BY ZAHID SARDAR DESIGN SPOT
AC HOTEL by Marriott Sunnyvale Cupertino, a
boutique-style offshoot of the Marriott brand,
has opened in a new five-story building on a
relatively busy corner in Sunnyvale, minutes
away from Apple’s campus and just north of San
Jose. However, inside its beautifully designed
modern, open-plan lobby/lounge/cafe/bar, the
street falls away. Managed by the lively Evolution
Hospitality group (think custom tattoo services
and friendly reception staff wearing brightly colored Allbirds shoes), the LEED Silver–certified,
183-room hotel courts business travelers with
plenty of meeting spaces, media rooms and a
sunny, whiteboard-equipped breakout room off
the lobby. But it also has plenty to offer leisure
travelers, including a gourmet breakfast service,
signature cocktails, craft beers and a unique
gift “store” akin to a curated vending machine.
Outside, a patio with a fireplace has additional
casual seating. Average room rates hover around
$200 and up.
BAY AREA/NEW YORK–based interior designer
Orlando Diaz-Azcuy has been a longtime fan of
the San Francisco Opera and symphonic music.
So it is no surprise that his latest collection of
furniture, designed for the Japanese manufacturer Matsuoka and dubbed Symphony, pays
tribute to musical overtures and operas. The six
consoles, cabinets and tables recently unveiled
at the A. Rudin showroom in the San Francisco
Design Center sport names such as Nocturne,
Scheherazade and Satyagraha. Made at Matsuoka’s workshops in Fuchu City near Hiroshima,
the finely crafted furniture has inlaid woods and
cloisonné patterns that allude to lotus ponds
and Japanese gardens. Sold through the trade
at A. Rudin.
CLASSIC ALESSI PRODUCTS such as the Moka
coffeemaker, designed during the 1930s by
Alessi founder Alfonso Bialetti, inspire updates.
Postmodernist innovator Alessandro Mendini,
who died last February, left behind a playful
version. Now, Moka’s new streamlined stovetop
cousin by British architect David Chipperfield
has a faceted cast-aluminum shell, a flat, fuss-free lid and a gray thermoplastic handle. It is
sold in three sizes, priced from $35 to $55.
Another future Alessi classic is the equally pared-down, thoughtfully contoured stainless steel
Itsumo flatware set by
about $37 for a five-piece place setting.
VIOLA FREY, an artist linked to the Bay Area’s
figurative ceramics tradition that includes sculptor Robert Arneson, is being lionized for the
first time since her 2004 death with a retrospective exhibition through December 29,
at the di Rosa Center for Contemporary
Art in Sonoma. Viola Frey: Center Stage
highlights the artist’s inherent feminism
and independence and includes more than 100
of her distinctive monumental ceramic figures,
drawings, sketches, photographs and bronzes, all
curated by Amy Owen in conjunction with Artists’ Legacy Foundation, Oakland.
ART, ANIMATION & 3D
Design in unlikely places.
DURING STOCKHOLM DESIGN WEEK last
February, design firm Form Us With Love and
Danish manufacturer +Halle unveiled a modular Nest System Table that can be assembled
using tabletops in specific component shapes
made of Fenix laminate. The tabletops “turn”
and “bend” when different components are
combined atop high or low tubular powder-coated steel legs to form squared, circular,
ovoid or curved/snaking tables. Designed for
communal office spaces, this versatile B2B product could also be adapted for home use. Prices
vary according to combinations.