Interior space co-designed and supervised for WOW Atelier at Sundance 2014. Photos courtesy of Michael Friberg / Airbnb unless noted.
I was lucky enough to get a call from Salt Lake's WOW Atelier to work with them on creating a Sundance hospitality and event space for Airbnb. In just over three weeks we took a run-down, abandoned Mexican restaurant and turned it into 7,000 square feet of mid-century, Scandinavian inspired chill-out and recharge space for weary movie goers. Here is a shot of the totally fresh new look of the exterior facade and patio.
We turned the nasty purple dungeon of the main floor into a cozy drawing room by day, intimate performance space by night for events like the Moth Radio Hour and stand up comedy.
We created this sunny, inviting family kitchen over the ruin of a former short order grill. It was the nucleus of the "Haus", free coffee by day, hopping bar by night.
We lined the dreadful staircase with cabinetry and cubbies full of household comforts to cover the strange 80's architecture in a layer of warmth and homeyness.
The comfortable, casual sitting area. Framed photos of some of Airbnb's many cool properties dot the walls among other nostalgic pieces of art.
The second floor took on the idea of an oversized family dining space. We built a dozen custom dining tables, every plank of which was stained in a different hue of a wintery, muted palette prior to assembly. While I love the common table dining experience, I felt like it needed a new idea. I cut the ends of the tables at angles, creating a subtle zigzag that reflected the herringbone wood patterns we applied to other surfaces.
The WOW guys conceived of this central column to create some design continuity between the jumble of shape, form and period in the architecture. We custom stained this wood in the same frosty palette of the tables. The visual impact of the shallow diagonal combined with the beauty of the antique canoe accomplished the desired harmony perfectly.
The artist's studio we created became a real hit with visitors. So much so that the Airbnb folks had to scramble to keep it stocked with art supplies for people to sketch and paint.
My greatest peeve with Sundance venues and events is the problem with the piles of coats, scarves, hats and bags that turn the most beautifully designed venue into a yard sale at a refugee camp. So I wanted to create coat racks that were intriguing enough that people might use them. Riffing on the cabiny vibe we were going for, I ordered boxes of hatchets, and made these racks. They did the trick.
Another view of our hatchet racks.
Photo: Joe Anthony
The exterior sign.
Photo: Jeffrey Abramson
The formerly purple and green wreck of an exterior turned into Sundance 2014's most popular spot.
This and the following pictures show the terrible state the unused venue was in when we walked into it. This shows what became the cozy sitting area.
This was what became the downstairs drawing room.
This became the artists studio.
And this area became the upstairs dining room. The canoe would later be hung where the steel "X" is pictured in the stairwell.