Part of the burgeoning Evok Hôtels Collection, the 59-room Brach Paris is set in a 7,000m2 (75,000-square-foot), 1970s-era former postal service building in the city’s 16th arrondissement. Inspired by modernist architecture, the interiors of the glasshouse-like structure, which now drips in foliage and is crowned with a rooftop terrace, were designed by Philippe Starck as a “functionalist, constructivist hotel of the 1930s,” says the French designer. “We created a new mix, highlighting the disorder between the Bauhaus, Chateau style, and the surprise and wonder of Africa.”
A canvas by Starck’s artist daughter, Ara, dresses the ceiling of the lobby, a space that brings together a collection of totems and sculptures. Beyond, leather, wood, marble, and metal fill the restaurant with colliding but complementary textures (and another creation by Ara that wraps the space). Starck paid special attention to the subterranean sports club, complete with a thermal pool, sauna, hammam, and salt cave. He wanted “men and women to feel powerful,” he says of its retro New York boxing club ambiance. Guestrooms, including some suites that have private outdoor spaces, are decked out with furniture that further evokes the 1930s.
“We paid so much attention to detail, to the soul, to the general spirit of the place,” says Starck, pointing to such motley objects as a Maison de Verre stool and an Italian folding knife from the beginning of the century. “I’m interested in these moments of uncertainty in between, like in the books of Patrick Modiano, where nothing happens and all of a sudden magic appears. Brach takes you on a mental journey, when French artists like Man Ray, Jean Dubuffet, and Charlotte Perriand discover African art and culture. You experience this moment of trouble, of dizziness. Everywhere you look, there is a surprise, there is a game.”
From: Hospitality Design