PHILIPPE STARCK’S GAME-CHANGING NEW HOTEL
On the road at least 180 days every year, designer Philippe Starck knows what to expect in a hotel. And his signature style has found its way into leading properties around the world since the 1980s. Having designed hotels in the U.S. (the Hudson Paramount in NYC, the Delano in South Beach, and the Mondrian in L.A.), South America, and Europe (namely the Hotel Meurice and Royal Monceau in Paris), his work for the hospitality industry is recognized throughout the world. Now, Starck is back with what he calls “three sophisticated jewels”—each with a savvy blend of comfort and excitement.
“My hotels aren’t based on any particular cultural, fashion, or architectural aesthetic," Starck, 69, tells AD. "I create mental spaces, emotional surprises, and enigmas. A successful hotel today is a contrast between the purely emotional and purely functional."
Originally a 1970s postal service building, clad in concrete and glass, the Brach is located in Paris’s tony 16th arrondissement, a neighborhood that has been long without any notable hotels. The building was entirely overhauled to 5-star standards by the Evok Group, owner of the Nolinski Hotel, also in Paris. “Brach is all about the period when the Dadaists, surrealists, and architects like Le Corbusier discovered Africa and what would later be known as art brut," comments Starck. "It’s Bauhaus modernism with African wonder. The Brach could be Pierre Jeanneret’s, Charlotte Perriand’s or Mallet-Stevens’s place, with a nod to Pierre Chareau’s glass house—it just might spark up the revival of this very staid part of the 16th.”
Brach Paris, 1-7 rue Jean Richepin, 75016 Paris. Tél. : 01 44 30 10 00.brachparis.com.
Le Corbusier’s spirit is present in the furniture and room fixtures, warmed up with rosewood walls and inviting beds. Flooded with natural light, the 52 guest rooms and seven suites, boasting spaces of up to 2,000 square feet, have 14-foot-high ceilings—which allowed Starck to play with volume, installing unreachable decorative shelves with eclectic displays of books, photos, and African masks. The hotel also boasts plenty of amenities, including a fitness center, two pools, a bar, a pastry shop run by Yann Brys (one of the most acclaimed pastry chefs in France), as well as a Mediterranean restaurant. On the rooftop, three mascot hens—Eglantine, Berenice, and Suzi—keep an eye on the 4,300-square-foot vegetable garden, deck, and Jacuzzi.
On a more personal level, this is a return to Starck's own neighborhood: He was born on rue Mallet-Stevens, lives on the place Trocadero, and he designed the Bon restaurant, all nearby.