This article appears in The Architect’s Newspaper’s April 2017 issue, which takes a deep dive into Florida to coincide with the upcoming AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando (April 27 to 29). We’re publishing the issue online as the Conference approaches—click here to see the latest articles to be uploaded.
Chef José Andrés, James Beard Award winner and pioneer of molecular gastronomy, will lead the culinary team of Bazaar Mar, a new 7,200-square-foot restaurant just south of the Miami River in Arquitectonica’s newly built SLS Brickell tower. Designer Philippe Starck crafted a nautical dream world complete with mythical sea beasts, picturesque coastal vignettes, and a characteristic white and navy color palette.
The main space is composed of two dining rooms and a raw bar materially connected with over 6,000 hand-painted tiles featuring the drawings of artist Sergio Mora and manufactured in Spain by Cerámica Artística San Ginés. The tiles completely cover the walls and ceiling, painted in a Delft Blue pastiche that is typical of 16th-century Dutch pottery. The murals are ornamented with gilded crustaceans and cabaret-style mermaids that dissolve the otherwise solid walls into surrealist other worlds. Likenesses of people involved in the project appear throughout the murals including Chef Andrés. The furnishings are varied, including smooth marble-topped tables, upholstered love seats, and stark white wooden chairs, creating a visually heterogeneous atmosphere against which the maritime fantasy emerges.
The bright dining room is contrasted with a detached cocktail bar finished in black and gold tiles of the same stylized motif. The total effect of Starck’s design fittingly underscores Andrés seafood-centric menu and draws from the aura of Miami’s burgeoning art scene.