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Philippe Starck Walks Us Through His SLS South Beach Designs

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  Site Where: 1701 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
May 17, 2012 at 2:00 PM | by | ()

Welcome to Design Thursdays! This is our day to focus on hotel design through photo tours, video walk-throughs and interviews with hotel designers. Got a cool hotel design story we should know about? Let us know.

We've seen the renderings and they sure look pretty. But as we all know, nothing can capture the feel of a hotel room quite like checking into it for real.

We're just weeks away from being able to do that at SLS South Beach, and in the meantime we have the next best thing to walking through the hotel itself--uber-designer Philippe Starck walking us through his designs.

We asked what we could expect from the rooms and where his inspiration came from. His answer took on a life of its own...

“From the street, you arrive through a garden à la française—you will climb the stairs to arrive on a terrace, which shall remind you of French sophistication and Italian elegance. Your world will change as you enter the reception resembling an old American summer camp.

Then, you arrive in a crazy cantina. You cannot know if you are in a Spanish cantina or an Asian cantina—on the wall is a huge bull head with a Mexican wrestler mask mixed with a crazy collection of timeless portraits of Spanish and Asian beauties and icons. Everywhere on the walls is strange sentences and poetry, mysterious graffiti. Hopefully, nobody will ever understand it and will just sit on the backlit long tables and benches to indulge in the creative genius of José Andrés’ food.

To enter Katsuya, you pass through two huge rocks of grey stone with flame at the top; past an old Japanese lady and gentleman standing 20-feet high. Turn your head to flames and steam and Japanese cooks preparing the fantastic food of Mr. Katsuya. Somewhere, a huge beautiful eye of a geisha is looking at you.

Outside in the garden, is a long swimming pool, the kingdom of the duck toy you had in your bath as a child. Walk on the sand towards the sea to find the most charming beach bar you can imagine. All in wood, a fireplace, old leather sofas, surfboards, old pictures of Hawaiian surfers on the walls, it is the perfect old shelter you have always dreamt to find peace.

Back inside, in the SLS South Beach guest room, nothing is real, nothing exists, just the evocation, the smell, the music of the pink sophistication of old French Aristocracy. Whoever you are, whatever you want to be, you will always find your place at SLS South Beach.”

You will have your own chance to walk through the SLS South Beach in person on June 14 (maybe earlier if our sources are correct.) Rates start around $325 a night.

[Renderings in collage: SLS South Beach]

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