Thursday, January 19, 2012

Clift Hotel San Fransisco by Philippe Starck...

    Hotels may play to the boutique experience by furnishing the public areas with a sturdy mix of handsome tables and chairs culled from high-end shops like Design Within Reach, but few go as far as San Francisco's Clift. The motley collection of designer furniture gracing the hotel's immense lobby would more likely be found in a museum or private home than a stopping place for hundreds of travelers, wheeling their luggage with kids in tow. As Clift's Vice President of Design Mari Balestrazzi explains, high-end furnishings are an important part of the hotel's distinct charm. "We're like an interactive museum," she says. "The pieces are real and some are quite expensive but it would take the fun out of it if we didn't allow our guests to really use the spaces."
Conceived by Philippe Starck ten years ago, the diverse range of lobby furniture is not only intriguing to the eye, but it also keeps the space fresh from a design perspective. Upon entering the hotel, guests come across Roberto Matta's homage to surrealist artist René Magritte—a stool posed as a green apple in a black bowler hat—and to their right they'll find William Sawaya's octopus-like Darwish chair, a bronze four-seater custom-crafted for the hotel.
Salvador Dali's Leda table unites a cluster of chairs in the main area, including Michel Haillard's Horn Sofa and a plexiglass and bronze side chair, designed by Starck and developed by the famed French atelier Thierry Goux (now known as Rinck). A few feet away sits Crystal Farm's "Elk Gentleman's Chair," a rustic piece more traditionally placed in a cabin in the woods, but in a swanky hotel, manages to round out the lobby's warm ...