October is here. Let the leaves fall where they may…
Remember, love is transcendent! #PrideMonth2019
It’s already August?!
With the revived goal of bringing you a new Inspiration Board every other month, you will really see what we are actively sourcing for our hospitality projects.
This summer we have been seeking out textile work, different types of collage and work that in general, shows a level of traditional craftsmanship. In the digital era we are living and working in, it’s cool to appreciate art that shows the artists’ hand - bonus when it incorporates or re-purposes something from nature or maybe the “good old days.”
And a good painting is always in style, right?!
Fabian Oefner Meshing of Art + Science | by Mallory Johnson, 2019 Summer Intern
We recently chose one of Fabian Oefner’s disintegrating car images for a special client’s new auto gallery (designed by Blue Lantern Studios). The image will be customized to match the bright Mexico Blue of the owner’s personal Audi R8 which will be stored (among other vehicles) in the new space. The alteration of the original color not only makes this image exclusive to the client but it functions as an essential design element to tie the space together. This project goes to show that any room can be enhanced by the addition of artwork. Oefner’s dynamic, detailed and illusionistic image brings personalization and beauty to a space that is designed to be so much more than just a garage.
Oefner himself is an internationally renowned Swiss photographer whose work has been showcased from New York to Dubai. The artwork selected for this project comes from his series of images showing cars breaking apart. This particular large-scale photograph shows an Audi R8 frozen in time as it disintegrates. The front end of the vehicle is still intact while the rear is quite literally breaking away in front of our eyes. Against the black background every metallic component of the car stands out. Oefner allows the viewer to experience something that in reality would only last a split second. There is a certain satisfaction in not only being able to watch time stop, but also to see the inner workings of a luxury vehicle. On top of that, what we are looking at is entirely created by the artist. It is not a genuine explosion captured by Oefner’s camera, but a hyper realistic rendering based on thousands of individual photographs.
In order to create the Disintegrating series of images, Oefner photographs each part of the car, even the most miniscule elements. While it is a painstaking process, the outcome is an intricate image that highlights the elegance and integrity of each vehicle. There is a certain musical quality to the work as well. The way he has perfectly orchestrated this car to come apart makes the viewer feel as though they are watching a symphony of auto parts in which each nut and bolt is essential to the whole image. He stays true to the construction of each specific car, which ensures that the authenticity of the piece rings true even though it is a manufactured “explosion.” Oefner is unique in his conception of the image; it is a scientific dissection of the whole vehicle rather than just the fiery wreckage of a high-performance car.
One major element at play in this artwork is the concept of time. In his own words, “There is a unique pleasure about artificially building a moment… Freezing a moment in time is stupefying.” Oefner’s scientific approach to art and a preoccupation with conceptual ideas are best explained in his 2013 TED talk, “Psychedelic Science.” In this intriguing talk, Oefner explains his artistic purpose and offers insight into how he brings his images to life. He clearly has both an artistic and analytical mind; this combination allows him to manipulate a concept such as sound and make it into something that you can see. His work is both visually stunning and extremely playful, especially regarding the pieces showcased in his TED talk. The colors are bright and bold and similar to the Disintegrating images. There is a focus on bringing attention to even the smallest aspects. As for his purpose as an artist, he states that, “what I’m trying to do as a photographer, as an artist is to bring the world of art and science together.” Both science and art are responses to their surroundings, by combining the two concepts he is creating, “Images [that] speak to the viewer’s heart but also to the viewer’s brain.” Oefner’s purpose is evident in each of his Disintegrating images, he is appeasing human curiosity by displaying the insides of the car splintering into space.
Amy Parry Projects will be closed for production this week in honor of our nation’s anniversary of independence. We hope everyone will enjoy their own time of celebration, reveling in the
feeling of being “free.”
Freedom lies in being bold.
Please enjoy this beautiful digital work by Connecticut based photographer Joseph Jurson.
The Hamilton Hotel is ready to unveil the final pieces of its multi-million dollar renovation downtown at the corner of 14th and K Streets NW. An Italian restaurant specializing in Neapolitan pizza and a glamorous, postage stamp-sized bar serving cocktails and caviar are both scheduled to open tomorrow.
Following a full lobby transformation and guest room refresh, the historic 318-room hotel is replacing its outdated 14K restaurant with an all-day osteria called Via Sophia. A dark, library-themed bar called Society is hidden off the lobby.
The anticipated two-part venture is helmed by an all-star hospitality cast that includes Via Sophia executive chef Colin Clark, who’s amassed an impressive East Coast resume by working under several James Beard Award Winners (Marc Vetri, Jeff Michaud, and Fabio Trabocchi). He was also part of Le Diplomate’s opening team in 2013. Most most recently, Clark was chef de cuisine at Trabocchi’s Georgetown Harbor darling, Fiola Mare.
Via Sophia (1001 14th Stree NW) will open with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There’s also an weekday happy hour for apertivos and a late-night pizza menu. Weekend brunch will join the mix later this summer.
In Clark’s new post, he hopes to breathe new life into the same block as The Washington Post’s headquarters overlooking tree-lined Franklin Square.
“We are going for upscale — this is 14th and K and we are trying to make it a dining destination,” Clark tells Eater.
Since wood-fired Neapolitan pizza is Via Sophia’s star attraction, the staff went the extra mile to elevate their pie-making skills. Clark and sous chef Cameron Willis trained under master pizzaiola Roberto Caporuscio, owner of New York City’s Keste Pizza & Vino and Don Antonio (named “#1 Pizza in New York” by New York Magazine).
Five seasonal pizzas at Via Sophia include a classic Margherita — with San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and fresh basil — and Fra Diavlo (salame picante, fresno chiles, red onion, buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes).
Even the staff floating around will be dressed to the nines. Ashley Blazer Biden, Joe Biden’s daughter, designed the hotel’s new stylish black-and-white uniforms in collaboration with Livelihood.
Atlanta-based Art Consulting Firm, Amy Parry Projects, helped curate a custom art collection that weaves old and new elements across Via Sophia. Think nostalgic antique metal pizza peels juxtaposed with modern photography and abstract art pieces.
Clark’s most recent cooking stint at seafood-focused Fiola Mare is evident across its underwater section of dishes. A grilled Norwegian salmon features a traditional Spanish romesco sauce, alongside charred broccolini, pine nuts, and black garlic dressing. A minimalist presentation of black bass, accented with baby squash, asparagus tips, morels, and a golden beet border, lets the fish shine.
Southern Italian-inspired dishes include bruschetta built on a house-baked semolina loaf; tagliata di manzo (sliced steak) with charred spring onion, confit cherry tomatoes, balsamic reduction, arugula, and barolo jus; and monkfish ossobuco, with sauce livornese, clams, olives, capers, fennel, and potatoes.
“This is very in line with my background — the whole idea is a balance between rustic and modern,” Clark says. “We knock the rustic element out of the park — it was a decision early on to make bread, pizza, and pasta in house.”
Chicken al mattone (crispy artichokes, guanciale, peppers, maitake mushrooms, chicken jus) is “as old school rustic as it gets” he adds.
Carb-driven entrees include ravioli finochietta, with asparagus tips, fava beans, morels, and fresh parmigiana. Pappardelle comes with rabbit ragu, ramps, pecorino and Castelvetrano olives.
Antipasto orders include caponata-toasted eggplant with San Marzano tomatoes, golden raisins and pine nuts. Meat and cheese boards feature prosciutto di parma aged 24 months.
Wines and spirits hailing from Italy largely make up the drinks section, with some 120 wine bottles available. Local makers from D.C. and Virginia also contribute to the craft beer and spirits selection.
Society, inspired by Prohibition-era secret societies and private clubs from the art deco period, features just 14 seats. Fancy bar snacks include caviar with panna cotta, nuts, and Sicilian olives. Zack Faruki, an alum of Michelin-starred Fiola, is leading a mixology program.
Wines by the glass start at $20, and big spenders can also peruse from a rare collection of reds with a few bottles dancing near the $700 mark.
Society is an ode to renowned French-born architect Jules-Henrí de Sibour, who originally designed the hotel in 1922. The Prohibition-era architect was a member of Yale’s Skull and Bones Society. Framed hand drawings and photos taken from his time at Yale line the walls.
Hours are Tuesday and Wednesday, 5 p.m. to midnight; and Thursday through Saturday until 1 a.m.
When we discover new artists or get blown away by new work from some of our old favorites, we do our best to share the work and hopefully pass on the inspired feeling. It is a very exciting time to work in hospitality design and we have enough ideas for any kind of project.
Here's to the beauty of endless possibilities!
Please let us know how we can contribute custom art to what you're working on this summer.
Lyla Lila will bring house-made
Midtown this fall
The restaurant from Craig Richards and Billy Streck is set to open in lilli Midtown later this year
By Carly Cooper - May 30, 2019
A rendering of Lyla Lila | Courtesy of Smith Hanes Studio
Last year, Craig Richards left his position as vice president of culinary for Ford Fry Restaurants and executive chef at St. Cecilia and joined forces with restaurateur Billy Streck (Hampton & Hudson, Nina & Rafi, Cypress Street Pint & Plate). The duo soon discovered they had more in common than a love of food: their daughters share a name. So it only made sense to express that connection through the name of their new restaurant, Lyla Lila. (Richards’s daughter is Lyla; Streck’s daughter’s middle name is Lila.)
“We had 30 names on the table, but this makes it a lot more personal to us,” Richards says. “The restaurant is an expression of us.”
Located in the lilli Midtown building at the corner of 3rd and Peachtree streets, the food at Lyla Lila is inspired by the cuisines of southern Italy and Spain. It will include house-made pasta and wood-fired meats and seafood, along with Old World wines and seasonal cocktails.
Pasta options will include smoked squash and ricotta caramelle with spiced pumpkin seeds and sumac; and tomato leaf pappardelle with pork and beef cheek ragu and charred peppers. There will be two risottos on the menu, along with entrees such as a pork porterhouse with eggplant and oysters; and a whole-roasted fishtail with smoked onions and lemon butter, served with an anchovy and arugula salad. Sides include a salt-roasted sweet potato with fermented chili butter, while appetizers will include lamb croquettes with fennel pollen aioli and a wood-grilled lettuce salad with rye croutons, wild oregano, and yogurt dressing.
The beverage program will focus on seasonal cocktails and Old World wines, along with both local and European-style beers in bottles, cans, and a few drafts.
“This food lends itself really well to sparkling wines, so we’ll have an expanded sparking wine program,” Richards says. “We want the beverage side and the kitchen to be a reflection of each other.”
When Lyla Lila opens in early fall, it will serve dinner seven days a week. Weekend brunch will follow, along with weekday lunch. Smith Hanes Studio is designing the 4,000-square-foot space.
“In developing the concept, we pulled out some old vinyl—Miles Davis, Duran Duran, old Madonna—and got inspiration that way,” Streck says. “You might see some vinyl playing on a turntable. We’re definitely encouraging an after-dinner crowd.”
Expect a wooden floor with tiles that merge into the horseshoe bar area. There’s an area with cafe tables and banquettes for cocktails, a dining room, and a 25-seat private room. The Peachtree Street-facing patio is designed for people-watching, while a second patio in the cocktail area features a fireplace as a throwback to Cypress Street’s sizable firepit.
“We want the patio to be a beacon if you’re coming from either side of town,” Richards says.
And if all goes according to plan, Richards says, Lyla Lila will have the energy and vibrancy of his daughter, who is “extremely excited” about having a restaurant named after her.