by Miryam Muller in , ,

This 100 year old residence has been transformed into the independente hostel & suites in lisbon, Portugal, located in the center of the Bairro Alto & Principe Real Districts. A total renovation in july 2011 turned this palace, originally built to become the Swiss ambassador’s official residence at the start of the previous century, into a hip hostel with 108 beds within 13 dorm rooms. There are also four private suites for the traveler who may want to enjoy the communal vibe & big friendly dinners with a bit more privacy.

Each suite has a balcony that overlooks the tagus river. The hostel has high ceilings & huge, spacious rooms that include a private lounge in each dorm room. The art deco influenced design features vintage rockers, reclaimed chairs & other flea market finds. The independente has a bar/restaurant called ‘The Decadente’ that has large communal tables for family style dining as well as smaller tables for a more intimate dining experience. Portuguese cuisine from locally sourced food is served, along with seasonal cocktails & a secluded beer garden.




by Miryam Muller in

Free Wi-Fi. Hundreds of channels. A “business center.” In the resort industry, connectivity is a major selling point since smartphones and laptops normalized the “working vacation” more than a decade ago. But a new breed of hotel caters to those who want less, and are willing to pay for digital seclusion. Designed by Stockholm architects Jagnefalt Milton, each Black Lodge will have wooden walls that fold open so that guests can open the room out to the elements as much or as little as they prefer. The only furniture inside will be wooden boards, which can be used as tables, beds or benches, plus stools. The huts will be constructed from pine, sourced from the surrounding woodland. Any residents that change their minds about sleeping out amongst nature or need to use a bathroom in the night will easily be able to walk back to the hotel, which is located in a former limestone quarry nearby. The architects plan to build the first prototype this summer.

Here’s a few more details from the architects:

The basic idea is to complement a luxury resort (situated in an old quarry) with small reclusive huts placed in the nearby forest, close to a deserted beach. Considering all the luxury amenities in the resort, we wanted this to be something completely different. The hut is made of pine trees cut in the same forest as it is standing in. It’s built in an old Swedish timber frame technique and warmed by a cast iron stove.

The only furniture besides a stool, is a wooden board that can act both as a table, a bench and a bed. All four walls can be opened into the grass creating more of a camp fire situation where you can watch the stars and moon through the oculus. We were able to stretch the simplicity of the project knowing we had all the amenities nearby.


by Miryam Muller in ,

This week, the Italian fashion house Missoni released renderings for its very first residential project, a condominium tower in a $315 million master-planned community in the Philippines.

The flashy tower, called Acqua Livingstone, is scheduled to be completed in 2015. Since the condominiums went on sale at the beginning of the month, 25 percent of them have already been purchased, according to the developer. The apartments are cheap by New York standards: one-bedroom units start at $82,000. The common spaces, like the pool, lobby and gym, are all decked out in the brand’s variegated squiggles and stripes, but the actual residences are empty of Missoni design touches, which are offered for an additional premium.

“We brought our colors and our style inside. It’s a happy, positive approach: summer colors, solar colors,” Vittorio Missoni said of the 52-story building. “Coming from the outside you’re going to be surprised. … It’s like opening a box and discovering something unexpected.”

“It’s above and beyond what we’re used to when it comes to traditional luxury living in a developing country,” said Robbie Antonio, the managing director of Century Properties, who’s no stranger to exploiting commercial culture in the interest of selling condos. Last year, he hired Paris Hilton to design the clubhouse for another residential project in Manila.



by Miryam Muller in , ,

After major fashion houses opening their own hotels and major designers commissioned to splash a little of their creativity over existing hotels now students from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute were invited to ‘dress’ individual rooms, with very individual ideas, and the results make for one of the planet’s most searingly creative lodgings.

From the monstrously extravagant to the delicately subtle, the institute’s most promising young designers have literally hacked the poor old hospitality rulebook to within an inch of its life – delivering an entirely new approach to interior design. Coming into hotel design from a completely fresh angle, the young creative’s naivety affords them a carefree adventure that top interiors gurus would struggle to find.

Hotel The Exchange