No real surprises in the Travel + Leisure design awards, judged by Agnes Gund, John Hoke, Richard Lambertson, Renee Price, Hani Rashid, David Rockwell and Yeohlee Teng, and moderated by Chee Pearlman. The New Museum aces yet another critical review, with a nod for best museum. The Nam Hai in Vietnam gets best resort, and the Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street is best hotel. The troubled National Stadium, Beijing wins for for public space and Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle gets a well-deserved nod for cultural space. Zaha Hadid‘s cable car stations in Innsbruck get best transportation. Design Champion is Amanda Burden, commissioner of City Planning for NYC. Something called the iPhone gets best travel gadget.
But there is one surprise, at least to us: Philippe Starck‘s Katsuya Hollywood as best restaurant. Not that it’s not nice-looking in a knives suspended in Lucite kind of way, but it’s simply the second location in a chain (the original location’s in Brentwood, many more are planned). Plus, the design makes it a bit difficult to actually eat there. Most of the chairs are un-sit-able (T+L calls them ‘simple,’ they obviously didn’t subject their rears to them) and the ambiance isn’t exactly appetizing, as the arty shot above from our pals at Eater LA will illustrate. The good news is that the blood-red lipstick dripping all over the place helps to remind you to order your Kobe beef rare.