Fun in the Sun
Linda Lee -- Interior Design, 4/1/2010 12:00:00 AM
mr architecture + decor
site: bal harbour village, florida
"I'm an architecture junky," California clothing designer Trina Turk freely admits. Different firms and designers have done her seven boutiques. For the first one, in Palm Springs, she hired Kelly Wearstler—and that was in 2002, pre-Viceroy. Locations by Jonathan Adler and Bestor Architecture followed.
Opening a boutique at the Bal Harbour Shops north of Miami Beach, Turk turned to MR Architecture + Decor. She'd met principal David Mann during a Palm Springs house tour that included a Richard Neutra residence that would be demolished unexpectedly only weeks later, a loss that became a bonding experience. Besides, Mann says, "Trina knew I'd been down to Florida a lot and could capture a little bit of the local attitude."
Turk describes Bal Harbour Village's oceanfront hotels and high-end shops as "1960's architecture, beautifully maintained." Her particular 2,000-square-foot boutique is on the mall's upper level, near a Neiman Marcus and a Graff jewelry shop. "We probably sell the least expensive things here," she says of her geometric-patterned shifts, skirts, jumpsuits, swimsuits, jewelry, tote bags, and pillows. In keeping with that optimistic vibe, she asked Mann to make the store accessible and fun or, as he puts it, "not cheap but not expensive or intimidating."
Oh, and another thing. Because she had started the project with another firm, which didn't work out, there was severe time pressure. Mann had just 20 weeks.
His most dramatic move is a fluorescent-lit ceiling cove curved like the legendary swimming pool at the nearby Raleigh Hotel. In addition, he built latticework feature walls from concrete blocks and, to set the entry apart, a seductively feminine trellis constructed with off-the-shelf aluminum components. The green-lacquered display cases and cash-wrap desk are inexpensively detailed with white upside-down arches. The tufted leather-upholstered seating came from Turk's own collection: orange side chairs by William Haines and white armchairs by Milo Baughmann. Since she already owned one hexagonal travertine-topped side table, Mann searched out a second one. He also found the pair of vintage metal sunbursts on the wall over the cash-wrap desk and the globe standing lamps behind the Baughmann armchairs. "Light fixtures are the worst," he says. "You pick one, because you've never seen it before. Then, in a couple of months, you see it everywhere."
Morris Lapidus may be verging on overexposed these days, but Turk loves the look anyhow. So Mann took a cue from the master's Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel for a lounge that Turk refers to as the "guy sitting area," a place to wait while wives and girlfriends finish shopping. Squeezed between fitting rooms on either side, this glamorous oval lair is lined in mirror and draped with swags of green fashion fabric. "David did a great job with making a narrow space feel comfortable," Turk says. That comfort comes courtesy of a wool shag rug and a gently curved banquette that's strewn with pillows in an assortment of Turk patterns.
The Lapidus tribute is, in fact, particularly timely at Bal Harbour. Right across the street, his Americana—a 1956 building with a glassed-in rain forest—was recently torn down to make room for a condo hotel.
Photography by Eric Laignel.
JULIUS BLUM & CO.: TRELLIS COMPONENTS (ENTRY, LOUNGE).
DUPONT: DESK SOLID-SURFACING (SALES FLOOR).
JJ EXPORTERS: WALL COVERING.
MICHEL CONTESSA: SUNBURSTS (SALES FLOOR), TABLE (LOUNGE).
ART DECO STONE USA: CUSTOM BLOCKS (SALES FLOOR).
ANTIQUES DU MONDE: TABLE (FITTING ROOM).
PLEXI-CRAFT QUALITY PRODUCTS CORP: CUSTOM BENCH.
SCULPTURE HOUSE CASTING: CUSTOM HOOKS.
ANGELA BROWN: WALL COVERING.
URBAN OUTFITTERS: RUG.
STARK: CARPET (FITTING ROOM), RUG (LOUNGE).
AMERLUX: RECESSED CEILING FIXTURES (SALES FLOOR).
COVERINGS ETC: FLOOR TILE (SALES FLOOR, ENTRY).
LIE-NIELSEN: CUSTOM DRAPERY (LOUNGE).
ANGEL TEXTILES: CUSTOM DRAPERY FABRIC.
LE JEUNE UPHOLSTERY: CUSTOM BANQUETTE.
ROMO: BANQUETTE FABRIC.
TAZI DESIGNS: PENDANT FIXTURE.
PIECES: CHAIR (ENTRY).
HAMPTONS ANTIQUE GALLERIES: TABLE.
SCHLÄPPI: CUSTOM MANNEQUINS.
ITEC DESIGN: ARCHITECT OF RECORD.
LUMEN ARCHITECTURE: LIGHTING CONSULTANT.
BROMLEY COOK ENGINEERING: STRUCTURAL ENGINEER.
HENZ ENGINEERING: MEP.
DNS DISPLAY INDUSTRIES: WOODWORK, GLASSWORK.
BRODSON CONSTRUCTION: GENERAL CONTRACTOR.
GPL RETAIL DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS: CONSTRUCTION MANAGER.