personalized discretion of the client to choose various layouts and details.
The interior also comes with a spacious VIP cabin at the bow, a guest
cabin, a TV or family room and a full beam master cabin amidships.
The sleek exterior of the yacht features an enormous sun deck at
the bow with incredible custom and versatile built-in furnishings and
retractable shades.
The exquisite and versatile interior is evidenced by the use of natural
and ambient lighting, the highest quality materials and construction
of the furnishings and fixtures, and the innovative use of space and
comfort, which all contribute to the best quality of life in yacht living.
Fulvio De Simoni is proud of his part in the creation of the Pershing
108, explaining, “Architecture, volumes and design, from stem to
stern, confirm the great care taken in this project to make this model
a benchmark in the nautical world.”
The result of the work and craftsmanship put into the Pershing 108
is a quality watercraft with a worthy interior and exterior that is both
exciting and opulent, a certain majestic force in the open water.
renzo piano building workshop
2011. Boston
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts is
home to an intimate collection of fine art, as well as an interactive
venue for innovative and contemporary artists, musicians and scholars.
Isabella Stewart Gardner, born in 1840, founded the Isabella Stewart
Gardner Museum in 1903 to share her passion of the arts. During her
lifetime, she bestowed her beloved art pieces to a public museum to
share it with the world. The museum was operated by Ms. Gardner
where she then lived on the fourth floor of the museum; the original
structure was designed by the architect Willard T. Sears in 1903. At
that time, the museum building was designed to resemble a 15thcentury Venetian palazzo, with multiple rooms showcasing more than
2,500 paintings, sculptures, tapestries, furniture, manuscripts, rare
books and decorative arts featuring works of art by Titian, Rembrandt,
Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Manet, Degas, Whistler and Sargent.
In 2012, a new 70,000 square-foot wing of the museum was added,
designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Renzo Piano. The addition
was designed to not only restore some stress on the aging building,
but to add additional space for concerts, exhibitions, classes, and
additional visitor amenities.
The design of the museum’s new wing incorporates walls made
of stories-high windows and skylights to introduce natural light,
creating an open and welcoming entrance, as well as to provide
uninterrupted views of the historic building and gardens. The walk-
way from the museum to the new wing resembles a greenhouse,
perhaps to celebrate its sustainable design elements, complete
with a geothermal well system, daylight harvesting, water efficient
landscaping techniques, and the use of local and regional materials.
Inside the new wing is a special exhibitions gallery, performance
hall, a new restaurant, a gift shop, a landscape classroom, expanded
outdoor garden spaces, two artist apartments, conservation labs,
and a hands on art workshop. The inner open-slat staircases in glass
are supported with stainless steel poles giving the impression that
the staircase is floating.
Evening exterior view of
the façade of the new wing
of the Isabella Stewart
Gardner Museum.
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A cross-sectional view of the
new central grand staircase
in the new wing of the Museum.
Key features include a 300-seat
performance hall, an adjustable
height special exhibition gallery,
a new restaurant, gift shop,
landscape classroom, expanded
outdoor garden spaces, two artist
apartments, conservation labs
and a hands on art workshop.
A stage level view of Calderwood
Poltrona Frau custom tailored two seating for the Isabella Stewart
Gardner Museum’s Calderwood Hall, according to the specifications
of Renzo Piano’s design.
The final construction of the seat combines a fine, ergonomically
advanced seating designed to optimize acoustic absorption.
Poltrona Frau custom manufactured two bespoke seating specifically made for this project: the first was the RP02, a fixed theatre
seat which is perfect for the three balcony areas; the second was
the Movie Chair, a light stackable chair which is ideal for the ground
floor where the seating had to be more flexible to allow for the
different configurations required by the various types of performances held.
Both models were customised to fit the requirements of Calderwood
Hall, and designed in close co-operation with the Renzo Piano Building Workshop staff and the acoustician, Yasuhisa Toyota. RP02 is a
theatre seat that had previously been designed by Renzo Piano for
the Padre Pio Auditorium in S. Giovanni Rotondo in association with
Poltrona Frau Contract. The version adapted for Calderwood Hall had
a special C-shaped metal structure attached to allow the seating to
be installed on metallic bars in a square-shaped arrangement around
the central performance area. The design is minimalist. The soft, ample
cushioning is upholstered in woolen fabric and the armrests are in
oak. The seats are fitted with elastic straps and have a gravity lift
mechanism on noise-free nylon joints; the seat bottom is covered by
an acoustic wooden panel.
Renzo Piano is more certain now than ever before that the museum’s
Venetian design captures the beauty of Venice, the light, the magic, the
atmosphere. Though he was a bit reluctant of the idea of a Venetian
palace in Boston, he changed his mind when arriving through the
threshold, describing it as, “like a new dimension that is timeless...”
Renzo Piano, from Genoa, Italy, is the award-winning architect behind
the new wing of Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. He is
the recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, AIA Gold Medal, Kyoto
Prize and the Sonning Prize. He was a graduate of Politecnico di
Milano, where he eventually also taught. After graduating from the
university in 1964, he began working with experimental lightweight
structures and basic shelters.
In 1971, he founded Piano & Rogers Architects with partner Richard
Rogers. The firm won the competition for the Centre Pompidou in
Paris. From the early 1970s to the 1990s, Piano collaborated with engineer Peter Rice, founding Atelier Piano & Rice in 1977. In 1981, he
established the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, with offices today in
Genoa, Paris and New York.
Renzo Piano’s awards include prestigious honors such as: the Pritzker
Prize; RIBA Royal Gold Medal; Medaille d’Or, UIA; Erasmus Prize; and,
recently, the Gold Medal of the AIA. Some of Renzo Piano’s most recently
notable projects include Beyeler Foundation Museum, High Museum
Expansion, Jean-Marie Tjiaou Expansion, Kansai International Airport Expansion, Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church, Potsdamer Platz, and many more.
In addition to the firm’s many architectural projects, Renzo Piano
Workshop’s apprentice program was also started in the early 1990s
as an educational workshop for up and coming youths. By 2001, with
the help of Harvard University, the workshop sponsors six-month
work experience programs for young apprentices from twelve universities around the world for the experience to work in design, architecture
and construction.
The new wing, created by Renzo Piano, was to provide a venue upon
which performance, music, exhibition and education could be celebrated. To do that, it was evident that a new building was needed to work
in concert with the existing Venetian palace museum. The distance
between the buildings creates a dialogue between the two, connected
by a greenhouse where one enters through a garden.
At the heart and soul of the new wing of the Isabella Stewart Gardner
Museum is Calderwood Hall, the museum’s new performance hall.
At 6,000 square feet, it is the largest space in the new wing. The performance hall was designed in collaboration with Yasuhisa Toyota of
Nagata Acoustics. With 300 seats, configured in balcony levels in a
cube-like rectangular shape surrounding the central performing area
on all four sides, the hall promotes an intimidate experience between
the performer and the audience. Due to the construction of the Calderwood Hall, the Tapestry Room has been restored to its original purpose
after its use as the temporary concert hall for many years. The Gardner’s
celebrated music program will relocate to Calderwood Hall and offer
expanded programming in chamber music, new music, and jazz.
Architect Renzo Piano said of Calderwood Hall, “the idea of the performance hall is like a wood harmonic chamber, in which people enjoy
sound, but they also enjoy looking in the eyes of the man or the lady
in front of them. It’s a kind of participation where you enjoy music,
together with other people enjoying the same music. This sense of
belonging is great and beautiful. As soon as you get in that space, it’s
about music, but it’s something magical as well.”
Featuring superb acoustics, Calderwood Hall is a visually striking
performance venue. Staying true to Renzo Piano’s vision of light and
transparency, large sky lights give muted light to the multi-story balconies overlooking the wooden stage, as well as small spot lights.
Alaskan cedar wood floors, wood-panelled walls and rails, and warmtoned theater seating make this venue a warm and intimate setting.
poltrona frau r&d
2011. Naples
Aeroporto Internazionale di Napoli, or Naples International Airport, is
an important focus of international travel in Italy. It is the first privatized airport in Italy, with approximately 5.8 million passengers a year.
The airport, through GESAC - the Airport Management Company, has
enhanced its infrastructure to provide for even better efficiency for
increased travel volume in this Italian region.
Naples International Airport has added two new VIP travel lounges,
Alitalia and Gesac, dedicated to major airline companies. Both VIP
lounges are designed to accommodate both the weary traveler or busy
traveler with state-of-the-art technology communication functions as
well as comfort and durability.
In addition to the VIP lounges, Naples International Airport also commissioned the renovation and extension of the departure terminal,
designating a new interior design for the departure lounge.
The Naples International Airport sought to introduce a more refined
contemporary architectural expression for the interior of the terminal.
The new modern interior strongly celebrates air travel, as interpreted
through the use of two large adjoining sky lights, accentuating the
movement of the sky above.
Poltrona Frau is proud to have exclusively created the interiors of both
VIP lounges, as well as the re-design of the departure lounge, in their
entirely from Poltrona Frau’s internal team of experts.
The exterior view of the newly
restructured terminal 1 of Naples
International Airport; GESAC
is fully responsible for managing
the airport and co-ordinating
the activities of all the private
operators present in the airport.
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The Gesac lounge interiors
are furnished with timeless
classic pieces complementing
the architecture of terminal 1.
The interiors of the new departure
lounge have been thought with
the utmost comfort in mind.
The lounge areas were enhanced
by dramatic lighting fixtures
and flower pots rearranged on
wooden floors.
Airline travel can be filled with either anticipation or delay. Poltrona
Frau understands that public travel seating, particularly in a lounge
setting, is a delicate balancing act. Making travelers comfortable
while still adhering to style and durability is the key to an ideal airport
lounge design. Poltrona Frau’s designs for the Naples International
Airport VIP lounges and departure lounge was a celebration for the
company as it was able to use its internal teams’ years of design experience with ideally matched materials to achieve greatness. It was
Poltrona Frau’s independent approach to the lounges that made this
project special. The result was the best and finest minds and creators
from Poltrona Frau, using the finest materials known, to the exact
specifications that the teams deemed exemplary.
Poltrona Frau has an experienced in-house architecture and design
team who commonly collaborate with external architects on seating
projects for various venues around the world. However, Poltrona Frau’s
architects and designers are absolutely qualified to perform as primary
agents for clients on any design project if an external architect is not
arranged by the client.
In the case of Naples International Airport, Poltrona Frau’s internal design team prepared the blueprints, design, archetypes and layout plans
for both the VIP lounges and the departure lounge and executed the
entire seating project using Poltrona Frau’s experts in manufacturing
and installation.
The design and seating for the Naples International Airport VIP lounges and departure lounge had to be both functional and durable. Poltrona Frau understands the demands placed on public seating and
accordingly determined the type of seating needed for the airport
lounges. Poltrona Frau’s internal architectural team evaluated the
interior spaces to develop highly functional lay out designs for the
seating and then worked with Poltrona Frau’s internal designers to
combine style with the ideal layouts to bring the spaces to life.
Ultimately, the Poltrona Frau team of professionals collaborated together
to create the ideal sofas and armchairs for the VIP lounges and departure lounge from its best collection of lounge furnishings. The idea was
to bring both sophistication and comfort to the interior spaces.
taniguchi associates
2011. Texas
In the heart of Houston’s museum district lies the cultural institution
Asia Society Texas Center, a center working to increase knowledge
and promote ideas between the American and Asian cultures. The Asia
Society is a nonprofit organization founded by John D. Rockefeller III
in 1956 with several locations, and now has proudly added a physical
location in Houston, Texas. The center hosts a wide variety of public
programs, from lectures to music concerts, as well as family activities.
The building, designed by Harvard-educated architect Yoshio Taniguchi,
is contemporary yet with the essence of Asian tradition. Within the
39,000 square feet building, one will find interesting architectural details,
such as free standing staircases, a 273-seat performing arts center,
and a room with movable walls to allow the space to be divided into
as many as three classrooms.
Taniguchi was careful to make certain that the building did not compete with the surrounding residential properties. Therefore, he designed
the building with a low-profile approach, including a basement to keep
the scale of the building to within 2 stories. From the street, the clean
lines of the exterior architecture are confident, yet simple. Materials
such as: limestone, American cherry wood, an Italian volcanic stone
called basaltina, glass and Appalachian white oak, help to bring the
building to life. The use of extraordinary, highly finished, textured materials is a Taniguchi trademark.
The Asia Society Texas Center has
moved into the neighborhood with
its just-completed, sumptuous new
home designed by Tokyo-based
Yoshio Taniguchi. Limestone,
basaltina stone, and cherry wood
clad the Great Hall.
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The second-floor lounge looks
out on a raised reflecting pool
(with fog) towards downtown
Rose-colored light reflects
off the facade’s Jura limestone
and slender, channel-glass-like
windows with aluminum
The Brown Foundation
Performing Arts Theater; this
single-tiered theater is Houston’s
finest medium-sized performance
space for music, dance, theater,
film, and lectures.
Poltrona Frau’s team installed one of its most iconic chairs for the
Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater, its Pitagora seat. The
Pitagora is contemporary and elegant, a perfect choice for the Asia
Society Texas Center. The Pitagora has a wooden structure and includes ergonomic lower back support. As safety is a priority of Poltrona Frau, the seat comes standard with non-deformable fireproof
polyurethane padding. With noise-dampening nylon joints, the seat
may be reclined by a gravity mechanism. The result is a chair that
combines the finest materials known with meticulous craftsmanship
and carefully engineered state-of-the art technology.
Yoshio Taniguchi is an award-winning Japanese architect. He studied
engineering at Keio University, and studied architecture at Harvard
University’s Graduate School of Design, graduating in 1964. Taniguchi
worked for the firm of famed architect Kenzo Tange from 1964 to 1972,
acquiring skills in Japanese modernist architecture. After, Taniguchi
collaborated on several projects. In 1975, Taniguchi started his own
architectural firm in Japan beginning his solo career on projects such
as schools, libraries, and other public-use buildings throughout Japan.
In the 1980s he emerged as one of Japan’s leading museum architects.
Taniguchi is known to restrict the number of projects he accepts so that
he might better personally oversee the details of each job.
Some of Taniguchi’s projects include museums such as: Nagano
Prefectural Museum, Marugame Genichiro Inokuma Museum of
Contemporary Art, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Koyoto National
Museum and the Gallery of the Horyu-ji Treasures at the Tokyo National
In 1997, Taniguchi won a competition to redesign the Museum of Modern
Art in New York, beating out ten other internationally renowned architects. Subsequently, Taniguchi designed the Texas branch of the Asia
Society Center in Houston, Texas.
Taniguchi had several obstacles to overcome in completing the design
of the Asia Society Texas Center building. His first goal was to design
an environment that is quiet and inviting. He was careful to stay in
tradition with the neighboring structures, especially the residential
structures. Due to aging residences bordering the building, Taniguchi
rotated the building to the north to take advantage of the best position
and views toward the downtown skyline.
Taniguchi was instrumental in almost every aspect of the design and
building of the structure, including the landscaping. He personally
supervised the placement of the front lawn’s heritage oaks as well as
many of the seemingly small details of the interior rooms. Taniguchi
explains, “I don’t design very many buildings and I design very carefully.”
Many of the design details of the building can be explained by Taniguchi’s philosophies and traditions, such as the small entry way, a
tradition in Japan to bow to the owner as well as to have the interior
appear larger.
The building features a grand hall, galleries, an education center, a garden terrace and café. In the “dog-leg” area of the building is a performing arts center called the Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater.
This single-tiered theater is Houston’s finest medium-sized performance space for music, dance, theater, film, and lectures. The theater’s
acoustics, lighting and digital projection is state-of-the-art. The stage
is made of Appalachian white oak, the grooved wall panels are in
cherry wood; the recessed lighting and Italian crafted, fine upholstered
seating make this theater an elegant addition to the building.
Critics agree that the building’s quality level, design and elegance
are all something very unique.
tihany design
2011. London
The London restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, is a contemporary British brasserie located within the 5-star Mandarin Oriental
Hotel in London’s famed Hyde Park. The Times of London calls it, “The
best new restaurant in the whole wide world.” Celebrity chef, Heston
Blumenthal, not one to back down from risks, wows culinary food
critics, chefs and customers with his take on historic dishes dating as
far back as the Royal Courts of King Henry VIII. With his executive chef,
Ashley Palmer-Watts, the pair took years to research and modernize
the historic dishes and cooking methods that inspired the menu for
this fashionable and critically-acclaimed restaurant.
Like the bespoke dishes incorporated in the menu, the restaurant’s
design commanded the highest quality vision along with astute
awareness to capture the essence of such an inspirational project.
Preeminent hospitality architect and designer, Adam D. Tihany, was
commissioned to design the restaurant.
Tihany’s design concept for Dinner by Heston Blumenthal sought to
convey both modern sophistication and English tradition.
The finished design is a subtle
and elegant portraiture of
Blumenthal and the philosophy
behind his new culinary concept
of a modern British Brasserie
featuring a contemporary take,
usually, on 16th century British
cookery. Contemporary and
innovative, yet mindful of
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The restaurant design fully
encapsulates the focus on revival
of tradition and values.
Guests are ensconced in the
comfort of dark chocolate brown
leather and smoky grey vintageinspired velvet seating with plush
saffron coloured pillows.
The private dining room seats
up to 10 guests with the option
of overlooking the restaurant
or remaining completely private.
Poltrona Frau made the perfect design partner with architect Adam D.
Tihany resulting in the custom seating and other design furnishings
for the restaurant, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.
Any seating concept or idea can be brought to life by Poltrona Frau’s
experienced and innovative team, offering a wide variety of seating
types and classifications; nothing is impossible. Poltrona Frau has a
century-long reputation for fine seating, combining the finest materials known with meticulous craftsmanship and carefully engineered
state-of-the art technology.
For Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Poltrona Frau’s team developed Tihany
custom design seating and dining tables for the main area as well the
special fittings for the 10-seat, Tudor-influenced private dining room.
Adam D. Tihany, born in Romania and having grown up in Israel,
is widely regarded as the world’s preeminent hospitality designer.
His sophisticated, often groundbreaking, designs are the result, in
part, of his unique global perspective. Upon graduating from Italy’s
Politecnico di Milano, School of Architecture and Urban Planning,
Tihany apprenticed with several design firms in Europe before moving
to New York City. Shortly thereafter, in 1976, Tihany established his
own multidisciplinary studio, called Tihany Design, encompassing
all aspects of design, from commercial and residential interiors to
furniture, products, exhibitions, and graphics.
In 1981, his studio began specializing in hospitality designs, including
the world famous New York restaurant Le Cirque, as well as La Coupole,
the first grand café in New York City. Since then, he has earned a reputation for his signature restaurant designs, many for celebrity chefs such
as Heston Blumenthal, Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Charlie Palmer,
Pierre Gagnaire and Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Sirio Maccioni. His
hotel designs include the One&Only Cape Town resort in South Africa,
the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, the Westin Chosun in Seoul, Korea,
The Joule in Dallas and many more. Over the last thirty years, Tihany
Design has become the leading expert in creating luxurious and innovative spaces in the vibrant world of hospitality.
Tihany is an educator and frequent lecturer in conferences and universities around the world. In 2011, he was appointed Art Director of the
Culinary Institute of America, taking the lead on modernizing its New
York Hyde Park campus. He has also become a frequent contributor
for international lifestyle, design and travel magazines.
Tihany’s experience in his field led him to curate major exhibitions for
the international Milan Furniture Fair, among other such projects. His
outstanding contribution to the world of design has been recognized
with numerous honors and awards, including an Honorary Doctorate
from the New York School of Interior Design. He was named Bon
Appetit’s Designer of the Year in 2001, Who’s Who in Food and Beverage in the United States by The James Beard Foundation in 1997,
and he was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 1991.
His monograph, Tihany Design, was published by Monacelli Press in
1999 and his second book, Tihany Style, was published by Mondadori
Electa in May 2004.
Tihany’s approach is always to individualize a design according to the
ideals behind the project and the vision of the client. In the case of
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, the restaurant’s notable menu was the
inspiration for Tihany’s interpretation behind the design, which conveys
an updated twist on historic sophistication. Tihany artfully captured
the restaurant’s thoroughly modern fare inspired by dishes hundred of
years old, requiring an interior design with a flair for innovation.
Tihany chose rich, natural materials such as wood, leather and
wrought iron - historical elements at the root of 16th century British
style - but utilized in modern ways. In the 120-seat main dining room,
floor to ceiling glass walls provide guests with a full view of the chefs
in action in their spectacular kitchen. Modern lighting fixtures, including
sleek curved chandeliers above the bar, create a warm ambiance as
well as a sophisticated design element. The deep tones of tan and
walnut are offset by the surrounding picture windows, white trim and
mirrors. Comfort and refinement influenced the choice of dark chocolate
brown leather and smoky grey vintage-inspired velvet seating. The
chairs were designed by Tihany for the restaurant in collaboration
with seating engineers and manufacturer, Poltrona Frau.
keith williams architects
2011. Canterbury
The Marlowe Theatre is located in the picturesque cathedral city of
Canterbury, England. Opened in October 2011, the theatre bears the
name of Elizabethan tragedian playwright Christopher Marlowe who
was born in Canterbury in 1564. A leading contemporary of William
Shakespeare, he remains an admired and influential artist and one of
the most significant playwright’s of his era.
The new 4,850 square metre Marlowe Theatre is located on the banks
of the River Stour, adjacent Canterbury Cathedral. It contains 2 major
auditoria of 1200 seats and 150 seats and is the most significant new
insertion of contemporary architecture within the historic city centre.
Built on the site of a 1933 Odeon Cinema, itself converted in the 1980s
to house the old Marlowe, the new Marlowe Theatre was completed
in 2011. Opening to great public celebration, the new Theatre has
already redefined the cultural life of the city and will also contribute
to its economic revitalization.
In architectural terms, the project may be seen as a complex pavilion
wrapped by a colonnaded foyer, whose external columns construct
from white cast Dolomite stone give a stripped classicism to the composition. The second auditorium is raised 5 metres above the entrance
level, so that the foyer passes beneath, allowing considerable degrees
of openness and transparency. At night, the foyer’s external glazed skin
seems to literally disappear so that both activity in the foyer and in the
new square seem to merge completely with one another.
The large volume of the flytower has been encased in a stainless steel
mesh, which captures the shimmer of sunlight and extends to a pinnacle form from the structure of the building, adding silhouette to the
city’s skyline.
This outstanding new cultural
building for Canterbury City
Council has been created by Keith
Williams Architects in the ancient
city’s historic heart.
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The wooden flooring and walls
are made with black American
walnut, and the rails are
in stainless steel.
The stunning main auditorium
is set over three levels with an
orchestra pit that can accommodate
up to 80 musicians, enabling
The Marlowe to stage worldclass music, theatre and dance
The foyer connects all main spaces
to the principal auditorium.
Lined in black American walnut
with seating in red/orange leather,
it can accommodate an audience
of 1,200 on 3 levels.
Poltrona Frau custom tailored its Ascolto seat from its Stage Collection to the specifications of The Marlowe Theatre auditorium. The final
construction of the seat combines a backrest made from curved beech
plywood, the sides and seat itself are supported by a steel structure,
with a custom-made steel flank and a leather upholstered top armrest. The seat and backrest are covered in Pelle Frau® leather and an
under-seat perforation has been specifically developed to optimize
acoustic absorption. Working with the Keith Williams’ office, Poltrona
Frau custom manufactured the bespoke bright coral orange leather
exclusively for this project.
Keith Williams is the founder and design director of London-based
Keith Williams Architects. Founded in 2001, the firm has received 25
major design awards and was twice winner of the prestigious BD
Public Building Architect of the Year Award in 2006 & 2008, in addition
to accolades in other architecture competitions.
The firm operates internationally across a broad range of sectors for
public and private clients and is a leading specialist designer of museums, galleries, libraries, and civic and performing arts buildings. The
firm’s broader portfolio includes commercial development, residential
projects, high rise towers, urban design and masterplanning studies.
Major projects, in addition to The Marlowe Theatre, include Chichester Museum, UK 2007-2011, Wexford Opera House, Ireland 2005-2008,
Clones Library & County HQ, Ireland 2004-2008, and Athlone Civic Centre, Ireland 2001-2004. Further noted works include the Unicorn Theatre,
London 2005, The Long House, London, 2006, as well as the firm’s new
Art Gallery in Athlone, Ireland currently under construction.
Keith Williams is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects,
the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, he is a Fellow of the Royal
Society of Arts, and sits on the National Design Review panel at Design
Council CABE and the Civic Trust Awards. He has judged numerous
major award schemes, lectured widely on architecture, and in 2010
was made Honorary Visiting Professor of Architecture at Zhengzhou
University, China.
Keith Williams understood that the design of The Marlowe Theatre
required a moderation of the impact of the new building on the surrounding cityscape. The surrounding historic buildings nearest The Marlowe
site were generally two or three storeys high, therefore Williams created
the idea of the colonnade at the appropriate scale to mediate with
the larger size of the new building. He designed The Marlowe Theatre
to ascend in layers. The 1200-seat auditorium and flytower are large
structures - The Marlowe’s flytower is the second tallest structure in
Canterbury, after Bell Harry, Canterbury Cathedral’s central tower. By
setting The Marlowe Theatre back from the street edge, with a new
public square, the new building compliments, instead of competes
with, the city’s existing architecture.
The Marlowe Theatre was designed to celebrate the work of Christopher Marlowe, but above all else the function is to celebrate performing
arts and theatre. At the core of this project is the theatre’s auditorium.
The auditorium is remarkably sleek in appearance, with classic multitiered and multi-level seating sections. The wood flooring and walls are
lined with black American walnut, and the rails are in stainless steel.
The fiery coral-toned leather seating adds elegance and refinement
to the space, giving a hue of colour when the auditorium is dimmed.
Architect Keith Williams felt that the seating should be seen as a contrasting arc of colour slicing through the darkness. The auditorium
accommodates an audience of 1,200 on 3 levels.
The contemporary design of the exterior of the building is balanced
beautifully with the warm, yet sophisticated, features of the interior.
“A modern orthodoxy in architecture suggests that from the outside
you know what you’re going to get on the inside: the outside must
somehow grow directly from the interior and vice versa,” says architect
Keith Williams when describing the contrast of the interior and exterior
of his building where the richness of the auditorium is only finally
revealed once deep inside the building.
nikos danilidis
peter cook
vincent fillon
nigel young & foster + partners, courtesy of cathay pacific
claudia uribe, jason okutake
bruce damonte
christian richters
roland halbe, markus deutschmann
roland halbe
courtesy of pershing yacht, ferretti spa
nic lehoux
fabio falcioni
paul hester
fabrice trombert, courtesy of tihany design
eric laignel & george apostolidis, courtesy of tihany design
courtesy of keith williams architects
A.D. e Design
Alecom srl, April 2012
Ericha Parks
Pan Image World srl
[email protected] - [email protected]
Middle East
Asia Pacific
New York
Abu Dhabi
Hong Kong
Frau Bologna
Strada Maggiore, 27
I-40125 Bologna (BO) Italy
Tel: +39 (0) 51 27 24 80
Frau USA
151, Wooster Street
New York, NY 10012 USA
Tel: +1 917 374 1661
PF Emirates Interiors LLC
P.O. Box 106953
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Tel: +971 2 667 95 88
Cassina Pacific
21st floor, 32 Hollywood Road,
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 93179761
São Paulo
Kuwait City
PFG Contract Benelux
Neerloopweg 15 4814 RS
Breda Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0) 76 513 80 04
PFG Contract Brazil
Rua Miguel Tierno, 55
São Paulo, Brazil
Tel +55 11 7035 6585
PF Middle East
Al Soor Street, Soor Tower, 24’th
Floor, P.O. Box 5110,
Safat 13052, Kuwait
Tel: +965 668 39539
Casa Décor Private Ltd
1/50 Kamal Mansion (4th floor)
Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba
Mumbai 400005 India
Tel: +91 22 6615 3300
PFG Contract Spain
Pantiane España sl
Calle Torre de los 7 Suelos, 9 Local 2
18008 Granada
Tel : +34 958 129195
Frau UK
150 St.John Street
London, EC1V4UD
Tel: +44 (0) 774 833 8177
Cassina S.p.A.
Via Busnelli, 1
I-20821 Meda (MB) Italy
Tel: +39 (0) 362 3721
PFG Contract Germany
Xmobil GmbH
Miesbacher Straße 3
D-83703 Gmund
Tel: +49 8022 66540
Frau France
29 rue du Bac
75007 Paris
Tel: +33 (0) 6 21 04 00 05
Poltrona Frau S.p.A
S.S. 77 KM 74,500
62029 Tolentino (MC) Italy
Tel: +39 (0) 733 9091
PF Qatar
Office No.3,
First Floor, Bldg. A,
Salwa Showrooms,
Al-Waab City
P.O. Box 19687 Doha, Qatar
Tel: +974 4491 6953