Read the Executive Profile published in the South Florida Business Journal
Published in Miami Home & Decor 2017 Spring/Summer Edition
Architect Kurt Dannwolf and Director of Interiors, Lachmee Chin, are all too familiar with the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences in Miami, Fla. Not only is it luxurious and amenity rich, but it is also one of the tallest buildings in the state of Florida. Dannwolf, the lead architect on the 70-story skyscraper, and Chin, had worked together with the developer, Millennium Partners, to create over a dozen residential and commercial spaces inside the tower. So, when the owner of this 10,000-square-foot empty penthouse on the 67th floor was referred to the design team, they were ready to go to work.
The client wanted a place where he and his wife, and two teenage sons could stay and transition when traveling from their home in Brazil to places overseas. It was important for the space to be modern in design and comfortable, while meeting the owners’ desire to entertain, or simply, when only the two of them were in the residence. After a thorough assessment of what would become the entertaining and private spaces, the design team set about adding color, texture and art to unify their creation.
With dramatic ocean views to the East and to the South, large picture windows were draped in silk - night lights can be glimpsed from the land; in the afternoon boats are passing by and in the morning, the rising sun is on view. “It couldn’t be more romantic and beautiful,” Chin says. The room is kept fresh and alive with textured materials such as a velvet and silk accent pillow that adorns a Fendi sofa, a patterned Hallgarten area rug from David Sutherland, and armchairs from Artefacto upholstered soft blend of silk and linen that appear different each time the light strikes them. Chin also selected gray veined marble flooring for the main living spaces. “This became a unifying factor between rooms and gave us a blank canvas on which to place other elements,” the designer says.
A thick, dark-stained wall clad in American walnut runs the length of the home. As you approach the dining room from the adjacent wine room, a glimpse through a round cutout in the wall reveals a Hellman-Chang dining table lined with elegant “Bogart” chairs from One of a Kind, in a shimmery gray Calvin Klein fabric.
Just off the dining room is the oversized kitchen which was designed to function for effortless seasonal living and elegant entertaining, with ample serving area. Having such a spacious room gave Dannwolf the opportunity to create a large sculptural island - the quartzite rectangular prism, adorned with custom-stained walnut cabinetry, is supported on a steel frame that allows it to cantilever at both ends. Near a window with stunning ocean views, a glass shelf that suspends at bar height creates the perfect place for casual meals. “The owners wished for the home to seamlessly fit their lifestyle” said Dannwolf.
Marble flooring gives way to custom, dark-stained walnut flooring in the game room. On poker night, while seated on silver-hued chairs from Artefacto clad in Edelman Dream Cow suede players gather around a lacquer gaming table complete with round-carved pockets to store chips.
Custom-designed white pedestals topped with glass-colored vases line a wall of textured silk panels in a nearby office. In the guest bath, another pedestal, one of deep blue soapstone set within white marble, supports a sculptural tub. “I wanted the tub to be more than just a utilitarian piece,” Chin says. “Here it becomes a focal point for the room,” she says.
Adjoining the master bedroom is the sleek master bath, where the architect created a 15-foot-by-19-foot opening to the sky above an oversized shower with square rain shower heads.
Since this was the last penthouse in the building, the design team knew they had to create something special. “We utilized a lot of the things we had learned from working on the other projects in the tower, plus we were able to explore new ideas to make this home unique,” Dannwolf says.
interior design: Lachmee Chin with Nicole Yousefi and Xiomara Munoz, ODP Architects, Hollywood, FL
architecture: Kurt Dannwolf, ODP Architects, Hollywood, FL
text: Deborah S. Hartz-Seeley
photography: Ken Hayden, Miami Beach, FL
On April 3, SFBJ asked companies across the tri-county area to send in photos of their offices for a chance at being named the coolest office in all of South Florida. On April 26, the Top 10 finalists were revealed and we were one of them. More than 30,000 online votes were registered at SouthFloridaBusinessJournal.com and our firm came in 2nd place with 8,680 votes, less than 2,000 shy from #1. We would like to thank all of you for your support!
Lachmee Chin, who has designed interior spaces within Four Season Hotel Miami and Four Seasons Private Residences Miami, talks about the inspiration behind her work and shares her recommendations for exploring design in the city through Art Basel and the Design District.
2016 / ISSUE 3 / FOUR SEASONS MAGAZINE
Since 2005 Lachmee Chin’s esprit ouvert has guided her as director of interior design at O’Donnell, Dannwolf & Partners Architects Inc. (ODP). The firm is the architect of record for One Thousand Museum, designed by the late Iraqi-born architect and Pritzker Prize winner Zaha Hadid, and has independently designed several of the Four Seasons Private Residences Miami.
At Four Seasons Hotel Miami and the Private Residences, Chin has worked on the designs for the main lobby, for EDGE, Steak & Bar, and for three of the penthouse floors-one of which has a 4,000-bottle wine room in its centre and an award-winning masculine bathroom (see Four Seasons Projects, right). In total, ODP has designed more than 20 spaces in the building. The firm also partners with the Hotel on a design-focused Extraordinary Experience that gives guests the opportunity to see exclusive showrooms, private collections and stunning individual residences that are not open to the public.
Born in Guyana to Hindu parents, Chin grew up in South Florida and feels that her heritage and surroundings opened her mind to "different spices. smells, sounds, colours and religions: which eventually turned into a love for various fabrics, textures and materials.” Her penchant for creative pursuits led her to study painting, ceramics, photography and charcoal nude figure drawing at New World School of the Arts in downtown Miami. This concentration in fine arts, her culturally diverse upbringing and a taste for the finer things in life-including wine, Aston Martin cars and beautiful shoes-have informed Chin's aesthetic. Here, she offers her insights into working with clients, navigating Art Basel and Miami’s Design District, and other design highlights.
FOUR SEASONS PROJECTS
A standout project completed at Four Seasons Private Residences Miami was what Chin christened the "James Bond powder room." "Because powder rooms aren't typically designed for a man, we opted for a very masculine concept– a classic black tuxedo with a peek-a-boo of white," she says. Setting a droplet-shaped sink "that felt delicate, much like a tuxedo shirt" on a swirled marble floor, Chin and her team chose chrome fixtures to stand out against a backdrop of black marble walls inlaid with circles of silver leaf. The project won a 2016 Kitchen & Bath Design Award from Kitchen & Bath Design News. "The best design is a process," Chin says. When working with clients, her first step is to listen-intently. "My vision is very much fed by the information clients provide: pictures, stories, sketches and, of course, our client's requirements for the space," Chin explains. It's crucial, she says, to understand their motivations.
DESIGN DISTRICT PICKS
Chin is a frequent visitor to the Design District. "I love the majestic 1921 Moore Building (above), which I consider the heart of the district," she says. Among the neighbourhood's oldest buildings, it's one that Chin admired as a child growing up in Miami. Today it houses a permanent installation by Hadid, which gives Chin "a nice feeling, because I've seen this architect, I met her." Two of Chin's favourite restaurants for entertaining are Michael's Genuine Food & Drink and Harry's Pizzeria; both have excellent service, she says, and Michael's "has a great selection of craft beers and wine, a nice way to take an hour's time to get to know a client." Another preferred spot: the Cartier boutique, as much for its "calm, spa-like" space as for its products. And this, she says, "is what every designer strives for: designing spaces that will make you feel good today, tomorrow and in 10 years." In other words, timeless.
HOW TO DO ART BASEL
December 1-4, Miami Beach will be abuzz with artists, designers, filmmakers and devotees of contemporary art and design. With some 250 galleries from 31 countries filling the convention centre with painting, sculpture, photography and installations, as well as satellite exhibitions, not to mention films, performances and endless rounds of cocktail parties, the experience can be overwhelming. Where to start? Chin watches lnstagram for events that look interesting and goes from there; she suggests not over-planning the experience. "The spontaneity is good," Chin says. She also recommends the smaller, more intimate satellite shows; Design Miami is one of her choices. Four Seasons Hotel Miami will host a pop-up art show during this year's festival, showcasing the paintings of Antonio Dominguez de Haro, a native of Spain, and the pop art of Miami favourite Romero Britto, originally from Brazil.
DON'T-MISS DESIGN SHOP
Preparing for an interior project of your own? Stop by one of Chin's favourite vendors: tile and stone showroom Ceramic Matrix in the Design District, which primarily works with design professionals but opens its doors to the public. an indication of the flexibility that Chin so appreciates. "Ceramic Matrix has been incredibly cooperative, as they understand the creative process," she says. Typically, for a specific project, she'll shop for stone slabs and handpick each piece before submitting drawings detailing her desired materials. When Chin reaches the point of providing CAD design files, Ceramic Matrix "executes them without fail." The company also "offers the technical cuttings that are required for intricate designs," she says. “They are always open to ideas. even if it is something out of their comfort zone.” Their openness helps Chin "keep thinking outside the box."
(HOLLYWOOD, Fla.) – The architecture and interior design firm of O’Donnell Dannwolf + Partners announced that it has been selected by Southeast Construction magazine as one of the top design firms in its region.
“It is an honor to be included on this list and to have our work recognized by our peers,” said Ed O’Donnell, managing partner for the firm.
The Top Design ranking is based upon company-provided information indicating each firm’s 2006 billings figures for projects performed in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. This is the company’s first year on the list.
Kurt Dannwolf spread his architectural influence near and far, with more than 15 years’ experience in high-rise, mixed-use buildings. In that time, he has been responsible for the design of 6 million square feet of space on three continents, totaling almost $1 billion worth on construction. His projects include commercial core and shell, commercial interiors, retail, mixed-use, multifamily dwellings and structures used in the hospitality industry.
Most recently, Dannwolf, a Porsche enthusiast and avid race fan, was a senior associate with Gary E. Handel + Associates of New York, where he was the project architect for what he considers one of his biggest achievements, the Four Seasons Hotel and Tower in Miami.
With the uncertainties in the real estate market, Dannwolf said his biggest achievement this year was the expansion of O’Donnell Dannwolf and Partners Architects from a statewide to a regional firm. In 2005, the firm provided services for projects in Jacksonville, Melbourne, St. Augustine, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. During the course of 2006, the firm expanded to serving clients in Georgia, Washington, D.C. and Florida’s Gulf Coast.