Monday, December 1, 2008

Mackintosh Meets Moulin

Within the zeitgeist for sustainable design and planning, are the creative avenues for historical appreciation and reverence. Among the choice locales that are springing forth with revamped, sustainable structures is the Hotel du Petit Moulin in Paris. Once a 17th century bakery turned to ruin, the now famous and coveted hotel was restructured from the inside out and re-used after being termed "irreparable" in the preceding years before its refurbishment. Couturier Christian Lacroix helmed the reconstruction and refurbishment, catering to every keen detail that explodes from the colorful interior of the space. Each room, befitted with elements of 1960's Swedish design, along with some of Lacroix's own ornate textiles gives the room a complete look. Lush tapestries rest against the walls like languid Madonnas before they're images are emblazoned onto canvasses.

Compare: The Charles Rennie Mackintosh "Armchair" with it's ebony wood, espresso finish, sumptuous curves, and violette glass inlay would fit in well with the many historical references within each room, along with the diverse color palate. In rooms so ornate and grand, with the many pops of color and luxe textures would operate well as a whole with a grand gestural and historic piece such as the Armchair.

Contrast: To continue with sustainable refurbishment of hotels, we can also look at the Kruisherenhotel, Maastricht, Germany. Although the hotel lies within a medieval Gothic cathedral, the aesthetic of the hotel belongs to a much more Modern calling. Rich in modernist/Scandinavian curves as well as space-age orb lanterns, the Mackintosh Armchair would seem very much like a square in a social circle. Although the exterior recalls a forgotten time, the interior displays nothing but new contrasted to the ceiling. Utilizing leathers and metals of most the space, adding arts and crafts woodwork into the equation would neither look, nor feel right. This hotel is about the notion of modern comforts, created and design to cater to us, not to showcase expert craftsmanship in woodworking. Unfortunately, this is not the place for the "armchair."
"The Sustainability of Interior Design", Massey.

--Corey Fitzgerald

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