Currently Inspired By...

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?!



Via Sophia + Society Now Open in DC featuring APP Art Program

A Fiola Mare Alum Opens a Fancy New |All-Day Osteria Downtown

Via Sophia and a hidden cocktail bar will debut in the Hamilton Hotel

by Tierney Plumb
Jun 11, 2019, 1:24pm EDT
Photos by Rey Lopez/Eater DC

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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Following a full lobby transformation and guest room refresh, the historic 318-room hotel is replacing its outdated 14K restaurant with an all-day osteria called Via Sophia.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.

European cutting boards double as wall art near the 10-seat pizza bar overlooking the cooking action.

European cutting boards double as wall art near the 10-seat pizza bar overlooking the cooking action.

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).

Oak wood fed into the oven to maintain its required 650-degree temperature is stocked across Via Sophia.

Oak wood fed into the oven to maintain its required 650-degree temperature is stocked across Via Sophia.

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.

Italy’s go-to table water San Pellegrino doubles as glowing green wall decor, alongside retro images of women posing along scenic shores.

Italy’s go-to table water San Pellegrino doubles as glowing green wall decor, alongside retro images of women posing along scenic shores.

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.

DesignONE Studio is behind the look of Via Sophia and Society.

DesignONE Studio is behind the look of Via Sophia and Society.

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.

Seductive details at Society include dark distressed leather, gothic-style candlestick wall sconces, and diamond glass chandeliers.

Seductive details at Society include dark distressed leather, gothic-style candlestick wall sconces, and diamond glass chandeliers.

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.

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Currently Inspired By...

AP Projects has been working on a plethora of new projects as we transition from Winter to Spring. This March Inspiration Board is a collection of things that have stuck with us along the way.

Click to see cool assemblages, lovely layers and all the colors of the rainbow.

Currently Inspired By...

More and more we are honoring requests to show art options with greater depth and texture. For this last Inspiration Board of the year, we would like to share a “few of our favorite (dimensional) things.”

There is so much to love about three-dimensional art; how it can punctuate a space and accentuate the overall design. Please click through these options in wood, glass, metal, fiber, porcelain and even just thickly applied paint.

Past, Present + Future / We Love Boutique Hotels

One of the great points of pride for Amy Parry Projects is that we have worked in boutique hospitality since our inception. We understand the guest experience and the desires of our clients. We love that the consumer drives the developments in our business, and that hotel trends we admire and exemplify in our projects flourished in 2016 and will continue to do so in the coming year...


OLD BUILDINGS RENOVATED INTO NEW HOTELS

There is no greater way to offer a unique visual experience for a hotel guest than by welcoming them into a space with built-in history and character. Although chain hotels are some of the ones choosing old properties for their new concepts, each renovated hotel is able to convey an independent feel. Each hotel is set apart by the unique architectural elements which developers choose (or are forced) to keep during renovation. This trend “straddles history and hospitality,” allowing guests to stay in old offices, warehouses, hospitals, etc. The art and furnishings provide the throwback and often pay tribute to the buildings’ rich past. What we love most about this trend is that the older buildings are typically situated in urban epicenters. We are thrilled by the resurgence of downtown and their abundance of interest-generating landmarks. When you stay on a bustling Main Street or in an established, beautiful downtown neighborhood, you are immersed in the city’s culture. Your choice of hotel helps tremendously in that by providing you proximity and carrying the authenticity of a place throughout.


INTENTIONAL ART EXPERIENCES

Going along with intentionally putting hotels in context-filled old buildings, hotels continue to strive to offer spaces with a “lived-in” feeling. Larger hotel companies competing with the Airbnb experience are turning to the immediate resources to achieve this local flavor. Even West Elm, a furniture company, is entering the hospitality business, set to open a handful of boutique concepts in 2018. These companies are giving people more than just a place to sleep. Nowadays, when a guest stays at a great hotel, they can expect to be served local wine and coffee, hear local bands in the bar on weekend nights, take yoga in a studio also frequented by city residents, and play games with other guests in the lobbies. And at the top of our list, their guestoom might feature artwork by the city’s best artists and the first floor may boast a legit, museum-quality collection. As art consultants, it is so much more fun to pick art to complement a hotel’s character, rather than it’s couches (although we can do that too).


Amy Parry Projects is honored to provide art for boutique hotels.

The entire hospitality experience should be curated to make each stay memorable, comfortable and fun for the guest. Here’s to a great 2017 - we look forward to amplifying each project with awesome, intentional art (like the commissioned Jesus Perea seen below).

Jesus Perea

IMAGE 1: Jesus Perea, customized print for upcoming hotel (inserted local imagery)

IMAGE 2: AP on Site: "Cloud" being built in the ceiling of a historic boutique hotel designed to cover pipes required to stay through renovation.