Inside The Global Design Files

by Natasha Wolff | April 25, 2019 11:00 am

This spring and beyond, the visionaries profiled on these pages are introducing the world to imagination gone wild. From a book layered in creative inspiration to a hip-as-it-gets Miami hotel to architectural feats, mesmerizing patterns, and a restaurant that transports one to Tuscany, these are the projects from the people and firms that continuously defy expectations and revolutionize the landscape of design.


David Rockwell

David Rockwell

GID Development Group tapped quite an ensemble of architects and designers to conceptualize Waterline Square—a staggering three-tower complex on New York City’s Hudson River set to open this summer. Between Richard Meier & Partners Architects, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, and Rafael Viñoly Architects each designing a respective tower and firms such as Champalimaud Design and Groves & Co. creating some of the interiors, it was only natural that Rockwell Group[1] was tapped to conceive of the amenities (think: screening room, hydroponic garden, dog run, tennis courts, skate park, and so much more) and design the grand amenity interiors, dubbed the Waterline Club[2].

A rendering of the Waterline Club amenity space inside New York City’s Waterline Square residential complex.

The challenging below-grade space connects all three towers and introduces an extraordinary lifestyle program that even includes a recording studio. In pure David Rockwell fashion, the social hub of the space, or the Nexus, features futuristic architectural feats of functional fancy. Located on the third cellar level, the dynamic central gathering space is filled with sculptural seating, monumental travertine walls, and a mind-blowing Infinite Loop staircase—inspired by the infinity symbol—that bridges the gap between towers. While the profile of the curvilinear staircase is clad in a warm wood that complements the travertine walls, massive columns in a nickel-tone metal not only support the bridge, but also morph into an artful bloom that flows into the topography of the ceiling. The supports are dressed in GFRG—allowing for strength with lighter weight while leaving guests utterly awestruck.


Christopher Coleman and Ángel Sánchez

When renowned interior designer Christopher Coleman and equally famous architect and fashion designer Ángel Sánchez uprooted their lives and moved from New York City to Miami, the interior design community was aghast. Then, Sanchez + Coleman Studio[3] was born, and the world was aghast again: The pair swiftly emerged with a slew of dazzlingly cool hospitality projects that immediately turned the idea of good design on its head. This spring, the bicoastal duo’s work on Hotel Indigo Miami Brickell will debut, exemplifying their command of all that is chic.

Hotel Indigo Miami Brickell, opening this spring

Elements of Brutalism work hand in hand with graphic tiles, contemporary lighting, bold colors, angular lines, natural materials, and minimalist yet comfortable furniture. From the Welcome Lounge to the Play Lounge to the Brick Bar, Brick Café, and sixth-floor pool, each area of the hotel in which they wielded their magic is divinely suited for a specific ambience while retaining a cohesive sense of phenomenal style. Indoor-outdoor areas outfitted with native plants form a sort of oasis where everything—from hanging swing chairs to linen sectionals and woven planters—is perfectly placed to play with light, shadow, texture, and pattern, all while catering to comfort and style.


Jill Malek

New York City–based artist and designer Jill Malek[4] has collaborated with companies and brands ranging from Rockwell Group to Mulo shoes to Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Between creating boutique design packages for hospitality groups and high-end residential interior and architecture firms, Malek has somehow launched yet another collection of wallcoverings. The series, titled Reflect/Refract, consists of two patterns: Reflections and Refractions.

Jill Malek’s Reflections wallcovering pattern.

Regarding the former, each non-repeating pattern is printed on 54-inch-wide commercial-grade material, is available in multiple colorways, and can be customized to any space. Although Malek has continuously been inspired by the flux and flow of forms in nature, the new patterns showcase a slight departure from the designer’s more characteristic tradition of tone-on-tone designs. In this new venture, Malek explores the subtle layering of colors, revealing how slight variations can unify or profoundly alter a room. A designer who has already had seven of her patterns acquired by the Brooklyn Museum as part of its permanent decorative arts collection, Malek is one to watch.


Julien Albertini and Alina Pimkina, partners of creative studio Asthetíque Group[5], were tapped by American Standard Hospitality Group to develop an Italian restaurant in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, that eschewed all clichés. The result, Loreto, is cozy and utterly enchanting, and offers the allure of an elevated countryside locale in Tuscany. To create the seriously chic atmosphere, Asthetíque researched high-fashion Italian brands and vintage Italian crafts, and designed sensual yet supremely comfortable custom banquettes—then surrounded them with 16- to 18-foot-tall trees. Artfully placed spotlights softly illuminate the plants, creating a magical, intimate ambience. Throughout the restaurant, plants in rustic pottery and dry herbal installations add effortless charm. Even upon entering the restaurant, diners are greeted with a sculptural display table showcasing locally sourced seasonal fruits and vegetables, and views of the open kitchen, instantly assuring diners of the mouthwatering culinary experience to come. Textural cream-colored walls accented with gradient brass sheet metal designs are enhanced by beautiful distressed ceramic pendant fixtures.

Loreto restaurant, in Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Three gradient milk spherical lights suspended from leather straps hang over one side of the inviting forest green bar and complement the antique brass–clad backsplash. The powder room is just as exceptional, with custom dark green walls and an herbal constellation installed within panes of glass. This is one restaurant worth a trek across the bridge.

  1. Rockwell Group:
  2. Waterline Club:
  3. Sanchez + Coleman Studio:
  4. Jill Malek:
  5. Asthetíque Group:

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