According to the designers: “The Chico’s restaurant chain has been serving North American food to Finns since 1991. In spring 2012, the chain’s time-honoured Iso Omena (‘Big Apple’) restaurant was reopened with a bold new interior. Amerikka Design Office Ltd had created a new space concept for the restaurant, designed to support its new food, drink and service concept. Visually, the restaurant underwent a complete transformation.
“Diners and staff alike have felt at home in the restaurant: there has been positive feedback on its atmosphere, its spicy details and its solutions which make it easier to serve customers. The positivity is reflected in business figures, too.
“The visual standpoint for the restaurant’s look is modern-day USA, manifested through a wild mix of urban pulse and human warmth. Thecontemporary Finland restaurant’s interior is marked by bold expression, beautifully fading surfaces, genuine materials and murals by painters Juha Lahtinen and Samuli Suonperä.
“The restaurant premises are designed to function seamlessly through all seasons and to serve a wide range of requirements. Chico’s invites customers to enjoy lunch, a drink or dinner on their own or with friends. To support the staff in their work, the restaurant facilities also comply with the chain’s service model. The change has been a success and a delight for customers and staff alike.”
A young family re-locating to the Western Cape was looking to change from city living to a more relaxed country lifestyle in which to bring up their young family. They settled for the exclusive Pearl Valley Golf Estate near Paarl, just 30 minutes away from bustling Cape Town.
According to the architects: “The initial architectural footprint for the contemporary South African house was designed by Gauteng based architect, Gardiol Bergenthuin. The owners approached the Antoni Associates to create an interior that was modern but with an emphasis on ‘barefoot luxury’ and the use of natural materials.
“The luxury Cape Town property has been designed around a central landscaped courtyard with a reflective pond. On entering the house, one crosses a foyer bridge which is flanked by wet-walls cascading down ribbon-stone clad feature walls. The formal lounge is a large double-volume cathedral-like space with a trussed ceiling which is overlooked by the mezzanine study situated above the formal dining room. The dining area features a horizontal strip-fireplace which has been placed level with the dining table. A feature hooped-glass chandelier cascades over the waney-edge French oak table.
“Linking the formal areas to the entertainment rooms, the kitchen looks out onto the central courtyard. Custom designed soft leather and steel barstools from OKHA Interiors provide seating around the central island. A floating stair leads up to the four en-suite bedrooms.”
Conceptual designer Rachen Intawong – or ‘Tam’ as he is best known – played a pivotal part in the construction of Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai beginning with its inception in 2001. He sees the resort as a working museum, a place where traditional Lanna culture and Asian colonial splendour have been carefully brought together in masterful harmony.
Chiang Mai was the capital of the historical Lanna Thai Kingdom (Kingdom of One Million Rice Fields), which is the first independent Thai kingdom within the fabled Golden Triangle.
The luxury Thai hotels design draws heavily from the architectural and cultural influences of the historic Lanna Kingdom that influenced the region for 300 years from the end of the 13th century. Facilities include the 3,100 square metre The Dheva Spa and Wellness Centre; an amphitheatre for cultural events and shows; two large swimming pools; seven restaurants and lounge bars; cooking school; extensive health club; library and recreational facilities; kids’ club; arts and crafts village; grand ballroom and private meeting areas; and a boutique shopping village styled on a traditional village market.
Offering some of the world’s most spacious and exclusive accommodation, the 123 luxurious villas, colonial suites and signature residences have been lovingly handcrafted in keeping with traditional Lanna architecture and feature extensive museum-quality artefacts and antiques. The villas open onto spacious terraces, some of which feature private plunge pools or swimming pools. Exquisitely designed interiors and Mandarin Oriental’s signature technology contribute to an overall atmosphere of luxury and serenity.
Chiang Mai International Airport is only a 15-minute drive from the luxury Thai resort.
Santiago-based architects 57Studio have designed the Fray Leon House project. The luxury property can be found in Las Condes, Santiago, Chile.
According to the architects: “The contemporary Santiago house is located in a district in the east area of Santiago and one of its characteristics is the presence of old trees. The spaces are organised in a ‘H’ shaped plant adapted to the lot, having great care for the trees and creating patios that reinforce their presence from the inside.
“The first floor is organised around a native Peumo (cryptocaria alba) that goes along with the access from the south. A huge Avocado tree is the focal point on the drive and on the private wing towards the east is bounded by an old Cypress. The public space in the west wing opens towards the garden through a terrace by the north. The contemporary Santiago property is preceded by a paved esplanade built to prolong the approach of the visitor towards the access, where the Peumo gains a major presence.”
Designed, built and operated for the discerning yacht owner, Çesme Marina opened in June 2010. It was awarded the “Best Marina” title at the Golden Anchor Awards in Istanbul in 2011, and named “Best Tourism Investment” at the 4th Izmir Tourism Awards in April 2012.
Sensitively integrated within a historic maritime city, just one-hour from Turkey’s cosmopolitan third largest city, Izmir, this chic area at the western end of the Izmir peninsula is relatively undiscovered. The luxury marina is an ideal base for exploring the nearby Greek islands of Chios, Samos and Lesvos, in addition to an estimated 300 other islands in the region. It is a recognised port of entry into Turkish waters and acts as a gateway to the Aegean Sea.
Designed in classic Aegean style, this joint venture between Camper & Nicholsons Marinas and IC Holding offers superior shore side facilities. With 400 berths from 8m to 60m, chic cafés, fine dining restaurants and vibrant bars, this attractive waterfront is already a go-to destination for locals, as well as visiting yachtsmen and women.
Prevailing northerly winds during the summer make for ideal sailing conditions with warm breezes and constant sunshine well into the autumn months offering an extended season and excellent charter opportunities for owners seeking a second revenue stream.
The luxury Turkish marina hosted the first Aegean Link Cup in 2011, with 28 yachts and 200 yachtsmen taking part in the inaugural event from the Nautical Club of Samos and Aegean Athletic Club of Chios. A full calendar of events is planned for 2012, including the prestigious Navy Cup.