Alia Akkam • Photography courtesy of Ian Schrager Company •
November 28, 2018
The expansive lobby maintains its 1950s grandeur with gold columns
Once a vibrant Rat Pack hangout, the Seville Beach Hotel helped define the glamour of Miami in the 1950s. When it morphed into the Miami Beach EDITION in 2014, Yabu Pushelberg honored this glitzy heritage, carefully preserving such elements as the lobby’s black and white stone floor and gold mosaic-clad columns, which were initially a roadblock for Ian Schrager (who developed his first hotel there, the Delano, some 20 years ago). “There was a lot of gold, but [in the end] we were able to do a very refined beach resort that feels like Miami,” he explains.
“The restoration captures what we thought the past was. We didn’t have many visuals or documents to go back to, so we did our own take on it,” explains Yabu. Collaborating with ISC, they conceived a soft and streamlined aesthetic that flaunts a palette of cream, wheat, and linen with moodier elements.
Consider the sweeping Matador Room. The oval-shaped restaurant kept the original sunken central dining area and the 1955-era chandelier, maintaining the essence and flair of the space enjoyed by a carousing Sinatra and his pals. To enliven the dining room, the walls were swathed in silk panels, while a leather banquette circles the low-lit perimeter.
The 294 guestrooms meld cerused oak-lined walls with porcelain tile floors, lending an ethereal and airy beach house feel that blends effortlessly with the hotel’s pristine oceanside grounds. “I love the fluidity of the indoors and the outdoors,” says Yabu.
The design extends to the landscaped outdoor venues as well. The original pool was restored along with its ultra-mod diving tower, which is covered in bright pink flowers and vines. Tropicale restaurant features the Seville’s teak-wrapped sundial, while outdoor movie venue Sand Box is a decidedly modern and playful addition to the property.
For a sense of whimsy, the Basement features a sleek funhouse sporting a micro-club, ice-skating rink, and bowling alley with mirrored lanes. Of the striking infinity effect from the three planes of mirrors, Yabu says, “It looks incredible.”
The firm will further evolve the brand’s look with the Times Square property, a concept that will play homage to French designer Andrée Putman when it opens at the end of the year.