The Gensler-led pre-BDwest Design Tour of The Broad contemporary art museum in LA was memorable in more ways than one.

By Matthew Hall

OK, the sheep in the glass-enclosed tank of formaldehyde was a bit unnerving.

That 1994 work by Damien Hirst, titled “Away from the Flock,” was among the 250-plus exhibits on display at The Broad, LA’s new contemporary art museum—and site of this year’s pre-BDwest Design Tour. That sold-out event started with some comments on the museum’s unique design by David Pakshong, arts & culture practice area leader/senior associate at Gensler, which teamed with Diller Scofodio + Renfro in creating the museum.

Pakshong noted that the museum’s interior features a unique “veil and vault” layout. The former term refers to the building’s torqued, lattice-like exterior skin, which is made of fiberglass-reinforced white concrete panels. The latter term, meantime, refers to art-storage areas that can be viewed through a variety of plate-glass windows scattered throughout the space. In addition, thanks to apertures in its walls and skylights in its roof, the galleries are bathed in natural light.

Overall, I found some of the works on display to be profound, and some of it perplexing (i.e., the aforementioned quadruped dipped in fluid). But in virtually all cases, the exhibits (as well as the design of the museum) were thought-provoking—which made the tour the perfect prelude to this year’s BDwest.

Five Minutes with 2016 Gold Key Judge Michael Medzigian

The call for entries for the prestigious 2016 Gold Key Awards has been announced along with this year’s panel of renowned judges, representing the most highly respected names in our industry.

Meet 2016 Gold Key Judge Michael Medzigian, chairman and managing partner, Watermark Capital Partners, as he shares his thoughts on design from an owner’s perspective. And, get some ideas on what to see and do from his list of “must-sees” in NYC.

What are you currently loving (as well as loathing) in hospitality design right now?
Loving: How developed the hotel design community has become. By that I mean there is so much talent and creativity available to us as owners. The depth and quality of the design community is far beyond what was available when I started my career as well as what was available even a few short years ago.

Loathing: Attempts to respond to demographic shifts or create design appeal at the risk of losing sight of what travelers will want over time. Guests have not stopped valuing comfort, quality service and simple amenities such as ample work surfaces and storage, to name a few. With increased competition for customers, designers must remain focused on consumer wants and needs.

What are some of the latest projects your company is working on?
We currently have 13 major capital expenditure projects underway with the most significant (measured by cost) being at our Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, our Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne and our Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia.

Do you have a favorite building in the Big Apple?
Absolutely not! It would be so easy to say Woolworth, Chrysler or Empire State. I have offices in Rockefeller Center with its iconic art deco structures. It would also be impossible to miss what is happening to the skyline with the creation of Billionaire’s Row.

In my mind though, in order to truly experience NYC architecture, you have to look closer– – SoHo’s cast iron architecture, the brownstones of the Upper West Side, wooden rooftop water towers…the fabric of the neighborhoods.

Entries for the Gold Key Award for Excellence in Hospitality Design are now being accepted through July 8; find more information on how to apply at:

They will be reviewed by the 2016 judging panel, which includes:

Edwin Hendriksen, senior vice president development & investments, North America, citizenM Hotels
Lori Horvath, senior vice president, Jones Lang LaSalle
John McMullen, senior vice president of construction, Highgate Hotels
Michael Medzigian, chairman and managing partner, Watermark Capital Partners, LLC
Jagruti Panwala, president/ceo, Wealth Protection Strategies, AAHOA secretary 2016-2017, AAHOA female director at large Eastern Region
Dane Patunoff, director, development & construction, KHP Capital Partners
Jay Pecotte, senior director of hotel development, Hard Rock International
Thomas Prins, partner, Gemstone Hotels & Resorts
Larry Traxler, senior vice president, global design, Hilton Worldwide

The winners of the awards in each category and the Designer of the Year will be revealed at the Gold Key gala, Monday, Nov. 14 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

Viceroy to Debut Turkish Resort and Residences

77-key property marks the brand’s entry to the country

Viceroy Hotel Group will open its first outpost in Turkey this summer. The Viceroy Princes’ Islands Istanbul is being developed by Akdag Tourism and Construction Ltd. A restored Ottoman mansion will anchor the 77-key resort on the island of Büyükada, which will also include the “Yali” seafront mansion. 12 different categories of rooms, suites and serviced apartments range from private cottages to six suites inside the mansion.

Four dining venues–two restaurants, an Ice Bar and a Resort Club Bar–comprise the hotel’s F&B offering. The hotel’s ESPA wellness center features an indoor pool and an update on a Turkish bath. Rooftop gardens, terraces, a ballroom, two outdoor pools and a private lagoon round out the offering.

“Viceroy Hotel Group is thrilled to enter Turkey with this remarkable project,” says Viceroy CEO Bill Walshe. “The rich history of Büyükada gives Viceroy Princes’ Islands Istanbul a true sense of place through its exciting blend of antiquity, modernity, tradition, and an infusion of the Viceroy vibe.”

Why Show Up?

Trade fairs are business-building opportunities and inspirational hotbeds. So, make time to expand your vision.

By Hans Galutera

Attending events and exhibitions is a must for our design industry. As interior designers and architects, it helps us drill down on the latest information and trends within our sectors, meet new vendors and suppliers in the market and, equally importantly, network with our peers.

Personally, I am motivated by my three “I”s – to inform, incite and inspire ideas for design projects. Too often, we avoid these conferences and seminars, because we do not want to be “sold” something during our limited time at the event. However, in many cases, the presenters and panelists promoting their projects might just be what we need as designers and architects to stay relevant and compliant with the ever-changing codes of practice. We need to see the creative vision of our colleagues, and step outside of the box of our own studio or our clients’ way of looking at design concepts and execution.

That’s why, in March, I made time to attend three three major events: the Armory Art Show 2016 in Manhattan; Seatrade 2016 in Fort Lauderdale (usually in Miami and one which I have not attended for a number of years) and BDwest in Los Angeles.

The Armory Show ranged from the usual collectors’ art exhibitions with famous artists such as Josef Albers, Antony Gormley, Andy Warhol, etc., to our newest and most important contemporary stars. Most notably this year, there was a major focus on African art, which was obvious as soon as you walked in the door and were met with the artwork from Ed Young.

The most interesting section of this art exhibition, for me, is the Independent Show where you still have an opportunity to buy affordable art and potentially discover the next big names in art. Some to watch include: Skylar Fein, Alfredo Esquillo Jr, Maria Rubinke or the provocative Kent Monkman and Nadine Wottke.

Since our studio has expertise in designing ocean liners and cruise ships as part of hospitality sector niche, I attended Seatrade 2016 held in Fort Lauderdale. I was a bit disappointed with the limited resources available to the interior designers and architects of our specialty. The content and the networking with other players of the cruise line industry however, were very good. One aspect of this conference that truly piqued my interest, with its relevance to our skill set, was the introduction of the very first zero-emission passenger cruise ship – called Peaceboat – Ecoship ( I will be exploring this more on my next adventure so stay tuned! Other takeaways from this event are the increasing creative ways of travel agents to highlight destinations for the multitude of cruise lines on an international level.

The last show I attended in March was BDwest in Los Angeles, which is an annual trade fair and conference hosted by Boutique Design as a complement to its annual east coast sister show – BDNY (which, you may remember, as one of the biggest events of 2015). I was fortunate enough to be a panelist discussing “Shape Shifters: Space Plans and Spec Lists to Amp Up Multi-tasking Lobbies, Guest Rooms and Restaurants.” Matthew Hall, editor of Boutique Design magazine, led this discussion with notable designers and architects such as Ed Bakos, Managing Director, Champalimaud; Melanie Murata, Designer, Gensler; Michael Suomi, Principal and Vice President, Design, Stonehill & Taylor and Nathan Lee Colkitt, Founder and CEO, Colkitt&Co. It was a lively conversation and one of the more interesting key aspects brought up is the prediction of the increase of “We Work” type of hotels. (This will be a very interesting development to the boutique hospitality industry.)

Both BD events in LA and NYC are, for me, the reasons all designers need to see trade fair and conference attendance as a “must” part of building both their creativity and bottom lines that comes down to this CHOICE:

  • Collect new innovative materials for later reference and use for project presentations.
    Help you find potential investors and/or projects.
    Obtain new information from panelists and speakers.
    Interact with new professionals within your industry.
    Collect business cards to increase email lists and lead generation of potential projects.
    Educate with facts and statistics that assist to better know the marketplace and evaluating the latest technologies that can help grow your business.

Before even considering attending these events, try to understand the relevance of the conferences to your business and who will be there… I urge you to strongly make an effort to do at least two to four conferences or seminars each year.

Hans Galutera is co-founder and principal of New York-based BG Studio International. He is the past president of the Board of Directors for the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) New York Chapter and an Honorary Member of the Society of British Interior Designers (Hon.SBID). He is also an Advisory Board Member for the International Council for Caring Communities (ICCC), NY11 Plus, his Alma Mater FIT NYC and a professional member of the Design Institute of Australia (MDIA).

Call For Entries: Gold Key Awards

Deadline for submissions is July 8

Designers are invited to submit their best work for this year’s Gold Key Award for Excellence in Hospitality Design competition. Now in its 36th year, the Gold Key award recognizes the most influential and innovative interior design work in every sector of the hospitality industry.

Sponsored by Boutique Design magazine, the 2016 competition has 21 categories. To be eligible, new construction, conversion or renovation projects must have been completed from June 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016.

Submissions are due Friday, July 8. Entry requirements include completion of an online form and a fee of $185 for each submission. A renowned judging panel will select winners and finalists in each of the following categories:

Best Eco Conscious or Socially Conscious Hotel
Best Lobby Budget/Focused Service
Best Lobby Midscale
Best Lobby Upscale
Best Lobby Luxury
Best Guest Room Midscale
Best Guest Room Budget/Focused Service
Best Guest Room Upscale
Best Guest Room Luxury
Best Suite
Best Nightclub/Lounge
Best New Hotel Brand or Soft Brand Concept
Best Resort
Best Restaurant Casual Dining
Best Restaurant Fine Dining
Best Special Feature
Judges’ So Cool
Best Hotel Budget/Focused Service
Best Hotel Midscale
Best Hotel Upscale
Best Hotel Luxury

The awards ceremony will take place Nov. 14 at the Waldorf Astoria New York in conjunction with Boutique Design New York (BDNY) and HX: The Hotel Experience, at which time winners and finalists in each category and the Designer of the Year will be recognized. The honored projects and designers will be profiled in the December 2016 edition of Boutique Design. (Profiles of last year’s Gold Key award winners and finalists can be seen in the December 2015 issue of Boutique Design.)