Tropical Terrazzo

OMFGCO’s Hideout bar offers a riotous nod to Hawaiian modernism

AN Interior Interiors
Hulava Bar—The Hideout bar brings together a bevy of vintage and midcentury-inspired elements—including salvaged and restored furniture scoured from across the globe as well as newly designed furnishings by OMFGCO—with rowdy wallpaper prints to craft a contemporary take on Hawaiian modernism and the tiki lounge (Courtesy OMFGCO).

With a tropical twist on Marmoreal by Dzek, the new Hideout bar by creative design agency OMFGCO at the Laylow hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii, is simply this: a riot.

A riot of textures. A riot of patterns. A riot of stylistic references wrapped up and rolled into one indoor-outdoor bar and restaurant that surfs a tropicalia-tinged wave of maximal eclecticism. The watering hole is set in a revamped 1960s-era modernist hotel that was renovated and rebranded by OMFGCO with help from San Francisco–based Randolph Designs, who collaborated on the interiors and created furniture for the hotel’s 251 guest rooms.

OMFGCO handled branding, interior design, and art direction for the project’s public spaces, deploying a highly curated set of self-consciously referential design elements
to promote familiarity and style. Using playful repetition and a no-holds-barred, mood board–focused approach for the project, the designers generated spaces that pay tribute to popular tropical tropes, like birds of paradise, hula bobblehead dolls, and straw-backed chairs, in playful, raucous ways.

The 800-square-foot bar and restaurant is divided from the outdoors and along public areas by a 100-foot-long wall built out of Mutina’s line of terra-cotta breeze-blocks.

The project, according to Fritz Mesenbrink, cofounder and creative director at OMFGCO, is heavily inspired by the work of Hawaiian modernist architect Vladimir Ossipoff—and it shows in the crisp, low lines of the bar, the peek-through screened entry, and the rough-hewn materiality of each of the spaces. A bamboo entry deck is situated at the face of the Hideout, where a bobblehead-backed reception desk and waiting lounge also sit. Here, a 100-foot-long terra-cotta breezeblock wall designed by Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola for Mutina and collections of potted tropical plants create an area that sits both outside and within the hotel tower. The lounge areas, like the remaining parts of the bar and restaurant located beyond, are scattered with lounge furniture, some of the pieces hand-picked by OMFGCO’s design team from vintage collections, others were specifically made for the project.

The bar and restaurant spaces within hold even more special furniture, including vintage Arthur Unano barstools that run parallel to beadboard paneling and countertops made out of Marmoreal—an engineered marble stone aggregate that resembles terrazzo—along the bar. The L-shaped bar is backed by cabinets that incorporate Marmoreal shelving as well, serving to highlight the “modern tiki” theme the designers sought.

The organic breeze block echoes the shapes and patterns of traditional Hawaiian Kapa weaving and makes an appearance in the hotel entry, where custom furniture by OMFGCO, bamboo parquet flooring, and tropical plants create a shaded, lush atmosphere.

The sign from below the restaurant and bar casually reads “lay low” across a slab of black Marmoreal terrazzo.

Mesenbrink said, “The Umanoff barstools are probably my personal favorite piece of furniture at the Laylow. We had to gather them from all over the country and a few from overseas, then had them touched up to feel new again.”

Leafy, hand-painted wallpaper murals by Michael Paulus and an accent wall populated by a field of drink umbrellas fill out the lobby areas, which connect the bar to a small restaurant packed with wicker seats and a wraparound booth. Beyond the restaurant? A poolside veranda—called a lanai—containing conical fire pits, drink stands, and sand-filled floors.

For the project, OMFGCO principal and creative director Fritz Mesenbrink repurposed barstools designed by Arthur Umanoff, restoring the midcentury-era chairs to almost new.

For the project, OMFGCO principal and creative director Fritz Mesenbrink repurposed barstools designed by Arthur Umanoff, restoring the midcentury-era chairs to almost new.

The project features a large-aggregate, precast Marmoreal slab–topped bar backed by maple tambour shelving that can be found in the hotel’s interiors and outdoor lanai.

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