Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Obsession

My obsession with Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams continues. How beautiful is this black sink in their apartment?:

Image from Remodelista
There is a fantastic short film on the web, by Brennan Staciewicz, at, in which they discuss their philosophy:

Robin Standefer [speaking about their renovations to the Standard restaurant]:"We try to find that sweet spot, something that's familiar and has a sense of meory that's not a complete recreation. [The global financial crisis] has made people pay attention to real value versus perceived value. [For her and her husband, in going to Europe and Asia] there's a whole other level of old . . . Those issues of a sense of memory and a sense of materiality and materials from the earth and trying to connect a lot of different references to come together to kind of create a new one is an important way that we think you can achieve that sense of timelessness".
Stephen Alesch:"[When they work on a space such as a hotel there is a sense of] who that visitor is".
Robin Standefer: "I think it's for us what we want [the guests] to do. We love the old school Grand Hotel vibe where it's a real meeting hall, a real gathering".
Stephen Alesch: "It's pretty much traditional architecture but the goal is to tear it up, to really . . . use it".
Robin Standefer: "If we create a platform for [guests] to use it and live and eat, then they'll think about the experience they had there the last time, the great day they had reading,. . . that day they sat in the corner of that clubby bar and had that . . . awesome weird drink, and that's . . . pretty inspiring".
Stephen Alesch: "The textures I think are really important . . . because they're not just sight-based, and for an architect and artist, interior designers, I think that one of the limitations of these trades is they're completely focused on sight and it's a very limited way to see things".
Robin Standefer: "There's a million stories in the lobby".
Stephen Alesch: "I think the present is a little shrill sometimes . . . To be in a space and have it be a little transforming, not necessarily calming, justy a different moment, a slightly dream-like moment, thank God for that . . . you shouldn't just dream at night . . . The communication of objects is so important to us, the dialogue that's happening".
Robin Standefer: "It's musical for us".

From these comments, the ideas that I love most are the concept that they want hotel guests to interact with their surroundings in a dream-like way. This made me think about what Clive Bell said in his book Art, almost one hundred years ago, that in certain works of art "lines and colours combined in a particular way, certain forms and relations of forms, stir our aesthetic emotions".

Another idea I like is that their spaces are not just direct historical recreations, but that they create an entirely new reference from the older ones, which is original yet has links with the past. I love the materiality and tactility of their spaces, as well as they way they value objects and elevate them to the level of art:

Image from Remodelista

1 comment:

Leigha said...

I adore this post. Great information and great eye candy.

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